Thursday, 9 July 2009

Nude Study

When I was in college I was lucky enough to be able to tap into many life drawing sessions that were going on - some during my own studio time, some at lunchtimes and sometimes just at random other times.

I loved it! and I hated it! It is so difficult to do it well! Though of course there are some people who are soooo talented that they just breeze through it all without ever tearing their hair out. I found it very difficult, very challenging but so rewarding when something went right and when you learned something new about the human body that creates such a beautiful form or line.

As you can see from this drawing I am most concerned with volume and form. I look and look at the model until I start to see slight shadows that define the form of the body and the muscles and bones beneath the skin.

Now of course, i could have used charcoal (which of course i do from time to time also) which makes great shadows and wonderful dramatic shadings and forms with good strong dark and smokey greys on crisp white paper. I, however, prefer to use this method of drawing, which is using a fine pen with ink. This one I think is done with an instant ink pen - as in I do not have to load it with ink, but some drawings done with a dip pen do make wonderful sort of jerky lines that are non uniform and come and go and ebb and flow and sometimes make great black blobs of ink! But if you remember me talking about the 'happy accident' you will recall that it can in fact enhance the finished drawings. Sometimes though it can ruin it!

With this instant pen you get a much more uniform line but you can just keep drawing and drawing without running out of ink (well of course the pens do run out and you have to throw them away and get a new one in) and you can do those wonderful hatching and cross hatching lines that I so adore. It is a small bit anal I must admit, but I love the rhythm of working this way and discovering new shadows, as I mentioned above, as you work and work the surface of the paper.

The nude itself becomes nothing more than a slab of meat - if that does not sound too rude, but you do stop noticing that it is a naked body as you become obsessed with the lines, the forms and the volumes.

The importance of life drawing is manifold. For me especially I find that by drawing so much all the time I absorb what a body looks like and how it works - By 'copying' from life, if you will, the information passes into my brain in a subconscious way and then when I start to do a sculpture from out of my head all that information comes out - sometimes it becomes warped or spliced with other forms, nuts or leaves or whatever I am fascinated with at the time, but there are those nice volumes and forms to draw on. It is great and makes the work more interesting even if it is an abstracted or distorted piece.

So those are a few notes on Life Drawing for you and I hope you enjoy the drawing too.

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