Saturday, June 16, 2007

Drawing a Head 14th June 2007: Models with 'hair'

pen and ink on Lyndhurst white cartridge paper

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I drew models with 'hair' in this week's drawing class - by which I mean models whose hair is a challenge to draw. One of our models arrived late this week so I started with a short pen and ink study of Flavio who has a Mohican and dreadlocks(!) and then did two studies of Chiara - who has a mass of gold-red ringlets. The longer one (top) is in pen and ink and then the short one (bottom) is in pencil.

The issue with the hair was to find a way of representing it and its form and tone without trying to be too precise. Flavio's Mohican cut seemed to have a distinct 'nap' to it - rather in the same way velvet does. He has black hair and some was very dark and mat and other parts appeared much lighter because of the lighting and the way it was cut. Chiara's ringlets needed a lot of simplification - the question was how little could I get away with.

I also deliberately made the views of Chiara more difficult by, first, putting most of her face into shadow and, in the second pose, drawing her from an angle where shadows from the ringlets were falling across the face. The challenge was to see how to make it work when the changes had to be quite subtle. I nearly lost the eyes a couple of times in the first study but managed to rescue it. It's a bit nerve-wracking drawing in pen and ink because if I make a major mistake around the fatures there's probably not a lot I can do about it.

I usually set try and set myself a challenge with the drawing task in this particular class - I find it's a good way of learning. How do the rest of you tackle drawing people in class situations?

- pen and ink on Lyndhurst cartridge paper

Chiara - the ringlets pencil on Lyndhurst cartridge paper
copyright Katherine Tyrrell


"JeanneG" said...

I really like the way you did the hair in the first one of Chiara. I like the way it suggests the curliness. I have never been to a live model class so do not know how I would handle it. Though just being there would be challenge enough for me.

I may have to try one of my plein air group. At least they will be concentrating so much, they probably wouldn't notice. But at this stage, I wouldn't want to share it.

Jeanette said...

These are great drawings Katherine. Yes it can be a challenge in drawing classes and making those challenges a choice stretches the eye and hand.

In drawing classes that I have attended, we had an enforced change of our positions during the class just so we would be challenged. While we grumbled at times, it was good and provided some great views. Though I do recall what I can only class as a 'gynocological view' in one life session. Let's just say it was different...:o)

Katherine said...

Jeanne - it's an excellent idea - I've drawn other artists many times and you can see some of my efforts done 'plein air' at the bottom of this page on my website

Rose Welty said...

These are all great Katherine, per your usual, but that last one, the quickie, is IMHO the best. You captured more spirit there.

df said...

Love the heads. Most of my drawing workshops (that I attend) are 1, 3,and if lucky, 5 minute poses. It's hard to get a quick study of the head, I commend your efforts. Even after attending a "heads, hands, foot" class at my Union, I find it difficult to capture much expression in 3 minutes. It is suggested that we treat the hair as a shape; to forget details and just get the feeling of the gesture.

Cathy (Kate) Johnson said...

Lovely, Katherine! The fellow with the Mochican/dreads is fascinating. I've not seen anyone wearing them together, but I love it!

I've been working with a similar challenge this week to yours of Chiara, drawing my love with his head of wild curls...

(Our vacation hasn't gone quite as planned as he was injured the first day, so we're lazing about home instead...I'm getting in lots of domestic drawing!)

adebanji said...

I think these drawings are the best I have seen from you!

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