Friday, November 17, 2006

What happens when it all goes wrong

16" x 23" mechanical pencil on Daler Rowney heavy white cartridge paper
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This is what happens when it goes wrong...........because I got to drawing class late, didn't spend enough time plotting measurements etc. Then I couldn't get her face right and had it in and out at least half a dozen times and finally I got a bit ambitious about how much else to include because the face wasn't going right ...........!!!

I know there must be a saying about 'reflection' and 'evaluation' and 'being good for you', but I really can't remember it right now. I do know that it's always a good idea to take a good long hard look at a drawing the next day. Unfortunately we don't always like what we see!

So far my take on this drawing from last night's drawing class is as follows:
  • it lacks design which emphasises a focal point (it was there at the beginning but I lost it somewhere along the way). Actually it lacks a design! Although it always has to be a 'found' piece, I normally set it up as a design based on the two models and didn't this time.
  • it's total mess in terms of value pattern - I got distracted by colours of clothes as opposed to how they read in value terms
  • there's no depth and recession - because of the weak value pattern
  • the female model is all out of proportion - her torso is too long and her head seems too small
  • the faces of the other artists have enough detail for the faces to look wrong - it would have been much better if I'd left them very simple
  • interesting marks on the backs of drawing boards only serve to confuse - a bad case of doing detail when I should have been keeping it simple
  • lots of boring scribble marks instead of more interesting marks with a balance between detail and very open scribble
I think I'll be back to just doing the main models next week! And I should look on the bright side - after producing one which is awful it almost always goes better the following week.........

Feel free to identify any more problems with it - although I'm the only one who is allowed to be rude!!!

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  1. I think the central female figure is better than you think. If I may be so bold, I would suggest cropping the drawing to focus on her. Your central figure reminds me of the epic female figures of Australian artist Russell Drysdale. Have you seen The Drover's Wife?

  2. Robyn - thanks for the reference - I've not seen that painting before and it was good to see. Unfortunately, my model was a young lady with a rather slight frame!

    However I do think your idea of cropping would salvage it to some extent.

  3. Sorry Katherine, but I diagree with you. This is such a cool picture. I really like it. It is very engaging tells a wonderful story. It may not be what you had in your head but none of us would know what that vision was. S0 let the piece do the talking.

    Here is why I like it. First it is fresh and the composition is not only engaging but has movement. Not easy to capture a sense of movement of people standing and sitting. Anyone who has taken a life class will recognise the energy in this little sketch. You can feel it. At the same time you give the viewer a place to rest, with the model. The model is the perfect balance to the artists focus on their work. She is in another world not part of what is going on around her. My favorite part is the man seated and facing away from the center. That adds a bit of mystery. I like the sketchy linework and the darks and lights. So you see, even a little sketch from life class can have an impact and surprise you. This would make a great composition for your first print experiment you mentioned in yesterday's post.


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