Wednesday was art class day, and I really should have stayed home. Not because I did bad work, which was surprising as I’d hurt my back and felt very under par. But, since I had been enjoying the classes so much, I headed down to the ferry at 9am. It was on time, which meant I could easily make the early bus from the waterfront up to the art school. That bus never came, and I arrived late to class. The studio door was shut and a notice said KNOCK BEFORE ENTERING. My tutor greeted me grumpily, and then, I needed his help to erect the large easel (grovel, grovel). It took me ages, to collect paper, peg it to the board, and get out my drawing gear, which meant there were just a few seconds left to sketch the first pose. “Try and capture the model’s emotion,” the tutor said. I think I captured my own splendidly.
I used willow charcoal stick here.
We were to use mixed media for the next quick poses, with line the focus. My stick charcoal start, was bad, as I couldn’t bend to work at the bottom of the A1 newsprint. I grabbed a conté crayon for the next sketch, thinking I’d obliterate the first ill-laid lines.
I rubbed madly with my fingers through the sketch at the end, annoyed with myself, and wishing I’d never left the comfort of my warm bed. I would bin it later I thought. Only, when I laid the work out once home, I decided I quite liked the sketch, as it looked as if the model was crawling across the floor. Anyway … More quick sketches to follow.
By this stage in the morning, I could scarcely move my back at all. And took SO long to even get started. I was definitely projecting my emotions on the model, just look at how she’s holding her lower back! (above). I do so love using the willow charcoal medium for quick sketches on newsprint, as it slides across the paper and suits the rubbing of fingers for added effect. My fave thing to do!
It was a switch to longer poses (approximately 20mins), with the idea of ‘moulding’ the figure with charcoal, as well as using line. This is my favourite mix for drawing the figure. Ye ha! I was about to place a small stool in front of my easel to sit on, when the model claimed it for her pose (I said it wasn’t my day). I took so long to draw her, you can see I didn’t get to do the legs on the model, or the stool. My method here was to sketch lightly with charcoal pencil, then swap to the willow stick and draw alongside the first line, and smudge together. Although, I quite like the unfinished look to the sketch.
For the last sketch, I used willow charcoal only. No need to worry about the legs of the stool as they were covered by fabric. I’m not sure looking at the image now, whether I missed seeing the model’s legs, because her knees were close together. I blame the back. Or the stool.
Despite my moans, it was lovely to see how well the group was working. One artist has a very bold approach with charcoal, and shows great style. Another, a beginner, is tackling new ideas, and doing so well. That is what I love about being with a group like this – there is always so much to learn from others. Next week, we are using ink! With sticks and pens. I’m looking forward to that.
I hope that you are all fit and able. Until next time, Vivienne.
Take care. I too have felt back pain and understand how much effort your journey to the art school cost you; your sketches tell the story. All the very best and incidentally your sketches, especially the crawling figures and the desperate figure at the top, are quite compelling.
Thanks for your comments Yvonne. The dancer in you likes the movement of those sketches I expect.
I had another look at your figure drawings. If you didn’t say your back was hurting I’d never have known. They are lovely drawings. I hope your back feels better soon.
Thanks Chris. I was surprised when home, realised the work was okay. Must have been a case of mind over matter.
I hope you are feeling better soon! Your sketches are very engaging – especially the one where the model is crawling because I think that would be a great relief for a sore back! Cheers from across the pond.
Thank you. I wish the back to heal soon, though I know from experience these things take time. I rather liked that crawling sketch as it seems to sum up my feelings for that day.
Fascinating how your own feelings and mood get expressed in the sketches! I hope you feel better soon, Vivienne.
Sorry to hear about discomfort, Vivienne. And thank you for these pictures: I am enjoying seeing the product of your life drawing classes.