Sunday, 12 December 2010

More Tonal Studies

 Some more tonal studies this week, all John Singer Sargent. Some didn't photograph so well as I took them in a bit of a rush, sorry. Some more successfull than others, in general all are still way too overdone, really they are supposed to be simple maps of the tonal values in a picture but I can't quite stop myself making them into finished little drawings.

 And little they are, comming in at A6 in size. I had originally thought that this would keep me from trying to finish them too much but nope...still do. I have to stop myself being so fussy with them. Trying to add too much detail at this size with charcoal is just too difficult, the third drawing was a real problem and took way too long for what it is.

  But I enjoy these, they're very good for learning, my next sketchbook might go up a size to A5 to help but I'll have to be quite diciplined that this doesn't lead to me putting in even more detail. A recent class taken by painters Linda and Barry Atherton suggested breaking the whole picture into three basic tones and that's the way I've tried to start these. I find my darkest dark and block that in fairly early; it means that if you get it wrong your drawing is hosed but I find although you're meant to build a drawing upwards in gentle steps, if you don't commit at some point you never will. I don't however block in the lightest light until the very end, in fact a lot of paintings I've looked at are quite restrained in how they use highlights.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Still here

Just a quick update to let everyone know what I have been up to recently. Apart from digging a lot of snow I'm glad to say that I'm still drawing; I finished my first sketchbook in years last month and have started another. On a recent trip home I found a lot of old sketchbooks from art college that were unused, so I decided to put them to good use (one can be seen in the backround of the picture). I'm trying to move away from just anatomy study and get into painting more and I think some more masterworks studies in charcoal.

Life drawing in Leith kind of fell on it's butt a bit. I knew there was a period in the middle of the term that I wouldn't be able to attend due to other commitments and after that it was difficult to go back. In fairness I had already pretty much decided that class wasn't for me, the time (Saturday afternoon) wasn't good with a 6 month baby to look after and I hated the fact that they didn't have decent equipment. The atmosphere wasn't amazingly friendly when I was there, I prefer Maryhill- just a shame it happens to be in a different city :/ When I went to wasps in the evening last year I liked the time of the class but not the format, anyway that class got cancelled. The search for a figure drawing class continues.

It's also been a hell of a month for books, not only animation but I splashed out and bought a set of John Singer Sargent books. He's my favourite painter by far at the moment, I think I can learn a lot from him. They are beautiful books but it just so happens that some of my favorite things in them are little study sketches and thumnails that aren't very large in size, bit of a shame. Nothing better than putting the feet up with a cuppa and flicking through them for inspiration. There are little nuggets/ hints to his working methods which are really interesting, He seems to use a yellow ochre/raw umber mix for his ground which I like and will be trying out.