Friday, 14 June 2013

2006/2007 - Third and final year at uni - Life drawing

I made it to graduation year!
Now life-drawing wasn’t mandatory in year three of university, specifically, as I mentioned in the previous post, because third year students are extremely busy being stretched thin in all directions by their hugely demanding film projects.

You would think then, with my passionate loathing of the subject that I would choose to opt out. Thankfully, my stubbornness and inherent failure to ever do anything the easy way even when it’s the better choice, actually paid off. In hindsight I am very pleased I attended at least a few of the sessions in this final year and went on one last trip to Marwell Zoo as I came away with some of pretty decent sketches. It was possibly also the last structured life-drawing I may ever do, though as the saying goes, never say never…
 So first up, some dead daffs I painted over the summer and later submitted in my folio work.

This piece is interesting on several levels, one being that I never paint flowers because they don't interest me, two being that I never paint in watercolours because going from light to dark is just backwards to my brain and three being there is something strange going on with the composition that I simply couldn't figure out!

To shed a little light on those points: one, painting the curled frozen forms that dead flowers make does interest me, but working on the luminous whorls of living blooms does not, two, yeah I’m still not keen on working from light to dark, three, the problem with composition as spotted by my very clever peers; there are two perspectives happening at once, the upper and lower halves are split to look up at and down on the vase simultaneously…now I really couldn’t do that twice if I tried!

In the Studio

Pat's back! Also her side, in faithful chalk and charcoal.

Moving away from charcoal, here's one I sketched using water-soluble graphite:

Ok fancy dress sessions were quite enjoyable I will admit, and I remember being happy that I got to sit at a desk whilst sketching this but I somehow also managed to bust my finger open that day...therefore the original has nice russet blood splatters all over the sugar paper, argh! >.<

These last three below are from a day of 'fun' painting during life-drawing, urgh, I can hear me groaning in disdain at the thought through the depths of space and time.

 Though I needn’t have worried, as I ended up having a cracking drawing day, never before or since did I manage to get three images from one session that weren't a total mess!

 I seem to remember we had longer to work on these too, they were perhaps 30 minute to hour long sketches as opposed to the frantic ten second warm ups they often had us do, though seriously, even in a 5-10minute pose I can't get an awful lot down, time constraints just make me seize up.

I was less happy with this last one but enjoyed playing with colour, hmm I wonder if I've always had a penchant for 'blue/grey' people, seems an odd choice since I hadn't dreamt up any of our drow characters at this point. Yep, that's it, I blame the smurfs.

Marwell (and Portland Bill) 

Only two sketches that I can identify as being from this last Marwell trip but two I will certainly never forget due to the advice of our tutor Peter Symons. I was struggling to draw this sleeping leopard who had at first seemed like the ideal 'still' candidate and easy choice of subject.

I confessed, in my usual grumpy moan-at-pencils manner that the pattern was confusing me and blurring the cats shape, he said in return, 'then just draw the pattern, draw the spots and nothing else and see if you end up with a leopard on your page.'

I laughed at the idea but tried it anyway if only to prove him wrong, and damn if he wasn't correct plus it made a rather nice sketch!

The second method of 'not drawing the subject' was to block out a shape and carve with an eraser, again I was sceptical but again it worked nicely :) Although personally I prefer the 'draw spots only' outcome I was utterly amazed that this could be done - ah the joy of new techniques

This reminds me, we took a short trip to Portland Bill in the second year for life drawing which I think I missed from that blog post as it happened around the same time we were prepping our film presentations and my files got muddled. Long story short I came back with these two beauties:

Cliffs and lighthouse at Portland Bill, rough graphite and watercolours

Very successful pieces for me on any given life-drawing excursion if I do say so ^^

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