I wanted to draw large scale because i felt the need to make big marks instead of working in sketchbooks, so i used A2 paper or i stuck two together to make A1.
Acrylic applied with hands
Charcoal and graphite
I either used previous drawings or photographs from books as a reference.
I found this process very freeing because i didn’t have to think too much about accuracy. I allowed myself to accentuate certain areas and features that i liked. I also liked how messy everything got as well!
I did like working in colour, but i think my favourites are the grey-scale pieces (which as a colour lover, i find very odd). I think it is because you can see the detail more, and the marks look a lot harsher than that which is done in greens. I particularly like the drawings where i have applied a watered down ink wash.
I want to record actual shapes of people, so i tried using myself. The drawing on the left; i drew around myself with my back to the wall (where the paper was taped), this gave me good waist definition, but did not replicate the view of a bum as the shape of the front of your pelvis is different to the back. So, the image on the right, i stood with my front facing the wall and drew around myself again. This one worked really well as it showed the more smoother out shaped that you get from the rear.
This will come in useful when recreating the shapes in my practice, it will also be a great way to collect some primary research.
I got this idea from ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check’ which is a way of learning spellings that i used to do at school. I wanted to apply the technique here by looking at an image and drawing from it. I would do this three times from each image with a timed gap between each one. The aim was to help me understand the construction of a bum and isolate what i wanted to focus on.
From the drawing process, i found that on the third drawing i was focusing mainly on the outer edge of the figure and less on the shadows and shading. I also became more confident with the lines i was making because the shapes became familiar to me.
Overall, i really like this method because it makes sure that i draw what i see confidently which i can then take into other areas of y practice. I can also recognise the varieties of shapes that are out there.
I was lucky enough to attend another life drawing class. This time i was focusing more on proportions and getting the whole figure to be on the page, as i seem to have a knack of zooming into one particular area.
There were several stages that we did, but this is the final drawing i did:
I was really pleased with the outcome because it showed what i had learnt. I managed to get the whole model on the page (barring his feet, but i am still counting it as the whole figure). I noticed from the other drawings that i did that i like to accentuate features by making them seem much larger than they are. I particularly like using a curved line which makes the figure look much more statuesque and as though they are a permanent feature on the background. Because of this, my tutor suggested that i look at the work of Henry Moore (who is already one of my favourites anyway) because he manages to create the same effect with his drawings and sculptures, by making them blend into the landscape. Another artist she suggested was Bill Brandt who is a photographer. He hightens the contrast in his work which is black and white anyway. This makes his work have more depth.
I look forward to taking part in more of the classes in the future.
The cut-outs are one of my favourite things. They are so simplistic in colour, style and appearance, when actually, they are extremely complex due to the process of learning about the figure and shape of the human body in order to understand it. It is phenomenal to then end up with these abstract outcomes that are saturated with knowledge and creativity.
The link between the cut-outs and sculpture is strong, and with these images, you are able to see the almost literal translation. It makes you wonder which had more of an influence. Was is the cut-outs that informed the sculpture, or the sculpture that informed the cut-outs? With the cut-outs themselves, it is quite nice to see the use of both the positive and negative space. (This method could also be used to produce prints)
Acrobats, 1952. Stencil
Acrobats, 1952. Stencil
Large Woman Acrobat, 1952. Paint-brush and Indian Ink, 105 x 75cm. Musée Matisse, Nice
With these images, you can see clearly the journey of constantly going back over a design; re-positioning and redrawing the same image in order to get the final result. It looks as though the contortion is being subject to an experiment. Trying to see what the body can do that looks unreal, almost unbelievable.
I love all of the Blue Nudes, but this one particularly stood out to me because you can still see the pencil marks underneath the final cut-out. These pieces always look very instinctive so it is interesting to be able to see the planning that went into the final image, and how the appearance altered over time as it was worked on.
The construction of the figures intrigues me because each body is divided up into separate pieces. ‘Standing Blue Nude‘ shows a very simple divide of body parts; the legs are separate, the torso and head are attached but separate from the arms. However, other examples show even more dissection. Layers are built up, overlapped and placed next to each other to reconstruct the new blue figure.
All images from this blog post were sourced from –
Néret, G. (2006). Henri Matisse: Cut-outs. USA: Taschen.