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