Archive | June, 2006

Nekkid Leydies

24 Jun

I am surrounded by pictures of nude women right now. Or, specifically, many pictures of one nude woman which I drew in my class this morning (so it’s really not that scandalous after all). I have done three life drawing classes now and they’re one of my favorite things. They’re always quite intense – lots of quick drawing in relatively short periods of time. The class flies past at an amazing rate! Having a time limit is a great way to loosen up and stop worrying so much about putting in the perfect line first time. I accepted some time ago that I’ll never put in the perfect line first time so I’m quite happy to scribble away, without thinking too much. A lot of my other classmates are much more careful though. Today I was really very relaxed about it all and I’ve ended up with some crazy pictures. None of which I’m photographing for the blog becasuse I can’t quite decide if they’re so crazy they’re good or if they’re just crazy.

Anyway, we started off with quick poses (2 or 5 minutes), executed loosely in different colours to capture tone (this is the theory at least!):

These short poses are all instinct – there’s no time to think about what you intend to do – or even to really work out if you’re drawing in proportion.

In longer poses (15 minutes), there’s time to check proportions, although this often results (for me) in less successful pictures than the really quick ones. I have too much time to think!


(This one’s ok – though I didn’t put the final black in until the very last minute, when I discovered I’d drawn her arm in the wrong position!)

We also did longer (15-20 minute) poses in charcoal and pastel and this is where I really went crazy. I think the problem with 20 minutes is that it’s not long enough. There’s enough time to go past the quick instinctual poses, but not enough time to think really deliberately about what you want to do. As a result I just end up scribbling for the whole time, which leads to more lines/colour on the paper, but perhaps not much else.

This is a good example:


Now I really like this picture – but it’s not accurate – her waist should be much longer than it is and her breast is massive! The red tone has been put on pretty much randomly (the white does represent highlights on the body). One thing I’ve learnt today is that if I’m not really careful I do just draw arms and legs (and bodies) of some idealised woman that I seem to carry in my head. The same proportions come out time and time again – and unfortunately they’re not the same as the model we were drawing! Again – I need to work on relationships to be able to identify and correct this.

I’m happy that I’ve produced a nice picture, but I’d rather it was less random and more deliberate – that I’d actually thought about what colour was going where and not just put it down on a whim. To a certain extent I did start doing this during my last picture, which we got 25 minutes to do, and which I’ve not photographed yet as I stuck it in my portfolio last minute (I left a pages free for something from this class). But it was still too rushed to feel like I could calm down and really think things through.

Getting the right balance between ‘looseness’ and deliberation is quite difficult.

Portfolio Finished!

24 Jun

Brian has eyes!


They’re not his eyes (my only photo of Brian is blurry and not very useful) and I’m not even sure they’re the most appropriate eyes for him (perhaps they should be brown??). But they do seem to be the eyes that I’ve always pictured him with. For some reason they give me a real feeling of deja vu.

(Please note that he is much straighter IRL – the photo seems to have come out all crooked. Photographing stuff also changes the colours and probably scanning stuff would be better. But I’m never going to do that unless I get a scanner at home. Hmmm… :-))

The final compiling of the portfolio last night was quite painless (except in my lower back! Two weeks of crouching on the lounge room floor has taken it’s toll). Given I had to paint Brian’s eyes and all, I compiled everything together quite quickly and was in bed by 1 am. Last year I was up to 2 at least. I had spent more time sorting what was going in that last time so perhaps it’s not such a suprise.

I’m pleased because Brian does look like a proper person – he’s in proportion – but he doesn’t really look like Brian so – as always I need to work on my relationships. My brother thinks he looks like Orlando Bloom, although I don’t see it myself. Just in case though I’ve actually titled it ‘Not Orlando Bloom!’

Just in case.

Outside Food

20 Jun

One of the projects from my recent course was ‘Outside Food’. I went prepared with pictures of big pink flowers, but at the last minute decided to do these mushrooms instead:


I took the picture in the Lake district in September 2003 and it spent some time as the wallpaper on my computer desktop. We spent 1 lesson ‘workshopping’ colours and textures for the pic, and a second class actually painting. After then (April some time) it looked like this:


And that how it stayed for a couple of months. I was in two minds about whether I could consider it finished. I knew it wasn’t, but could I consider it finished? I really liked the candy colours (pink, purple, orange) but they weren’t really realistic and a bit jarring. I also really liked the grass effect, which is created using thick and textured white acrylic with many many layers of green ink (bought in a two for one and for which I had no real use before!) So I decided to make the tones and colours more realistic, which is what I’ve been doing for the past few days and I got this:


I think it’s relatively successful, but I do feel a bit blah about it. Also, not much of it was deliberate – most of the texture is through random acts of colour mixing. IRL, it’s very pretty, although I’m not sure I really captured the tone on some of the darker mushys up the back. It’s rather bland compared to the ‘first draft’ though and I think I’d like to do something more abstract, using the original colours. I do tend to get caught up in trying to copy whatever I’m painting exactly and so I’m sure a bit of abstract would do me good 🙂

Brian still has no eyes, but he’s next on my list. My portfolio needs to be finished for Saturday.