Project 5 The moving figure – Exercise 1 Single moving figure
There is nothing so joyful as to see a child in their imaginary world ignoring all around them….this was just such a moment….our two year old grand-daughter with a tutu dancing in front of a window bathed with sunlight which acted as a spotlight during her performance.
This was a major exercise for me and I was exhausted after drawing constantly for about 2 hours and then frustratingly editing the pictures in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere – Photoshop I was familiar with but I was using Premiere for the first time!
Obviously the influence was William Kentridge as I have watched his videos on YouTube many times, and studied his wonderfully illustrated book Fortune edited by Lilian Tone.
This was the moving figure – moving – not in quite the same way as Kentridge – as this video was really like a slide show but like Kentridge I was constantly editing the same picture. What remains is a series of captured images that are then stitched together in a movie.
Hands on hips, the little jump (not high enough), and the belly stuck out…I believe that I have captured the spirit of movement in this exercise.
Project 4 Structure – Exercise 1 The structure of the human body
For reference in this part of the course, I studied ‘Drawing the nude – Structure, anatomy and observation’ by Stuart Elliot and looked through Taschen’s book on Egon Schiele for inspiration on line:
This for me is a very delicate, emotional drawing – the girl has an innocent look, Schiele’s line of the hands, elbow, ribs LHS and hips uses skeletal landmarks and profiles to add life to his drawing. The wash in the rib cage also adds more emphasis to the skeleton beneath the skin.
My own studies using parts of my own body were more successful than the few copies I made of other drawings:
Obviously, I need to keep practicing my line drawings and improve on my observational skills – this a lifetime of learning/practicing – but I have found an area of drawing that I enjoy: the figure and portraits.
Research point – Historic and contemporary artists whose work involves the underlying structure of the body
Two immediate artists spring to my mind when thinking about historic artists – that of Leonardo da Vinci whose studies on human form and the underlying structure including bones, veins and muscles etc. are extremely famous. The other is Michelangelo whose work I have seen in the flesh! I have seen his sculptures which have such impressive form showing veins, muscles and bones on the skins (stone) surface – so real you would have to touch them to realise that they are cold and really stone not flesh. He achieves a sense of weight and pose that is beyond belief – I adore his work. In his drawings he achieves similar artistic representation using minimal use of line.
In his short life, Egon Schiele was able to achieve a high degree of accuracy in his line drawings which show bones – skeletal landmarks and facial expressions using a limited palette of colour, thin wash of watercolour/ink and expressive line. (see above)
An interesting contemporary artist I found online is David Oliviera, https://www.davidoliveira.org/ … his work includes wire sculptures of the structure of the body and drawings/paintings of skin/skeletal elements:
An interesting cross-over between drawing and sculpture.
Exercise 2 – Three figure drawings
I used my own body for these drawings and instead of drawing three poses as in the exercise brief, I chose to make a standing pose – nude, and then a series of seated poses semi-nude:
Working from life is certainly very different from using photos or internet videos. Its a shame that I could not find a life class nearby.
I used both shading and line to emphasize form, skeletal outlines/profiles and with hindsight noticed that my left shoulder was drawn too large and that my left knee was too low. In general I was happy with the drawing and especially liked the effect of the large graphite block on mylar. To improve the drawing further, I could have corrected some of the lines and improved upon the shading/tonal contrast.
My second drawing was in fact three versions of me sitting down at my easel on a high stool – an idea that came from the earlier pencil sketch – see above:
The centre drawing was made using my left hand to make the initial outlines in pencil. I found that making these drawings was a little awkward as it was difficult to keep my hand moving – drawing – and maintaining the poses. It would obviously be easier with a live model in front of me.
Whilst the structure, pose, form and weight were satisfactory and did in fact (as commented by my wife) represent me – I was too heavy in my use of ink. In some places it could have been omitted and left as just pencil line, or I could have been more careful in the tone and weight of line – a big challenge ahead!
These sketches were a selection of the drawings I made for this exercise – this was the first with a line indicating the central axis:
Further studies included these very quick 1 minute drawings:
Changing back to charcoal I made this quick sketch over 1-2 minutes:
Finally I made this sketch in about 2-3 minutes:
I was extremely pleased with this drawing using willow charcoal – there was a foreward movement with nearly all the weight on the front foot and a twist in the upper body using a pole (which I drew in the wrong position at first). The paper chosen for this drawing it an absolute joy to draw on and will look to buy more in future.
Part 1 of this exercise was to draw a draped cloth – this was a sheet draped over the settee – in both line (pencil) and tone (charcoal):
Part 2 asked for 5 minute drawings of the details of the cloth:
My contour line drawing was the most successful – the others did not really create the illusion of three dimensional form. Rather than just keep drawing I decided to look for inspiration and found works by the Boucher and Sargent, which I then copied into my sketchbook:
These studies showed shapes of the figures beneath the clothing using shading and line.
There was an element of foreshoretening in both drawings but I feel that Boucher got it wrong with the left leg. Sargent’s study was masterful in his foreshortening, depiction of body form beneath the very heavy-looking overcoat and precise rendering of the fabric/fold of the coat.
In my sketches I did however improve my sense of three dimensional form in both drawings.