Life Drawing

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.

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Final graphite and charcoal from observational sketches

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!

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Life Drawing

Bums from Sculpture – Family of Man

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!)

 

Bums from Sculpture – Family of Man

Discovering the Blending Tool!!

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.

Discovering the Blending Tool!!

Shaded Bums from Sculpture

This is fast becoming my favourite technique!! You can really break down the colours in an image and build it up to see each individual section.

Shaded Bums from Sculpture

Tate Liverpool – Matisse Bronze and Painting

I knew Matisse through his famous cut-outs, and had paid close attention to his paintings; however, i never knew he did large bronze sculptures! This exhibition at Tate Liverpool (Matisse in Focus) was a very welcome surprise and i loved it!

Whilst there, i took to my sketchbook and pencils by drawing from observation, picking out only bum related pieces of work (obviously). I always forget how satisfying and peaceful it is to draw in a gallery space. There is something very freeing about it (especially as it makes you feel like a real artist!).

From the observational drawings i completed whilst at the gallery, i went on to redraw the sculptures and painting to see how the shapes would change and alter. Proportions are not my strong point, so i also traced over the digital images of the works to create a more expressive version of my drawings. This is definitely a technique i will be taking forward, as it also helped me to understand how the colour layers are built up as the drawing grows.

 

 

 

 

 

Tate Liverpool – Matisse Bronze and Painting

Figure & Form

Figure and form have been explored throughout humanity, whether it be through symbolic meaning or by exploring ‘beauty’. It is interesting to see how the figures alter through the years and regions.


 

Palaeolithic Art

These figures are very shapely; curvaceous; volumptuous and rounded. They are steeped in meaning and symbolism which, for me, makes them for more beautiful!


 

 

Neolithic Art and Egyptian Art

Left – The shape is very basic and almost looks printed, even though it has been painted to be very shapely and have big thighs.

Right – This figure is pear-shaped, with angular curves. It is not as rounded as the previous examples and is far more stylised.


 

Pre-Hellenistic Art

First of all, I FOUND A MAN’S BUM! (they are weirdly hard to find)

They are both very smooth, almost appearing real as if they are actual people. These examples feel more realistic because they have been worked into so much in order to get the ‘perfection’ that was desired.


 

 

Roman and Spanish Art

Left – I quite like the rough textures in this one, which has no relevance to the bum, but i feel it adds to the realism of the piece. The figure is quite square-hipped and nips in at the waist.

Right – This way of lying down is very flattering as it accentuates the curve of the hip which you can see from how the spine bends round. This gives her a very curvy shape.


 

French Art

Both of these images are painted from ordinary life settings. They look natural and not set up or ‘posed’. This is great because you get to see the bums as they are normally, not forced to look more curved and full.


 

 

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Fritz Wotruba (b.1907): Standing Figure. Breccia. 1953-5. Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris.  P299.

European Sculpture

This form is an abstract of the human figure; a much simplified version that rethinks the ‘figure’ and transforms it into something unconventionally beautiful.

 


 

British Sculpture

I have always been a fan of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth (i think you have to be if you come from Yorkshire), the way they both turn figures into unconventional abstract forms is unique. Sometimes they still look like the human body, being obvious what has inspired the work, whereas other times they are so strange and disjointed from their inspiration that you aren’t quite sure where it has come from. Until, you see the prefiguring chain of sketches and drawings, which showcases the whole journey undertaken, up to the final outcome.

All images from this post were sourced from –

Lloyd, C. (1979). A Picture History of Art. Oxford: Phaidon Press Limited.

Figure & Form

More Matisse (because you can never have too much Matisse)

I wanted to focus a bit more on Matisses other works as it is not something i have really looked at. His cut-outs are what have really made an impression on me, but i feel his creative style in other areas of his practice are really underrated.

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p189.

Another male nude!! (I don’t just want to focus on woman, but find it difficult to find male subjects. I’m not just being weird. Ha!) Although in black and white, due to the printing colours of the book, the work still remains very expressive. It could appear a bit block-ish in terms of how the colours blend together, but if you blur your eyes, they blend seamlessly. It is a very impressive skill!

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This piece is from the front view of the subject, but i really liked the style in which this piece was created. The lines are very simplistic, but accentuate the curves and shape, by nipping in the waist quite severely to reveal the full figure of the model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All images from this blog post were sourced from –

Spurling, H. (1998). The Unknown Matisse, A life of Henri Matisse, Volume One: 1869-1908. United States of America: Hamish Hamilton Ltd.

More Matisse (because you can never have too much Matisse)