Saturday, 17 November 2012


Not sure about this one, I did better with getting most of the figure drawn but really those hands should be in there. Again, the time limit is causing a bit of an issue, I might have to rethink the type of drawing I'm doing in 1.5 hours. I'm rushing to get to the tonal stage and I'd like to be taking a little more time over this. The measuring is getting better though, I think here I may be slightly out: it is definitely starting to click though. That cast shadow over the shoulder is still a problem area and this week I tried putting in the shadow lines with compressed charcoal to make them a little bit more permanent. Not sure if I'll do that again as compressed charcoal can be quite severe and you have to be careful that the drawing doesn't go dark too early as it has here.

As much as I appreciate how difficult a life model' s job is, these guys absolutely love bolt upright long poses and I think that's one of the issues I have with this. The pose is just so darn dull and every week it is similar. It's all practice and on a brighter note the upright pose is good for proportions but still, maybe if I was a better artist I could have enhanced it a little with a bit of a twist or something.

I've been looking at a lot of Dean Keller recently, that great line quality he has with charcoal. I really love his drawings. Thinking about  moving away from the rough newsprint, it holds the charcoal nicely but isn't so good when you start into tone- at least not with my haphazard method.

The regular classes are great though, I come away with so many ideas for things to try the next week. So it's all good :)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Birthday Sketch

On my birthday this year I got a rare day off, just to myself and I went sketching around the art galleries in Edinburgh. I get to do this maybe twice a year and as I was sketching I was thinking what a shame we all don't get to do things like this more often rather than spend time behind a desk.

This is a little cast study from my sketchbooks, measuring a few inches across. I did the original drawing in graphite at the museum, then pen and wash at home, finally adding some gouache and watercolor. I recently picked up some gouache as I like using watercolor and the two work well together but I have to admit my handling of it here is very clumsy, I really couldn't work out how to paint with it. Whilst gouache is opaque, it's not totally opaque and it picks up the ink and wash below- I found this very difficult to control. But there's something in this sketch that might have potential. It needs to be looser, outlining the shadows and filling them in doesn't quite work but as an effect, I like the color in it, I think it works in some ways, it's just lacking experience.

Managed more life class this week. Seem to be getting small improvements every week, post coming soon.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Life Drawing

Another Life Drawing this week,it's OK I think but with a few problems. One is speed, I'm just not fast enough to complete a drawing in 1.5 hours and I was aiming to always get the head, hands and feet in. I think this is still down to being a bit slow in the measuring phase of the drawing, I need to figure out a better methodology there. I'm also hoping that my drawing will loosen up a bit as it's a bit too tight at the moment but I'm not too worried about that versus getting an accurate drawing.

I'm getting my butt kicked on the shorter poses and would like to be getting something out of that, so more work to do there. One interesting problem I'm running into is cast shadows over a dark area. Because shadows are transparent in ambient light you can have an area of the body turning into shade but with a cast shadow falling over the top. An example here is the right shoulder which was definitely in shade but was also getting a strong cast shadow from the neck. I have a feeling I should be leaving one of these out, it doesn't really work on this drawing but I'm not sure how to handle it. It's times like this I wish I could ask a tutor their advice but I can't so......

I have some cast sketches I did at the museum last week, will share these soon :)