Firstly I was thinking of using different materials and ways of depicting the figures. This first study I wanted to use charcoal and rub back but unfortunately the paper was resistant and peeled away.
Then tried brown paper from shopping carrier bags with chalks and conte sticks. This is helpful in building up a better depiction of the figure.
Finally used a combination of both on a watercolour paper. Maybe would have worked better with a wet medium first and then working on top.
So for the final piece I went back to the carrier bag brown paper and different chalks and conte sticks. Partly successful in terms of depicting the weight of the figure on the floor. I think I am still hesitant in getting enough distinction with the tones across the figure.
Wanted to go for a completely different approach with this pose. Using the not looking blind drawing initially and then building up with different materials.
I like the initial image best. It has more character and its abstraction works for the pose.
In line with spending longer on the final image and using a different material I used red biro with a continuous drawing kind of technique. Very ambiguous about this. Not successful.
Went for the Auerbach technique. It is not that accurate but structurally it is more interesting than the biro drawing.
My final pose and technique was thinking about Degas and the drawing I had previously made of the standing figure. So this is water soluble crayons on pastel paper. I have endeavoured to be freer with the mark making. This is a bit of a hybrid in that the form is there, the pose is there but something is missing.
The anatomy studies are definitely adding to the drawings by my growing awareness of the structures beneath the form. However I am feeling driven by trying to achieve so much in such a short period of time.
I have been going to regular life classes but you can’t always get the poses and timings that suit the course exercises. I’m finding that my accuracy changes from week to week and depending on the model what I am trying to achieve.
Recently I was trying to create a large study of a naked lady in a long pose class and had clearly chosen the wrong materials and wrong angle to achieve an interesting outcome. Going to take a step back and think more about the composition before I start and the possibilities of the materials being used.
These first two sketches the model was clothed as the proper model failed to turn up. So our tutor sat for us. I really enjoyed depicting the clothes which helped to find the form and weight of the figure. These were 10 minute sketches.
Then one of the class agreed to sit for us in his underwear. He was a good model and I tried the technique of going as slowly as possible building the form and the tone simultaneously.
This last pose was longer – 40 minutes and I got a bit lost. Firstly the proportions got out of focus so that I felt I was too far on and did not adjust them sufficiently. However I did work more on building up the tonal areas in different ways and with different colours – all conte, chalk and pencil detail. The fact that the sofa is more there helps him look more seated. The study of the upper torso is pleasing. And the legs but somehow the middle is too extended.
Need to stand back and check proportions early in the pose. Different materials adds to the complexity of the image.
With this drawing I was trying to spend longer on developing the detail but I am not sure that I have achieved a lot more than the shorter studies. I feel that it is overworked in some areas and underworked in others. Proportions are not accurate enough and the emphasis of the pose has been lost because of this.
I tried to work on this again. I have been reading about other drawing techniques and was attempting not to do too much too early but to build up the lines and tones more carefully.
I think this is more accurate than the previous pose although far from perfect. There is more a sense of the weight of the figure actually sitting down and bending forward.
I need to practice going slower – doing more looking and plotting before putting anything on paper.
Research Point – Foreshortening
Quick sketch with mirror at end of sofa.
A lesser know version of the much damaged Anatomy Lesson of Dr Deijman (1656) – this is the remaining part of a much larger painting. “not literal representations of their public acts, but are allegorical proclamations of the surgeons as the renown masters of the secrets of the body (Kemp & Wallace p25)
Andre Mantega (1431-1506) – Lamentation of Christ
Michelangelo – Sistine Chapel Ceiling – created 1506 – 1512 – the use of foreshortening was very prevalent in fresco painting.
Paolo Uccello 1397-1475 – The Battle of San Romano – an early example of foreshortening – the fallen figure on the left.
JW Turner – life study
Salvador Dali 1904 – 1989 – The Ascension of Christ 1958 – a wonderfully theatrical painting from a unique angle.
Lucien Freud 1922-2011- Reflection with two Children (detail) 1985
This was quite a challenge as the forms of the folds over the body have very subtle shading. Some areas of the figure work better than others. Perhaps if I had chosen to work in pencil there would have been a larger repertoire of marks open to me. The red chalk needed much more careful handling than I am capable of at this stage.
However I am pleased that the figure does seem to be there, sitting and not floating.