It’s been almost two months since I did any life drawing – that is if you discount drawing animals on the Etosha Saltpan. It is also about the same time since I did any pastel work. So I went down to the Liver Sketching Club and eased myself in between the easels, without standing on too many toes, and had a go yesterday. Here is the result. I did go in with a game plan of working off a mix of background colours, but could have thought the scheme through a bit better in relation to the selection of colours. Though I do always take a couple of different coloured papers, normally a cool and warm and dark and light and select one depending on the mood and pose at the time, so there are always many options which would need to be considered beforehand.
Anyway, it’s just a piece of paper and it got me up and running again.
A little more extensive use of charcoal with the pastel though still not getting the grittiness or directness I am after.
In the one above I used even more charcoal, though probably too much and not to its greatest effect.
And finally a portrait of the child of a child of the sixties, but with the lighting so poor in the studio the features are flattened by the glaring light. Another of life’s little challenges, I expect some of you have shared.
This is a painting of a guy I was at art college with and who occasionally models. He stepped in last week when the original model pulled out. I was pleased with the face as it captured him really well, the trouble is with the hands, which I could have tidied up later, but as I gave him the painting at the end of the session, it’s too late.
As well as attending life sessions I have joined a portrait group, so here are a few of my recent paintings all done on a grey undercoat in a similar style, mainly using just three colours, alizaren red, raw sienna and ultramarine blue as well as white of course.
I managed to get the feet in on this one, which for a standing pose, for me is a minor miracle.
Below are the portraits. The first one was a bit over ambitious, trying to maximise the head on the paper and with flat lighting. I have managed to convince the guy who runs the session that he can get more sympathetic lighting on the subject. Hopefully that will show up in the ensuing weeks.
Last night’s session was a bit better, less ambitious in size
These two paintings were started on a ground of grey undercoat to which I added some blue and white. They were done on different days but the grounding seems to have driven similar styles and colour choices without me being conscious of the fact. I bought a big tin of undercoat so I must try and alter my approach on the next one.
I also must try and get both feet in -I’m always trying to maximise the form and invariably miscalculate.