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.
This was the first ever life drawing i have done, despite wanting to do it for years! The images below were actually drawn from the sketches i produced whilst drawing from a model, so they were completed after the model had gone.
It was a very interesting experience, as you have to work quite quickly in order to capture shadow, shape and proportion, for fear of the model beginning to freeze due to the temperature. By working back from these initial sketches (i did not take any photos of the model as a reference) i was able to blend each sketch together in the final image, and partially work from memory if there were any sections that were unclear. It is a process i am keen to repeat, as i thoroughly enjoyed it! (It also meant i could get a male’s bum, which is incredibly hard to find, as i have discovered from my research).
I worked in many stages to produce the final image. I began by drawing the shape (many times), and placing where the shadows went before working into the drawing with more detailed shading. Once all the marks were placed and worked into, i then spent time using a rubber to add highlights and remove any excess graphite and charcoal. It was a very lengthy process, however, i am really pleased with the outcome.
Before i finished the actual drawing, i worked into the image digitally to see how some areas needed to be blended and what needed to be removed. This part of the process was extremely helpful as it allowed me to see what i didn’t want to do on the final image, and areas that actually needed more work put into it. As a result of this, i would not consider the digital versions the ‘final’ piece of work, but they were part of a process that was invaluable!
I had another wonderful trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) where i took the opportunity to draw from Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Family of Man’, but from the back so i could try and work out where their bums were. I feel like these sculptures are old friends so it was lovely to be able to spend the day with them!
I completed the sketch whilst at the park, and once home, i worked back into them digitally. I began by locating where i thought their bum would go, and then made a simple frame to highlight the key areas that show the structure of the bum. This was extremely helpful because it was actually quite difficult to see what shape the bum actually was. With the frame in place, i was able to apply the shape of the bum to the sculpture, in a much more human form, bringing it back from the abstract.
It was interesting to see the finished sketch on the sculpture, as it made it look quite odd and even more abstract (which i quite liked!); however, for the final images, i removed the sculpture sketch to see what shapes i had come up with. See below:
(For any of you savvy Barbara Hepworth fans, i only have 8 drawings even though there are 9 sculptures. This was because i got this idea after i had drawn the front of one sculpture, and then forgot to draw the back. Hence why it is not included. oops!)
I discovered, what became my favourite technique, picking out the colours in an image and layering them up, to create a stylised look… who knew it could get better!!
I found the blending tool, and it has changed my life! I normally struggle to create life-like drawings because i don’t seem to have the patience to commit the amount of time needed to produce realistic work, so i usually opt for a more abstract drawing. I found this tool amazing! It meant i could still use the methods i like that are quite quick and stylised (and save this image so i have a before and after), then blend the colours together to have the final image that is more refined.
I get a lot out of the process because i am able to watch my drawings grow and progress, layer by layer.
I have worked back into the watercolour bums i made earlier. I haven’t done anything amazing with them, i just used fine liner and a sharpie to create a more ‘realistic’ shape, to define the bums. I really love the simplicity of them!