Friday, June 02, 2006

Drawing Class 29th May

This is the drawing from last night's class. The female model is Spanish and has a very striking face which is enormously difficult to get right. I think I had about 3 or 4 goes but she seemed happy with it!

I stuck to my rule about not portraying fellow artists in an identifiable way. Both seemed to like their portrayal. I often find that getting the stance right (in particular, the weight on the foot) is what makes a big difference to these very quick sketches of background figures. It's amazing how everybody seems to stand in a way which is unique to them!

This drawing took 2 hours in total and was drawn on heavy white cartridge paper using a mechanical pencil. This time I started with the window structure lines to make sure I got the relative proportions and positioning of the two models correct. It would have been really difficult without the 'grid' of the windows to help. For me, backgrounds are really important, they often provide the skeleton on which to hang the drawing of figures in a class such as this.

This drawing was also interesting in relation to getting the relative values of different parts of the drawing right. I pay attention to values in the last stage of drawing and try to achieve the balance which means that the recession works and there is some relationship between value and colour - although I modify this sometimes if it's too distracting. In this particular instance when I looked at it again this morning, I identified some values which were out of balance and needed strengthening. (How often do we hear the mantra in our heads "Strengthen the darks"?). I always try and do this while the image is still strong in my head, and usually within 12-24 hours of doing the drawing.

The other thing I find is really important is to attack the paper with a good eraser when I get home to retrieve all the highlight areas as these are usually covered with a very thin layer of graphite by the time I've finished the class. This makes all the difference to getting the relative values to read true when the drawing is photographed.

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  1. This is really nice. You got the values right.

  2. That's a useful tip - to grid the window in first - I would rough it in afterwards - something to try , next time.I think it's a very interesting composition - with the two models the 'main' characters but really the other two are the more intriging. Thank you, Katherine.

  3. Katherine,you did a grand job here. How big is cartridge paper exactly?
    I'd never think of using a mechanical pencil to cover a large surface and yet, look at how nice the results are! Love the Spanish woman's face.

  4. terrific! I love seeing your value studies both to admire and study as this way of seeing is difficult for me. And so you'll know, I've been reading "Keys to Drawing" because of your recommendation, thank you, I'm finding it so informative and helpful!

    thank you too for your comments, I don't know why images on my site were not visible to you, I've only experienced a couple of "bad spells" with "blogger" similar to what you're going through now, hope they will be resolved soon.

  5. Thanks for the comments one and all

    Laura - cartridge paper is 'good enough' paper in the UK. Basically drawing paper - the one I use is a pad by Daler Rowney of Heavy White Cartridge paper (220g/m2) and is A2 size which is roughly 16.5" by 23.5"

    It's also interesting how nmechanical pencil can produce really dark values but is rarely used to do so.

    Cin - I'm glad you're enjoying Keys to Drawing. It's a very absorbing book. I never get bored with it.

    And Blogger seems to be back to normal at last!


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