Life Class Week Two

6B graphite pencil and soft stick pastel

This week, the group were asked to focus on line rather than form for the quick sketches. I was working on A1 newsprint, pinned to board on a painting easel. This was a rather different approach from the previous class, where I sat straddled on a wooden artist’s Donkey. In that situation I could rest my arm when I chose. With all the poses for this week’s work, I was standing, using the arm and fingers stretched and moving the mediums quickly on the page. The first sketch is in the middle, superimposed by the blue pastel sketch, and last, the pencil sketch of the seated model. We did several more quick poses, using charcoal until the break.

Following that, we were introduced to a very different way of sketching.

Compressed charcoal

Our tutor suggested we work in charcoal focusing on moving towards the form, rather than the more usual way of defining the form first. We were urged to use lighter, then stronger pressure on the hand. This meant we would be sculpting the form rather than using the linear approach most of us were used to. It was a very interesting way to sketch, and I loved it. So pleased I’d worn black trousers, as I inevitably wipe my hands down my legs.

Sepia soft stick pastel on newsprint

There was meant to be at least one arm showing in my sketch, but in my enthusiasm I managed to end up with a preparatory study of Venus de Milo instead. It’s a good way to use up a lot of pastel, but it is a lot of fun. If you’ve never tried sketching this was, I recommend it. The only thing is, that you will need to wear old clothes, and have someone at your shoulder to ensure that you work fast.

6B graphite pencil on Bockingford cartridge paper

For the last sketch of the morning we were asked to use pencil and press firmly into the paper. The idea was to just have one flowing line, but as you can see, I did have a ‘hiccup’ when drawing the legs. The variety of sketches we were asked to produce and the varied mediums involved, made for a very interesting morning’s work. We were encouraged at every break to move around the room, and see what others’ had produced. It is always a good thing to do, as we learn so much from observing the unique way we each approach our art. It was a great morning. Having a good model helps, and ours is very good. Can’t wait until next week!

6 thoughts on “Life Class Week Two

  1. These are truly lovely sketches. I especially love the last one, the one line sketch; even though the model is seated there is such a sense of movement. Thank you for the post.

  2. I am really enjoying these posts, Vivienne. And in particular very interested in the idea of moving towards the form through sculpting it in the way you describe.

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