Sunday, 17 June 2012

...Rummaging through drawers and drawings

My first experience of life drawing was when I was 16, at college.  It was a little shocking to see a middle-aged woman of quite ample (if no longer very firm) proportions slip out of her dressing gown and stand there naked and unabashed while the class of teenage art students, all of whom were more embarrassed than she'd ever been, studied every fold and crease and undulating bit of her flesh.  She was very experienced, never moving a muscle, and told us later that while we were looking at her she was actually also looking at us and could see our 'auras'.  Some shone very brightly, she said, but she never told us whose.  She didn't even flinch when one of the tutors, in an attempt to focus our minds on our model as an 'object', placed an upside-down cardboard box over her head.  Maybe it helped to stop our auras from dazzling her while she posed.

I remembered that yesterday while going through a folder of life drawings that are a few years old now, and wondering if anything would inspire me again.  It's been ages since I've done any but, as anyone who's ever tried it knows, it's such good discipline to draw in a class environment with a real model.  Very few of the pieces I looked back through work as a whole; perspectives and proportions are wrong and my lines or textures are dull, but scanning and cropping them to keep the bits I like most seems to give them a slightly different feel and new lease of life.  I hope the models won't mind the amputations and decapitations I've given them here.  At least there are no cardboard boxes on heads, anyway...







 







12 comments:

  1. Wow! These are really good. I particularly like that vulnerable-looking foot, second from bottom. You're VERY talented.

    I'm not sure I could ever contain my embarrassment long enough to attempt drawing someone from the particular angle used in Pic 3, though. Heavens!

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  2. Hee heee, these bring back memories! I would love to do a life class again now and tried to sign up for one that starts in the Autumn, until I found out it's about an hour and a halfs drive from here.

    I think art students come out of that experience unshockable to be honest. I was pretty shy and reserved when I was a teenager but having a middle aged woman or man (we had two male models... no where near as glam as it sounds) with droopy and less than perfect bodies pose themselves so unselfconsciously before a whole room full of people certainly gives you a new perspective on nudity. I realise now how brave these people are because my bod hasn't even been out of doors in a bikini for a few years!

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  3. Your drawings are very good.

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  4. Kolley - thanks so much - these are just the small sections of the originals that I feel worked better than the rest - the most unconscious bits! I'm v critical of them as overall pieces...but it's always interesting to look back at old work and wonder why something works or not. Oh, Pic 3! It was a crowded room and I ended up with that viewpoint not through choice! I was glad for the practice in foreshortening (aargh) but also quite glad she'd raised her knee in such a way... (And she was quite Stacia-like in other departments!)

    Yve - yes you're right about unshockable and it's really heartening to draw so many differently shaped bodies owned by people who are so unselfconscious of them isn't it?! Hope you get some new life drawing in if you can find a course not so far away...

    Thank you Dr MVM, most kind :-)

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  5. I love these...especially the first one. I'm partial to sketches.

    The woman's face is so full of character...they're all good. You are good at this stuff.

    I guess that's why they pay you the big bucks.

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  6. Thank you, e.f... that's much appreciated. Oh I wish it did pay big bucks but only little bucks I'm afraid and that's only when there actually is any work! As you may have gathered by the increased frequency of my blogging lately, I'm not quite as busy drawing as I'd like to be...
    Perhaps I could appoint you as my agent? ;-)

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    Replies
    1. We can strike a deal but my rates are exorbitant.

      Off topic...just so you know, I was minding my own business earlier, in my leafy smoking area...when something bit the **** out of me!

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    2. Ah, so it's the agents who get the big bucks...

      And, oh dear, sorry to hear about the bite and hope it's not too bad - I'm presuming that whatever bit you's camouflage as a leaf was a little TOO effective?

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  7. Really great drawings, C. Respect.

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    1. That's kind of you, SB, thanks - must say that putting them out here and getting some feedback (which I don't usually get on these type of drawings) is making me feel more inspired and motivated to do some more. And that's a nice feeling to have!

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    2. I just came back realising I never actually commented on the drawings themselves, they are very good!

      It is something I was thinking about the other day, as a professional designer or illustrator you never/rarely get anyone really compliment your work. People "compliment" you by hiring you and continuing to work with you, so often the only feedback you get is when they want something tweaking or when you have gone completely off-brief... so, sorry for behaving exactly like so many art directors and agents do... your drawings are great and the only reason things are slow for you is the economy, just the same for all of us ;o)

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    3. Ah, thanks so much Yve, and please don't worry for a second! I didn't want it to seem like I was fishing for compliments, but - as you so rightly say - when you draw for a living you are so used to everything being critiqued and analysed because something needs tweaking, that you get used to seeing everything as a piece of work - I mean 'work' in its most literal sense! And for a change these were drawings I did just for me, just for fun, not to be picked over or changed etc. Then it struck me that nobody really sees them except me, and it was good for my confidence to feel I could make them public without fear of their failings being fastidiously pointed out. They're just what they are, not what they need to be!
      Thanks again. Good to know you understand, too!

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