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Drawing 1: Part 5 Option 4 page 168

I have already resolved that my final submission will be a mixed media, zoomed portrait. My tutor has guided me to wonderful things in the world of art. I really like de Chirico’s work. Frank Auerbach and John Virtue’s art speaks powerfully to me and I may not have met them without my instructors recommendations. However, the greatest benefit OCA studies has afforded me as a visual thinker, is exposure to Vitamin D and BP 500 portrait books.Whereas Vitamin D has extended my tolerances to what is permissable as self-expression  through drawing; BP 500 is hugely inspirational. I have discovered more about myself by being aware of “where my eye rests” and analysing why. These reveal predilections and preferences based on aesthetic bias. Perhaps pursuing enquiry will allow me to find my voice. Perhaps the tutor’s skill lies in guiding you to experiences that will make you a fuller, more rounded artist and assist in projecting that voice.

self portrait as twins

self portrait as twins

This is more about me being a piscean and being double-minded about most things. I have two artistic personalities. A bit like Schumann’s Eusebius and Florestan. We are complex as humans and one person may not sum us up.

michael simpson by paul emsley

michael simpson by paul emsley

This portrait has great lighting, lovely skin tones and is very painterly too. It is travelling towards photo-realism.

Harry by Michael Gaskell

Harry by Michael Gaskell

Michael Gaskell’s technique is very precise and to be admired. It appeals to one side of the artist in me.

Robert by Mark Clay

Robert by Mark Clay

I appreciate the mark making and expressive quality of this portrait. It says something that photo realism can’t.

Here no evil by Martyn Balwin

Here no evil by Martyn Balwin

This piece goes further. The mark-making is so bold and the paint applied in thick impasto. The use of colour theory is very clever and the title contains a pun that makes me want to think deeper into the picture. Perhaps research the background or project my own interpretation.

Self portrait nude study by louise courtnell

Self portrait nude study by louise courtnell

I like visual puns. Louise Coutnell has painted beautiful skin tone as an artist with a skin tone palette displayed. I think I see zinc white, yellow ochre and cadmium red or alizarin crimson. Perhaps the colours she use to create the subtle tones I admire.

Self Portrait by Anna Dougherty

Self Portrait by Anna Dougherty

Another female nude that is revealing. Not just the nakedness but a statement of weakness or imperfection. I read the book ” Nude” by Gail Sanders and just don’t understand it. Active passive, owner possesor, culture versus nature are the buzz words I picked up. Perhaps I am a voyeuristic consumer in the way described and fail to recognise myself in the description. I don’t own the subject of this painting. I am not generally aroused and wish to possess what I see in the form of paint or pixel.  I see strength in vunerability.  When is Kate at her most powerful? Being a shrew in the Taming of the shrew or having the self-control to manage and subjugate her own strength (nature) to appear weak publically? Both artists are strong because they are strong enough to acknowledge their imperfections in a public forum.

Perhaps I should “do” a naked self portrait.

Metamorphosis by jose corella garcia

Metamorphosis by jose corella garcia

Or perhaps we can hide? There is an operation to widen asian eyes to appear European. This subverts this notion by the apparent reversal of that desire. The white paint appears as a mask and perhaps this portrait reveals that in life we only let people see what we want them to see? Why do we ask questions? Because we don’t know the answer or to draw attention to the fact that we do? This portrait by displaying a desire to change reveals the truth of not liking who we actually are. This is only my stream of consciousness.

Exercise  Quick Studies page 170

Work through around five poses

A4 sketchbook 10 minutes standing nude

A4 sketchbook 10 minutes standing nude

The difficulty is trying not to get a likeness but the essence of the form and pose. I know this is counter intuitive, but it is very hard to know when to stop tweaking the image. So I left all my corrections in.

A4 Sketchbook 10 minute sit/ kneeling nude

A4 Sketchbook 10 minute sit/ kneeling nude

I regret smudging this to give the form mass and volume. 10 minutes is not along time. Smudging has removed the quality of the line work that gave it immediacy and freshness. The proportions are adequate.

A4 sketchbook:10 minute semi-reclining nude

A4 sketchbook:10 minute semi-reclining nude

The small amount of foreshortening made this piece a little harder. I am happy that the weight is shown distributed forward over the arms. No time for the details of the feet. I tried to leave cross-hatching in and give the line some “say” in the piece; but I have overworked the piece somewhat.

A4 sketchbook: 10 minute seated nude

A4 sketchbook: 10 minute seated nude

I am happy with this piece because the line was given “respect”. The form was nibbled away at and the piece is honest. The nibbling idea came from studying Giacometti’s line work. Nervous and nibbling like modelling out of clay like the sculpter he is. The other idea is integrity. Degas is not afraid to let us view his ammendments/ corrections and leaving them is a form of honesty I admire.They reveal thought processes in the absence of interview.

A4 sketchbook 10 minutes standing nude

A4 sketchbook 10 minutes standing nude

This was my first of the session. I was consciously trying to draw like a different me. My heart was not in this and there is tension in the mark making diametrically the opposite of the softness of the female form and the subtlety of the curve. That said,  I take confidence from the scratchy pen and ink by Moore in the course literature. P170 It is curious two sculptors display this reworked scratchiness in their drawings. I am happy to include it to contrast with the more careful line drawing in the next exercise.

A4 sketchbook: rapidly executed standing nude

A4 sketchbook: rapidly executed standing nude

This piece has immediacy at the expence of form, mass and structure. However, it is an immediate intuitive assessment of the model and has personality. I should perhaps completed more of these to loosen up my drawing overall.

Has your drawing improved since part 4?

Improved? I’d say my inner artist is more well-informed. The course OCA literature has supplied heightened awareness of different techniques, attitudes and ways of working. The deploying of strategies is more at my disposal according to my artistic intention. In terms of breadth, I am no longer content to produce accuracy of copying but to explore ideas of genre, honesty and integrity to the creative impulse. I have residual anxiety when others view my art and may not be privvy to the thinking that generated it. Has it improved? I improve, I am improving. I will continue to improve as my tolerances of what drawing is and is acceptible develop.

Exercise Line drawing of the whole figure page 171

The precision of Ingres’ work was the motivation to produce a clean, hollow-form reclining figure to contrast with the quick studies above.

A3 lining paper. Reclining nude in style of Ingres

A3 lining paper. Reclining nude in style of Ingres

The photographing of the drawing has made some of the lines more harsh than they need be. However, I was using Faber Castell 9000 graphite pencils. 4H and 2H made ultra sharp with a Jakar mains powered electric shapener. What I noticed was Ingres strengthens planal shifts or points of tension (wrist,knees) and makes these darker. The line is allowed to vanish as I have done with the left arm and right thigh and sternum viewed obliquely. The vanishing line can coincide deliberately with fabric folds and pressure points, such as the model’s back against the support, are also given extra emphasis. In other words, Ingres makes the viewer at the important information. Perhaps I should have worked the expression and the groin to give the correct narrative.

Research Point Page 172 Ingres, David, Degas, Giacometti and Hockney

http://community.how-to-draw-and-paint.com/profiles/blogs/drawing-1-research-point-page-173-use-of-line

Exercise Using colour page 172

I struggled with this until I re-read and assimilated what my tutor, Dr Linda Khatir, said about using found objects. As a consequence of following this advice, I started looking at things differently. Art is the art of seeing …differently. We don’t need every detail to recognise something because we see with our brain, not with our eyes.

Gouache and water soluble crayon on A3 lining paper

Gouache and water soluble crayon on A3 lining paper

I am beginning to minimalise the amount of strokes to suggest shape and form. The pose is readable but the details of hands and feet and face are almost non-existant. There is only red to show the nipples and lips to suggest that model is a sexual object available to be possessed.

Gouache and acrylic ink on A3 lining paper

Gouache and acrylic ink on A3 lining paper

The strength of the acrylic helps  define the form in space crudely. Again the red suggests the sexual nature of the model and the pose hints at her willingness and availability. But these are just a random assortment of pigments splashed on a page. The strength of colour conveys passion. I am delighted that this piece comes from a sketch in my sketchbook. My sketchbook is not just and playground and a science lab; it is also a dormitory where potential paintings sleep.

These first explorations in hindsight were too link to a need to represent.

A5 sketchbook. Mixed media on packing tape.

A4 sketchbook. Mixed media on packing tape.

An experiment in my sketchbook meant a patch-up was needed with packing tape. Applied randomly it made an interesting positive and negative arrangement on the page. I found some paper and cut a collage, sealed with acrylic binder and overlaid acrylic inks. I felt a need to use unmixed colours to push my boundaries

A5 sketchbook. Mixed media on found paper

A5 sketchbook. Mixed media on found paper

The found paper for this piece and the next was cut into quarters in a 3 to 1 ratio. An L shape with a window top right. A figurative pose was added to this new substrate using acrylic inks.

A5 sketchbook. Mixed media on found paper

A5 sketchbook. Mixed media on found paper

The same procedure was followed here. A more modest pose was adopted for this piece although the colour scheme is still zingy and extrovert.I felt no need to worry about hands and feet. The form,pose and attitude adopted was enough. Once the notion clicked, this was a really joyful way of working and I would love to rework some much larger, on canvass with paints.

Tonal study page 173

The last two pieces for the exercises were rapidly executed, expressive but crudely wrought. Again, for contrast, I feel my tonal study should be a little more refined and include more detail.

A3 sketchbook (loose leaf) charcoal on grey toned paper

A3 sketchbook (loose leaf) charcoal on grey toned paper

I noticed from the course literature that there was an alternation of light and dark in the tonal study. This piece read light/dark/light/dark/light/dark from left to right level with the models cheek. She is listening to her sweetheart’s voice and is feeling blissful. Here, I have tried to confront a serious weakness rather than consolidate a strength. I mean I chose charcoal and attempted to work really darkly. I built up tone by drawing, blending and laquering multiple layers. I am pleased the shape demonstrates solidity of form in space. The piece is not as refined as I could wish. Lacquering still means the lower layers are workabler to a certain extent. It permits lifting out and further blending. There are fixatives designed to hold but be workable but I leared that many thin layers is best.

A sense of Light and Space

A3 tonal sketch: Sense of light and space

A3 tonal sketch: Sense of light and space

I am really beginning to enjoy charcoal. Immediate and responsive mark-making. Lovely blending capacity for tone and volume. My model is chilling in a window seat with the light of the evening giving a strong cast shadow.

A3 sketchbook: loose leaf. Charcoal sketch showing sense of place and light

A3 sketchbook: loose leaf. Charcoal sketch showing sense of place and light

Domestic setting. The light from the window made strong lights and darks. I am trying to go really dark with charcoal to make contrast with the light. The page is a pale grey and yet appears very light. Colour is relative. I skipped on details settling woth the hint of a tap. A brush floats infront of the window. I am purchasing white charcoal pencils for highlights but also to draw glass. I gave up on a vase on the left side as every eraser disintegrated or got filthy. Ironic since the theme is getting things clean. In reality I’ve ended up with a dirty picture of my wife!

A3 loose leaf: Tonal sketch showing light and space

A3 loose leaf: Tonal sketch showing light and space

Trying to erase the flaws in my charcoal technique. I suspect I use too much fixative too frequently between sketching intervals. I am currently researching the best charcoal paper pads. My tutor feels I work best with media that I am not fully in control. An expressive messines occurs in my mark making. I understand  that coloured charcoal including white is available.

A5 sketchbook: Charcoal nude showing light and a sense of place

A5 sketchbook: Charcoal nude showing light and a sense of place

I am so glad I have persevered with this medium. I feel this has soft lighting and there is a suggesting of form and solidity. The vine charcoal in particular is great for reworking and the lines pushed around easily. The fixative,lightly applied, allows reworking and really dark tones can be built up. Why can’t a body be a Cathedral and drawn in the style of Dennis Creffield? Both edifices are to the glory of God?

A5 sketchbook: Tonal study showing light and form

A5 sketchbook: Tonal study showing light and form

My model is pregnant. I think that charcoal is great for showing skin but it is possible to muddy the effect using white. I would prefer to letb the page show through. I feel I am getting to know how much fixative is just enough. The highlight would be showing the weight bearing in the right hand. The dimples at the lower spine are badly observed.

A5 Sketchbook. Tonal study showing sense of light and form

A5 Sketchbook. Tonal study showing sense of light and form

Variation on a theme. The same subject viewed from multiple angles. I am now trying to understand how vine charcoal and compressed forms such as pencils can combine. My sketchbook is generic cartridge paper. I realise that Strathmore produce a quality charcoal specific paper pad. I am keen to develop classical drawing technique using specifically designed resources. Tapping the vine charcoal once laid gives a gently mottled skin effect. Not happy with the dulling effect of white tint. Perhaps pastel or conte crayon would be gentler.

A5 sketchbook: Charcoal study using negative shapes.

A5 sketchbook: Charcoal study using negative shapes.

A5 sketchbook Tonal study on dark background

A5 sketchbook Tonal study on dark background

Of the two I think I prefer the dark background which is just as well as the original light version doesn’t exist anymore. I like the cropped torso composition because the negative shapes in the composition is just as important as the subject itself. I have tried to push this technique and extend my repertoire. In doing so, I believe some of the freshness has gone and the is some sense of being overworked.

A5 Sketchbook: Tonal sketch showing form and proportion

A5 Sketchbook: Tonal sketch showing form and proportion

I have enjoyed this exploration into this technique and media. I have hated charcoal and was advised by an art teacher in school never to use it. I have been put off every since. However, it  great for building tone rapidly and evenly. I am beginning to recognise the virtue in vine charcoal and the relative merits of compressed and charcoalpencils. I must pursue this with the correct Strathmore 500 charcoal pad.

Double A5 in my sketchbook using vine and compressed charcoal

Double A5 in my sketchbook using vine and compressed charcoal

I do not rate myself as a contender to Degas. I do recognise the integrity in leaving honest corrections in view and a thickening of a black outline. It is rougher and slightly more visceral than the more polished attempts. I tried to leave mark-making and scratches rather than blend everything. I  was interested in the muscle groups evident when the model fixes her hair.

Assignment 5 option 4  submission

http://community.how-to-draw-and-paint.com/profiles/blogs/drawing-1-assignment-5-final-submission-mixed-media-self-portrait

The idea for the finished piece evolved.

A5 self portrait idea
A5 self portrait idea

My tutor, Dr Linda Khatir, referred to Mike Newton  in my assessment 4 tutor report and consolidated in my mind that a portrait does not need to be a likeness but an exploration of who you are; or who you want to be. I am a collection of interests displayed in a bucket-head that probably say more about me than my skin does.

A4 self portrait from memory in Giacometti's style
A4 self portrait from memory in Giacometti’s style

I believe in the power of grey and perhaps colour selection says something about me that surface portrait can’t. It scapes beneath the surface into the subconscious parts of the psyche. Perhaps the subconscious choices are the most honest presentation of ourselves. Pursuing this; is my apparently conscious choice of a self-portrait for a convenient model  actually a subconcious revelation of narcissism?

The final submission

Assignment 5: Mixed media self-portrait

Assignment 5: Mixed media self-portrait

http://community.how-to-draw-and-paint.com/profiles/blogs/drawing-1-assignment-5-final-submission-mixed-media-self-portrait

Mike Newton’s “Double Cross” detail from a personal recommendation in my tutor report, is apparent in my left eye, (viewed on the right) to show visual nature of learning. Perhaps it is easier to spot if you view it side on.. The final piece used a mixed media approach that is only partially successful. I purchased Ralph Mayer’s Artist’s Handbook in an attempt to learn how mixed media can combine. I am wiser because of this effort and would “do” things differently. However, I know from experience which is different from knowing because someone told you. I think this is a maxim true of OCA in general. I am a more informed artist because of what I have experienced through engagement with ideas, knowledge, attitudes and concepts. Will it translate to making me a better teacher?

Drawing 1: Assignment 4

I thought I would use my daughter as the inspiration for this assignment. She is very musical and loves art; so the choice seems very natural and appropriate.

I made some thumbnails of the finished seated position in my A5 sketchbook.

Double A5 thumbnails for seated finished piece

Double A5 thumbnails for seated finished piece

Here I am trying to describe the form using line. I settled on a notion of contours.

A3 graphite using Faber Castell 8B

A3 graphite using Faber Castell 8B

Some shading seems to have crept into this piece although I strenuously avoided any conscious temptation to work as I usually do.

A3 graphite using Faber Castell 8B

A3 graphite using Faber Castell 8B

This pose is sitting with the guitar in the classical style. Front on with foreshortening. Her front most foot is on a footstool minimally suggested.

A3 graphite using Faber Castell 8B

A3 graphite using Faber Castell 8B

I really like this composition. She was playing an arrangement of Pavane by Thonoit Arbeau at the time. I used zentangle as a tool for describing the form but the shapes were devise3d from apparent contours I spotted. I think it is the foreshortening that makes it appeal to me.

A4 etching using sennelier oil pastel

A4 etching using sennelier oil pastel

I felt colour was lacking and so I resolved upon etching using Sennelier oil pastels. In this first, and because I have been teaching abstract drawing in several of my Primary Schools; I left strips in places. I am only in control of the technique. The finished result has an element of surprise.

A4 etching using sennelier oil pastel

A4 etching using sennelier oil pastel

Although blurred, the line work was hoped to generate ways of seeing the form differently and in a more concise manner.

A4 etching using sennelier oil pastel

A4 etching using sennelier oil pastel

I believed that this finished product would help me to see selectively. For instance only read purple. Only regard oraqnge lines; and so on. This is a means of forcing editing and hopefully art will generate more art.

A3 Humbrol black enamel applied with knife on baking parchment

A3 Humbrol black enamel applied with knife on baking parchment

I returned to monochrome mark making but tried to fatten my lines as much as possible. This I attempted using a knife dipped in enamel paint.

A3 Humbrol black enamel applied with knife on baking parchment

A3 Humbrol black enamel applied with knife on baking parchment

Some might argue I am using tone but most of the marks were single stroke applications as far as I could manage. I left dribbles in because lucky happening may prove to be the most powerful part of the piece..

A3 Humbrol black enamel applied with knife on baking parchment

A3 Humbrol black enamel applied with knife on baking parchment

I really enjoyed working this way. The baking parchment is a beautifully smooth surface and took the enamel paint without shrinking or cockling.

A3 Humbrol black enamel applied with knife on baking parchment

A3 Humbrol black enamel applied with knife on baking parchment

The translucent nature of the paper means that if it is held to a window lovely differences of tonality can be observed according to the thinkness of the enamel. I decided to contrast this with thin line work and turned to my reed pen.

A3 violinist with reed pen in ink

A3 violinist with reed pen in ink

She plays the violin. An instrument that has an elegant shape. Having done several sketches I was becoming aware of economy of stroke. I started trying to use the least strokes possible yet still describe a figure. I enjoyed “reading” the subject like this.

A3 violinist with reed pen in ink

A3 violinist with reed pen in ink

This is my favourite. It captures her energy and a sense of pride (if I am not being too fanciful) in the way she holds herself in this pose. Not arrogance- just confidence.

A3 violinist with reed pen in ink

A3 violinist with reed pen in ink

I like the flow of this pose but some of the details are crude despite trying to use lost and found lines. This was not easy with dipping ink but quite expressive and good fun.

The final submission part 1

I went for as clean a line as possible to contrast with the preliminary studies and the final tonal submission in part 2 reclining figure.

A2 rotring .35 technical pen on Arches watercolour paper

A2 rotring .35 technical pen on Arches watercolour paper

I realy want to use diluting ink to show delicious shadows of the chair on the floor. This would ground the chair and hint at the obscured portions of the chair.

A Reclining Figure

A3 tonal graphite stick

A3 tonal study usingn vine charcoal

Vine charcoal encourages rapid execution. There are strong darks and the potential for expressive mark making that is responsive to pressure and intensity. The tension in the shoulders shows my daughter’s growing awkwardness at being my model.

A3 tonal study with graphite stick

A3 tonal study with graphite stick

Similary with graphite sticks. There is the same immediacy but it is  much cleaner. It creates broad strokes used side on. There is a pleasant grainy quality due to working on the laminate floor. The frottage effect is subtle.

A3 tonal study using graphite stick

A3 tonal study using graphite stick

Alternatively long thin lines can be made using  the stick vertically such as the stripes on the Mexican blanket hinted at in the background.

A3 tonal study using graphite stick

A3 tonal study using graphite stick

I do like being rapid and instinctual when the mood suits me. I am uncomfortable with mess and like to know that when the mark is placed, it will stay there. Enamel is fugitive and difficult to control. It has its own agenda. But once placed it is relatively stable. The graphite and charcoal fixatives do not perform to my satisfaction.

Coloured pastels

A3 soft pastel on black card

A3 soft pastel on black card

I just blocked in the tones to show how the model occupies the space. The sense of a reclining figure, the composition of the pose is satisfactory. Because the tones are scribbled the sense of form is compromised.

A3 soft pastel on black card

A3 soft pastel on black card

I tried to layer the colours a little more to give the sense of light hitting the body to create highlights.  The pose is captured but more acknowledgement is given to the context. I am beginning to enjoy the mark making potential of the leather sofa. I resisted the temptation to blend pastels deliberately

Final submission part 2

 

A1 mixed media reclining figure

A1 mixed media reclining figure

My daughter rebelled after posing for this picture as she is clearly uncomfortable about posing. I have to respect her. I had this as a rough tonal sketch but had to work into it a bit more. I love colour and long for my own studio space with good natural light.

Project Self Portrait Page 124

I just received my assignment 3 review (23/12/12). I understand I should explore tone and look at figurative artists such as Frida Kahlo.

Using tone in graphites

Using tone in graphite

I need to develop a greater range of tonality in general. While the person who commissioned this piece was delighted by the accuracy of the likeness, it is very tight and controlled. It lacks expressivity. Graphite tends to make me work in a pricise manner and some might argue the piece is lacking in character.

To extend my expressive vocabulary I attempted an oil paint dry brush piece.

Frida Kahlo in dry brush oil,

Frida Kahlo in dry brush oil (WIP)

The subject curiously enough is Frida Kahlo herself directly applicable to my Assignment 3 feedback. I blogged this experiment in my learning log and note an immediate impact on the range of tonality produced. I love Kahlo’s work and I am exploring  the notion that a portrait is more than the likeness of the skin surface visible to the world. There should be the attempt to capture the essence of an individual. I am therfore happy that the first sketches are executed rapidly (5 minutes) in an attempt to record something of that essence in a spontaneous ( and therefore less contrived) reaction.

Exercise Drawing your face page 124

Several five minute sketches

A4  5 minute graphite

A4 5 minute graphite

Obviously done at the end of Movemeber with additional facial hair. Right profile. Tricky pacing the time to 5 minutes even with setting a timer. The temptation to keep going after the bell was very strong

A4 5 minute graphite sketch

A4 5 minute graphite sketch

Another temptation was to use a rubber. Hoever, tere is a certain quality added to a picture with the scribble in. Adding tone for my formerly dark hair and mapping in some planes to give the face volume. I really do look this rough.

img113

A4 5 minute graphite sketch

People who know me report a dazed, absent expression and petted lower lip. This is my favourite of the set. Not over-worked and the expression sums me up.

A4 5 minute graphite sketch

A4 5 minute graphite sketch

I positioned these in reverse order. This early sketch has only the crown and messed up hair to commend it.

A4 5 minute graphite sketch

A4 5 minute graphite sketch

I look really haggered in this one. It was the first and is quite a reasonable likeness although I do not typically view myself from this angle. The bridge of the nose needs correcting but is otherwise fine. I enjoyed the pressure of working against the clock as it forced me to be instinctive.

Five more quick sketches

The shape of the head

A3 of head shapes in graphite

A3 of head shapes in graphite

It is hard to visualise your own head from angles difficult to maintain. I have tried to show some facial planes for the temples, cheekbones and eye sockets. The text in the course literature suggest quick sketches so I have avoided corrections

Draw the shape of the neck repeatedly.

Exercise: A Self Portrait page 127

I was inspired by William DeKooning on page 46 of Experimental Drawing by Robert Kaupelis to use thinned enamel paint. I liked the feel of rapid execution and the course visceral nature of the mark-making.However, it has a long-lasting and umpleasant smell.

Self portrait using enamel paint thinned with Zest-it

Self portrait using enamel paint thinned with Zest-it

The image is very dark but that leaves a little extra work for the viewer to do. Is it necessary to spell everything out to the” reader” of a picture? I loved working this way and so decided to left my face left and try again.

Another self portrait with thinned enamel

Another self portrait with thinned enamel

I seem to be squinting a bit in this one as I study my features with my glasses on. Different cartridge paper this time but the thinned enamel sinks and dries quickly. The thickly applied darks take longer. My jaw and mouth are set determined and the overall effect is raw and unforgiving.

A4 one hour graphite study

A4 one hour graphite study

The procedure was followed very precisely according to the course literature (P126). I did research on portraiture that led me to P96 of Giovanni Civardi’s ” Drawing: A Complete Guide” where he maps out the head and face method in greater detail. I stopped on the one hour mark just after adding some highlights with blu tak and an electric eraser.

Exercise Portrait from Memory page 128

Several sketches of individual features

A4 page Individual features in 4B

A4 page Individual features in 4B

Some studies of my own face prior to my self portrait from memory.

A4 page sketches of my own individual features

A4 page sketches of my own individual features

I found it very hard looking at bits of myself in a hand held mirror, remembering what I saw between glances before I jotted it down.  The activity was challenging but rewarding.

Self -portrait from memory

A4 ink pen on photocopy paper

A4 ink pen on photocopy paper

In my head this is not the mirror image I see. In my imagination I appear to have flipped things around. I also appear much thinner as I was before I developed M.E. and slightly anxious. But all the usual landmarks are there. Scars, furrows and receding hairing. I recognise an interpretation of myself. An inner likeness not observed in my facial topography only.

Self portrait from memory using oils

Self portrait from memory using oils

I wanted to experiment with skin tones. I have been looking at Jenny Saville’s skin tones and teaching Francis Bacon in art appreciation so these may have been subconscious influences. They were drawn with a pallette knife using Griffin Alkyd and will be over drawn with oil pastels. In a sense these are a dummy run for my assignment five when I intend to do a very large portrait in the style below.

Drawing 1: Project The Moving Figure page 120

It appears to me that this section is an ongoing one. One I should continue during and after these current studies. I believe it should beome a habit . I also see no reason why I can’t attempt assignment four while these practises continue.

Exercise: Sitting and waiting page 121

Partial A4 castle Tavern, Inverness

Partial A4 castle Tavern, Inverness

A5 sitting and waiting

A5 sitting and waiting

A5 sitting and waiting

A5 sitting and waiting

 

Fleeting Moments page 122

Double A5 karate club in action

Double A5 karate club in action

 

 

A4 rapid sketching fashion catwalk

A4 rapid sketching fashion catwalk

 

 

A4 people watching at Belladrum

A4 people watching at Belladrum

 

A4 people watching at belladrum

A4 people watching at belladrum

 

A4 peole watching at Belladrum

A4 peole watching at Belladrum

Research Point page 123

Train Station

A4 people watching at train station

A4 people watching at train station

 

A4 people watching at station

A4 people watching at station

 

A5 x 2 train station

A5 x 2 train station

Drawing 1: Project The Clothed Figure page 118

Excercise: Fabric with line and form page 118

Two 15 minute sketches

A5 Fabric draped on chair

A5 Fabric draped on chair

I felt I ought to use charcoal pencil as I have been avoiding the media. I feel uncomfortable with it yet becoming more happy with ugly pictures. Beware the beautiful image as it does not tell the whole story. I knew that observing fabric for a breif period should be managed by drawing smaller. So I settled for A5. Additionally, the paper was more receptive to fixative than my more expensive A4 sketchbook.

A4 fabric draped over chair

A4 fabric draped over chair

For both these pieces I used a fat medium charcoal pencil by Derwent. The pencil was sanded on a nail file to increase the surface area on the diagonal allowing more shaded lines for darker tone. I felt this was still legitamate line work by one that would help distinguish shadow areas.

5 minutes for 5 cm squares

A5 5cm square fabric details

A5 5cm square fabric details

I used a Faber Castell 9000 series 7B graphite pencil sharpened with a Jakar mains operated sharpener. No filing since I was allowed to shade in this exercise. I resisted using a rubber for highlights or a tortillon or torchon or chamois for blending soft transitions. That is typical of my careful style and I am trying to heed OCA literature on cross hatching for volume from earlier units.

Exercise: Form and movement in a clothed figure

A3 charcoal of seated figure

A3 charcoal of seated figure

There is a reasonable amount of form to be observed but little in the way of movement. My daughter, wrapped up against the cold, is poised with remote in hand and little intention of moving. It was easy to include folds in the clothing but I am not sure that re-visiting them with darker charcoal and cross-hatcing has enhanced the image.

Drawing 1: Project Structure page 115

Try to do an anatomical drawing yourself page 115

pay particular attention to…

shoulders

A5 right shoulder

A5 right shoulder graphite, coloured pencil and embossing tool.

torso

A5 male torso

A5 male torso with coloured pencil and embossing tool

limbs

A5 right arm

A5 right arm using ballpoint pen

hips

elbows

neck

head

Exercise Three drawings page 116

Standing

Here is a girl standing holding some favourite toys. Drawn from a photo

A3 Standing figure. Graphite on Bristol Board

A3 Standing figure. Graphite on Bristol Board

This was a commissioned piece to help me raise funds for my next module with the OCA.

A2 standing nude

A2 standing nude

A2 graphite tone

A2 graphite tone

A2 graphite

A2 graphite

AA2 line work

AA2 line work

Sitting

A4 sketchbook featuring seated figure

A4 sketchbook featuring seated figure

 

A2 charcoal

A2 charcoal

A2

A2 graphite

A2 charcoal seated figure

A2 charcoal seated figure

A2 squatting figure for line work

A2 squatting figure for line work

lying down

A5 sketchbook featuring reclining figure with foreshortening

A5 sketchbook featuring reclining figure with foreshortening

Drawing 1: Project Gesture page 112

Exercise: Stance page 113

Draw as many poses as you can changing every 2 to 5 minutes

Double A5 spread in stabilo pen

Double A5 spread in stabilo pen

These images are from my A5 sketchbook. I changed the instructions from page113 as I didn’t have a model. I went out into Inverness High Street and drew the people that I saw observing the 2-5 minute rule. Luckily there was a pipe band, (my son was performing) and they were a suitably static subject along with the spectators and tourists arriving for the Hogmanay celebrations.

Double A5 spread in stabilo pen

Double A5 spread in stabilo pen

Furthermore, the council sponsored Winter Festival of music and dance was being held inside the Inverness Town House. This gave me an opportunity to draw more comfortably as I could warm myself being indoors with coffee.

Double A5 spread in stabilo pen

Double A5 spread in stabilo pen

The two boys featured love drawing and have sketchbooks and flicked through mine with their Mother’s permission. They were different ages. This meant that there proportions were quite different. I thried to capture this with the pressure of knowing they would review the piece critically.

Double A5 spread usin stabilo pen

Double A5 spread using stabilo pen

We live in an age of mobile technology facilitating people watching. A cameraman contorted his body to capture the ideal shot. Shoppers answering the phone are relatively unaware of being observed and provide interesting lines.

Double A5 spread uing stabilo pen

Double A5 spread using stabilo pen

I had just been re-united with my sketchbook and drew in a reunion frenzy. As well as capturing balance, the rapid observation and execution foreshadows the up coming work on gesture. These are photocopied pages from my sketchbook with balance lines superimposed.

My son Liam’s Karate Katas provided a relatively willing model and plenty of static poses for a fee!!!

A4 sketchbook staces in 4B grahite

A4 sketchbook staces in 4B graphite

A4 sketchbook stances in 4B graphite

A4 sketchbook stances in 4B graphite

The karate stances are all about balance. I am satisfied that I am beginning to think about equilibrium and identify it in my sketching. I omitted the kicking poses. These are more dynamic but harder to capture due to the duration factor.

A5 shinty using 2BI found it really difficult to draw fleeting moments from life. I resolved upon drawing stick skeletons without looking at my hand. Then I corrected them from memory immediately after the “event” occurred. These appear much more dynamic and off the centre of balance.
A5 sketches using ballpoint

Shinty ( like hockey) sketches in ballpoint

The ballpoint pen has a more predictable mark than the stabilo that was bashed and running out but produced an interesting quality to the mark making.

Exercise: Energy page 114

quickly convey the sense of energy on A4

A4 Energy using mixed media

A4 Energy using mixed media

Caran d’ache water soluble crayons on graphite, with coloured pens and Daniel Smith watercolour ground. The figures are drawn in a sideways scribble to emphasise the movement aspect of the dance.

or A3

My daughter’s Highland dancing using ink

A3 inks drawn with a pipette

A3 inks drawn with a pipette

A3 acrylic inks drwn with a pipette

A3 acrylic inks drwn with a pipette

soft pencil

A3 watersoluble graphite

A3 watersoluble graphite

I determined that wet media would better convey energy and movement. A3 photocopy paper is not idea and this image was the accumulation of driving the pencils around the contours of the movement like circuits around a track. Best to leave the marks alone.

A3 graphite secong attempt

A3  graphite second attempt using 7B

I used softer but dry media and tried to lay down my mark with confidence and energy without correcting the form with reworking visits.

A4 sketchbook Reply to Dumas in ink

A4 sketchbook Reply to Dumas in ink

I tackled this earlier when the Vitamin D book I ordered arrived. I had to have a go at Dumas’ single stroke figurative work.

charcoal, felt tip or drawing pens

A5 shinty sketch 7B graphite

A5 shinty sketch 7B graphite rapidly executed with little correction