For this assignment I will show 2 A1 sized figure studies and a self-portrait.
1 Figure study using line – a seated model in an upright chair
Quick drawing in the group in SA – on newsprint paper. During the life figure drawing sessions in Dubai the model held a piece of cloth in her hand – as in previous exercises shown in the blog. I decided to use the same drawing – she wore a loose fitting top with sleeves, which has openings on the upper arm.
I did not place the drawing well – find that the model and the chair became an issue in deciding on the size of the drawing – I was battling with the chair size compared to the model. I added a background colour early in the drawing to help me to find form as well as sizing correctly. The model wore are really loose fitting top, around the arms it became difficult to find form in the body as well as the draping of the sleeve. I decided on adding colour to find the draping around her arm and upper body.
Working on this drawing showed out my issues with the angle at which the model is seated.
I am not happy with the outcome of this drawing and do not see it as expressive or spontane – it is a very posed position, which I do not like in particular. I felt I did not have much of a choice – go with what I did at class and the life model.
2 Figure study tone – reclining model from a life model
The model wore a red cape and the drawing was part of the Halloween theme. I decided to stay with the charcoal to find tone in her face as well as on the cloak and rest of the body. The drawing gives me the impression of a cut out, collaged onto the paper, and I do like that idea. This was an easy drawing – spontane and fluid – I could explore with my lines. I realise the possibilities in drawing a reclining model could be very effective at conveying emotional quality. I would like to explore a body floating in water.
During the drawing process on the face I find some emotion – the model looks at peace, comfortable, relaxed.
3. A self-portrait combining line and tone
The techniques utilised in this assignment derived from playful experimentation with drawing materials and pushing my own imagination in this regard. I had started with and idea of myself becoming older – and wanted to use my own self portraits to show the changing faces of my own ageing process. I looked at how artist who used fragmentation and degradation and or the concept of creating through physical destruction.
In order to not use too much line – I used powdered charcoal in my sketchbook and tried to draw with my eraser as well.
the eyes are too big!
During this process of focussing on the body and human form, I learnt about my own ideas about why I like portraits. I like the connection between the figure as the subject and the viewer. I would like to explore this in my own work and visual language I learnt that a lot of the exercises was good enough to start great paintings and realised the importance of regular exercise and skill training of drawing the figure. It is not always important for me that I find the likeness, my longing would be that the lines and marks in my work would show something of humanity and connect with viewers . I see this as a growth opportunity in Expressionist drawing.
I do realise now more than ever that I should take more time with experimenting and learning from this. I did feel I have limited opportunity to draw from life – I did not realise that it could be a bigger issue here in the UAE. I will have to get involved with a group where this practice can be regular. I do think drawing nudes gives one a better understanding of the physical form of the human body. I also discovered that these drawings made me aware of the usefulness of under-paintings to find form and tone. I plan to do some copies of old masters, such as Bouguereau. I have done one in oil painting, after Bouguereau and this is very motivational as well as learning. I discovered in my Understanding Visual Culture course the use of appropriation and the philosophical ideas about creating and that one cannot claim not to be influenced by other artists, your surroundings as well as history of looking back on other works. It think the idea is making the art work – this is the ‘newness’ and creation.
This part of the studies made me aware of the growth opportunities as well as possibilities of subjects to work on. I am very aware that areas where I lack technique that need to be discussed and developed after this part of the course. I value traditional drawing skills before one breaks the rules.