Friday, July 17, 2009

Today I surprised myself!

If I'm asked if I can draw I say no, because I can't get the results I want and don't know how to do anything that will make things better. I've read enough to know that I draw what I see, not what I think I see and that negative space is important, but the theory doesn't prevent the final result from looking primative, naive ...? I'm searching for a word that better describes the lack of depth in my drawing even on those occasions when I manage to capture a reasonable likeness to the subject.

A couple of weeks ago Channel 4 ran a 5 programme series on life drawing . It's described as learning to draw from a tutor, but is more an opportunity to see a model for 30 minutes whilst listening to the artist working. I've watched three of the five programmes so far and I've enjoyed my first attempts enough to think I could look for a proper live life class to see if I could learn to draw, in spite of the results! (But then I wouldn't be thinking about it if I was happy would I!)

Today was slightly different, I grabbed a pencil and some paper and drew the model (the only programme with a young female model, as it happens) and was quite pleased with the overall likeness, but I can never manage the shadows I see.

I decided to find a graphite pencil I have thinking a thicker line might make me draw differently. I couldn't find it so decided to use some charcoal I'd bought for a class last year. I haven't used it since because I couldn't control it and didn't understand the oft repeated phrase 'working into it' - nor did I like the smudges.

I quickly sketched a basic frame for the model then worked on top of it with the charcoal, the likeness isn't as good and there's a lot that could be corrected, but the joy was working with the charcoal - it was amazing! I seemed to have so much control (with so much to learn too) that I can't understand why I didn't like it before, other than the fact that we were drawing 2D shapes and using very heavy shading. Perhaps the fact that I was working quickly meant that things eren't too laboured?

Whatever the reason, there is enough here for me to continue playing - I was amazed at how much I enjoyed myself!


Margaret Cooter said...

Charcoal - yes rather messy and smudgy, but as you say, very satisfying too... tricky to get a sharp line - this is when you break the stick and use that fresh edge. Also, cover a sheet with black and use an eraser to draw!

To fix it, Boots hairspray is good. Once it's fixed you can't erase, but can work on top.

"Now wash your hands"...

The Idaho Beauty said...

Nice! I've been learning how the many hardnesses/softnesses of graphite pencils translate and the only way to do that is to use them! It's been interesting and the drawing is really fascinating me now. I've been wondering about charcoal - now I may really have to try it! Keep at it, the connections will keep coming.