Thursday, July 21, 2011

Life Drawing July 21

Working with a brush and wash or watercolor before the lines feels really uncomfortable. Tonight I felt either at sea with no anchor, or things just seemed to make sense and I watched in fascination as things happened on the page that were better than I expected. I still ended the evening feeling I had nothing to post - nothing worth looking at again.

But then I got home and looked and some of these are begining to find their way. By the last pose (final image here) I was finally thinking about the whole page. Took two hours to get there. I'm struggling so much with the medium and the change of tools, working vertical with liquid and trying not to let it drip (I may need to just see what happens if I drip a lot) that I can't apply what I know - like composition. Sometimes I get an OK image of the pose - but it's not engaging the space or the page - certainly not the edges of the page (except by accident).

So this last image I focused primarily on the placement on the page - and where the edges land. I was aiming for an up close, almost uncomfortably intimate cropping - particularly since the model's pose was so casual and open. I caught some of what I was after - more than in many other attempts. Sunday I tried another group and drew this same model (I've drawn her many times - she is a favorite among the art centers in the area). I got not a single thing I would care to ever show anyone. I was really struggling with unfamiliar tools, unfamiliar colors (the blue, still - not a good choice, I finally decided, for what I want to say about the figure). So today was a surprise, when things started to work. Switching to sienna was a big help.

And there was lots of dicussion about art and drawing during the break, and after the session. Before the session began, there were about 15 minutes when it was just the model and I in the room, waiting for starting time. We discussed Sunday's session, which she said was hard because there were over a dozen people drawing, in a complete circle around her, and she felt she could not get ideal poses in front of everyone at once - something she works hard to do (probably one reason she's a favorite). She said some people move all around the room to get the pose they want - others are obviously just grumpy about what they get. I laughed and said that poses are like poker hands, to me - you play what you're dealt. More often than you think, there's something interesting you can do with it. Part of the challenge (to me) is finding something noteworthy to feature in each pose. Whether I can do it justice is another matter...

These are all on Strathmore drawing pad - 18 x 24 inches. Sienna watercolor wash and sienna water color crayon, with some pencil in the longer poses. Click images for expanded views - a little larger than usual.


Lisa said...

I love that idea of a pose being like a poker hand. You work with what you have.

The last image is really interesting. I like the position on the page and the way part of the her body fade out. The whole process is fascinating to me.

susan said...

Your model is definitely a good one if she works with that intent. I wonder if she paints?

You're right that your rendering of the last pose is good. All of a sudden I felt perfectly comfortable.