Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life Drawing 09192011

Anyone who reads my blog may be bored of seeing these... I would understand. But I remain excited about these because I see change and progress, and because I continue to have little idea what I'm doing throughout the process of creating these images. Each one is a plunge into the unknown, using materials which continue to feel unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and extremely imprecise.

And that's what I love about the whole process. The model takes the first pose, I observe the major shapes, lines, gesture, and light, and I leap into the page with a brush full of wash. The time goes quicker than ever. I lose track. I am in a space well beyond words. I don't know any other way to get there except in dreams.

I can't stay more than about two hours without feeling like I need to come up for air, but I love going there. It's like a diver entering a reef - can't stay too long, but there is a sense that this is not a foreign place. Rather this is home, a place deep in our past and deep in our hearts where we might live forever if we could figure out how to return, how to grow the wings or gills or souls necessary for this thicker atmosphere.

All of these are done in a 14 x 17 Strathmore sketch pad, in watercolor wash made from watercolor crayon shavings mixed with water, and then lines added with the same crayon and/or a brown china marker. Click on any image to view more closely.


lisahgolden said...

I enjoy these because they show how you're concentrating on different parts of the process. That's very cool.

L'Adelaide said...

these are simply stunning.... i am sure i am not the only one who is completely loving your continuing series...i feel, while never can i duplicate them, i am learning something i am not fully aware of....and the light here is beyond a's wonderful in every way,,,

i missed your comments on my last offering and hope you have some time to visit sometime soon again... ;)

Odd Chick said...

these are so free and yet, so skillful. like seeing a woman who is a natural beauty- that's what your paintings remind me of- fresh, natural and lovely.

susan said...

You're right that you're becoming a better diver every time you visit the reef of figure drawing. The shapes, forms and light you choose to note or emphasize are showing a great deal of confidence. I know what you mean about working too fast to actually be spending a lot of time looking - the act of applying the washes and defining the lines becomes an intensely visceral experience.. more like dancing than than what most people understand as drawing. We don't examine every person who passes our line of sight most days but understand their shape and the amount of space they occupy, we see that they are living, moving beings we share an area with and we adjust our movements accordingly.

I like the hint of a face in the first, the highlight over the breast defined by the deep shadow. Her ribcage and stomach have just the right softness.

The balanced pose of the second drawing is what struck me first and then the honesty of the her fleshiness - deep shadows at her nape are followed by the ones than define the shoulder blade and waist. The light over the plane of her lower back that continues to the upper thigh which is just suggested by the curving line is very nice.

I think this third one is my favorite. It's an incredibly natural pose and you've handled the softness of her form beautifully by your understanding of what her skeleton is doing to make it possible. The shadows are delicate and lovely.

The last one is also nice and I like the way you've suggested a light source from the upper left. The light shadow of the area at her back helps define the curving lines.

I quite enjoy seeing such wonderful proof of your progress.

Unknown said...

These are wonderful, Steve. Looking forward to more when you get to it.