Project 3: Exercise 2: Essential elements

The drawing class didn’t accommodate six different ten minute poses, but I have here five different five minute poses and two different 20 minute poses. So they just about add up to the same drawing time.

For the five minute drawings I didn’t attempt tone but concentrated on form and proportion.

Five number 1
Fig. 1. Conte. A3.  5 minute drawing.

Fig. 1. Head and neck a disaster, I have made some attempt at getting the models stance right and a tiny bit of tone.  Model lit from front right.  Drawing too small for the paper – needs to fill paper more.  Figure not grounded in background.

Five number two
Fig. 2. Charcoal. A3. 5 minute drawing.

Fig. 2.  Filled the paper more (I intended to crop this one).  Head too big.  Arms unconvincing.  Not sure I know what to do with charcoal.  Too tentative – should use broader sweeps and bigger paper.  I haven’t forayed into A1 yet but have had better outcomes with A2 but it’s expensive for warm-up drawings.  Perhaps I should try newsprint paper?

Five number 3
Fig. 3. Pencil. A3.

Fig. 3.  Tried drawing with a continuous line with this one – not taking pencil off paper.  Should have more internal lines, and all the lines too similar in weight.  Didn’t manage to get the lower legs on paper, though I did intend to.  Must make more effort to establish the middle of the drawing and work from there if I intend to get all of the figure in.  Not much going for this drawing.

Five number 4
Fig. 4. Pencil. A3.

Fig. 4.  Still working with continuous line in pencil.  It is working better in this drawing across neck and chest area.  Foreshortening on front leg starting to work but the model looks a little unbalanced (which he wasn’t).  Started to establish some background to ground the figure.  Proportions not bad.

Five number five
Fig. 5. Pencil. A3.  5 minutes.

Figure 5.  Starting to get a hang of this contour drawing lark and have started to add some firmer marks which add weight and solidity to the figure.  This is the most successful drawing I feel because of this.  The proportions look sound too.  I indicated the pillow that the model was kneeling on to ground the figure.

We then went on to draw two twenty minute poses.

ten minutes 1
Fig. 6. Pencil and charcoal. A3. Twenty minutes.

Fig. 6. For this drawing I used pencil contour drawing again but added some tone with hard charcoal.  The model was lit front right.  I think the seated position is fairly convincing and I have attempted foreshortening with the model’s left leg, which isn’t bad but the foot is too small.  The face is sensitively drawn and not a bad likeness.  The tone is only basically put in and in places the hard charcoal is too severe (model’s right thigh and the stool).

ten minutes 2
Fig. 7. Pencil and willow charcoal. A3. Twenty minutes.

Fig. 7.  Contour pencil drawing again, but this time with willow charcoal applied and rubbed in.  I also tried varying the pencil line strength.  Overall I think this is starting to be a successful way to work for me.  The pencil and charcoal could be bolder in places but for a 10 minute sketch I am pleased with this.  I feel that I have the model convincingly placed on the chair too.  I paid attention to the angle of the body and the arm and both legs.

Updated comments 6th July 2017.  I have been re-looking at the pencil and charcoal studies of Jenny Saville and reflecting on how I used pencil and charcoal in these sketches.  Jenny Saville often uses layering in her drawing work, she appears to use a rubbing out and adding back method, not dissimilar to that of Jeanette Barnes (though the latter works with buildings rather than bodies).  Saville uses “narrow marks [that] allude to the shapes and forms, and broader marks [for] … internal surfaces.” [Reference: Ashmolean Notes for secondary teachers:  Jenny Saville Drawing 15 October 2015 – 10 January 2016]

If I were to do these studies again (and for a longer pose) I would try to get more depth by aiming to consider Saville’s approach.  Perhaps having some tone in charcoal on the background to start with would allow me to erase and draw over to give a more layered effect.

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