Catching up…

Since I’ve been largely out of action course-wise in recent weeks (thanks to damaging arm and shoulder tendons whilst hoovering of all things… ‘Housework – just say no’), I thought I’d take the opportunity to post some more life drawings/portrait work.

To begin with, a pencil drawing of a friend (done from photograph).  His expression begged to be drawn – such an infectious smile!  I tried to work a little more loosely with this portrait, focusing my attention on capturing expression and character.

pencil portrait

pencil portrait

The drawing was actually done in two bursts over quite a long period of time.  For a couple of weeks it looked like this…

initial pencil drawing

initial pencil drawing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I could see elements I would alter almost as soon as I’d finished it, I was happy that it had something of the impishness of the original photo.  It’s so easy to get hung up on exactitude and let character fall by the wayside.

Now, life drawing catch-up…

charcoal and pastel, 10 minutes

charcoal and pastel, 10 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a poor photocopy, but it’s all I have at the moment, as the original drawing is still at the art class.  I really liked the back line on this pose.  The dark shadow following the curve of the spine was intended to add a bit of background context, but I smudged it accidentally, and decided to turn it into wings…

charcoal, 15 minutes

charcoal, 15 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this pose, the model perched on the edge of a stool.  However, in my drawing he appears to be floating somewhere just above the stool.  I know I’m capable of depicting a body with weight, sitting squarely in a space, so it’s annoying when I don’t manage it. I think that inconsistency is one of the things I find most frustrating.  Perhaps it’s inevitable as a learner, though.  And maybe beyond.  Looking for positives, however, I like the shadow behind his right arm.

pastel pencils, 10 minutes

pastel pencils, 10 minutes

This was my first foray into pastel pencils, and I really enjoyed using them.  I overlapped blue and purple pencils, and like the quality of shadow they achieved using minimal hatching.  (Hatching!  As I’ve written elsewhere on this blog, hatching and I still circle each other warily, but this was a tentative step in a happier direction, I think.)  The body has weight here, and feels believable.  This was one of three sketches I made of a single pose – an intentional move to work more quickly.

charcoal, 20 minutes

charcoal, 20 minutes

This was the first sketch I made from this pose, and it felt stiffer than the others.  Despite working on a smaller scale than usual, due to the problems with my arm, I still struggle at the moment to relax enough whilst drawing.  It’s an uncomfortable business just now.

charcoal, 10 minutes

charcoal, 10 minutes

This was the last of the three takes on this pose.  I preferred it to the other charcoal version, but lost the curve of the left leg over the right.  I drew the outline very quickly, though, which pleased me.  Funnily enough, I think having a poorly arm has been quite beneficial in that way – the discomfort makes me work faster, as balancing books and boards can be painful.  This speedier process is something I intend to try and continue in sketching. The results are less precise, but have more energy, I think.

charcoal, 10 minutes

charcoal, 10 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, the above pose was drawn in ten minutes – fast for me.  The outstretched hand was a swine to do, and still doesn’t look right (fingers might have helped) – but I like the energy here.  The left-hand line of the body (from the viewers perspective) feels more confident than in many of my drawings, and I’m convinced that’s due in part to the speed at which I drew it.  Compare it with an earlier drawing, below…

graphite pencil, 25 minutes

graphite pencil, 25 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t think this is a bad drawing, necessarily.  The left foot is better than many I’ve drawn.  The folded leg (which, again, was a swine to capture) feels pretty accurate.  Overall, there is a sense of the relaxed quality of the pose.  And yet, despite having 25 minutes to draw this, compared with the previous sketch it feels cautious and laboured.  So, a salutary lesson that less can indeed be more.

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