Saturday, 18 May 2013

2005/2006 - Second year at uni - life drawing

As already clarified from my first year experiences life drawing was and still is my least favourite part of study. There is something about standing in a stuffy room full of easels, awkward lighting and reams of paper taller than I am that feels intimidating. 

Plus, as friendly, forgiving and helpful as our tutor was I could never shake the feeling of being watched whilst making a whole bunch of mistakes. Of course I realised that the whole point was to make mistakes in order to learn and to ask questions, to give and receive critique from talented peers, no, it wasn’t that I misunderstood the usefulness or purpose of the practice - I just genuinely hate being observed at work.  

As such it was rather difficult for me to relax in the studio and equally out on life drawing trips since well-meaning passers-by always want to see what magic you might weave on the bright blank bits of paper in front of you. 

That pressure of being expected to perform on cue coupled with working at speed triggers a whole host of anxieties in me. It summons a kind of throat-leaping, paralytic and brain-melting fear that usually results in a meltdown of communication between fingers, pencils and eyes, a subsequent loss of setting-appropriate-language use and a sketchbook full of scrawls that were clearly crafted with all the dexterity and delight of a demented ferret.

 Actually strike that, I think a book full of sketches by a demented ferret would probably be most interesting and fun to look at, my life drawings or lack thereof were not.

So this little lot of images are from the only two decent life drawings sessions I had that year and one day trip to Marwell Zoo.

In the studio

The above and below are examples of the sessions about movement we frequently had. The model would pose in each stage of the action for a short amount of time and then proceed to the next. He or she would then repeat the sequence several times over whilst we students attempted to catch all stages of the presented action I think this fellow acted out swinging a weapon.

Below are a few sketches of a ballerina who came to our studio, she also did some movement work with us but I seemed to capture her best in the still poses.

These were relatively quick poses so I was pleased with the results and as you can see, sticking firmly to my old friend charcoal in all of them.

I can't remember what session the sketch below was from but it is probably the best bit of life studio life drawing I did all year, black sugar paper I salute you!

At the zoo

Now unlike humans the thing about animals is, as I am sure you are aware, you can’t ask them to sit still. So this was a very animation-appropriate expedition because we were trying to capture and express movement. Seeing as most animals of the same species look alike we were able to use several animals to fill in the gaps should the first suddenly decide he’s had enough of students staring at him and wander off into an enclosure.

Ok so I lied this first chappie was sitting still, or laying rather and just staring directly at me for what felt like an age. Couldn't decide if he was curious about what I was doing or just eyeing me up for supper!

Bongo antelope, not as springy as you'd imagine, these were quite fun to draw ^^

Yessss!! Found one that was sitting still.

I love meerkats so it wasn't a chore to make many attempts at drawing these fast little critters.

Experimented with white pen on black paper, but you know crows, always someplace else to be.

Onto something a tad more slow-moving, though Rhino's don't particularly interest me much.

And to finish up I'll leave you with a sketch of one of my favourite animals - lemurs! Although admittedly I prefer the ring-tailed kind these guys were still fun to watch scamper about and sunbathing as lemurs like to do :)

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