Thursday was a pretty poor day with me only managing 5 whilst sitting in the station car park:
This meant I had the small matter of 52 people to draw on Friday, but some clandestine sketching on the train up, at Victoria station and in Foyles cafe (lots of people nicely distracted with their laptops) and the train back left me at 95. I borrowed my daughter and son (again) and a couple of people off the tv and that was my 100 done! It was a bit of a marathon and I felt as if I was running out of steam by the end of the train journey home but I am really pleased with myself and it’s been a fantastically useful exercise.
I focussed mainly on faces/heads strangely, and despite being pretty good at hands at life class I clearly can’t draw them when I’m in a hurry! I also found legs and general body shape difficult to get proportioned despite having clothes to help me get the shapes. But I loved the speed, and scribbling with a fineliner, and I enjoyed searching out people who looked interesting. Inevitably there were times when the person moved and I had to fill in the blanks – with variable success.
Here are my sketches, in my A5 sketchbook and using pencil or my sepia fineliner and brushpen:
I really valued the commitment of this – it seems a lot and it was hard work but I would never have stuck with it without the community aspect of it. I usually scribble a bit on the train but I will absolutely carry on with this discipline and try and develop the technique of capturing the movement and keeping my sketches loose and gestural.
This event was brought to my attention by a fellow student on the Foundation Drawing forum, and I thought it would be a good exercise for me to focus on while I am reading through the course notes for Drawing 1.
I do really like gesture sketches and love the freedom of scribbling something down in a matter of seconds – the short warm up poses are one of my favourite parts of life drawing sessions. I realised my main problem would be sheer volume of people as I live on a country lane surrounded by fields!
My usual trip to London on Monday proved a rich seam to mine especially as all the train travellers were on their phones so I could sketch fairly openly! I did 20 drawings during the two journeys and whilst I had dinner:
I’m using an A5 sketchbook for this challenge and whatever implement I have to hand!
I’ve focussed mainly on heads and upper torsos and have attempted to capture a pose and stick with it as obviously people do keep moving, and one can’t stare too obviously…
Tuesday required some definite planning and I met with a friend who is also doing the challenge and we went to the pub. Unsurprisingly it wasn’t that busy given it was midweek and hardly balmy weather but we managed a few sketches and despite some slightly odd looks, we weren’t barred!
Today was a struggle as a couple of assumed opportunities didn’t materialise, so I ended up with a 15 minutes in a supermarket cafe where I cracked on and did another 10:
So, my target of 60 by the end of today is at 42; bit of catching up to do in the next 2 days, although we are up in London again on Friday so that should see the week out nicely! My confidence has increased hugely and although I get a terrible fit of the giggles sometimes when I look at my sketch compared to the real person it has been a really useful exercise.
I will be doing more whole people and also varying the scale and trying some groups. The emphasis is on speed and gesture so I don’t want to lose the spontaneity or looseness of my sketching. Watch this space!
I’m waiting for my course materials to arrive but I’m conscious that the thing I struggled with in Foundations was prep work, and actually thinking through what I was going to do. So, in a spirit of ‘start as you mean to go on’ I thought I’d have a go at drawing one of my cockerels who is particularly handsome.
I did some prep sketches and took some photographs and got a pose from him that I felt would work. As I struggle with finding patches of tone, I photoshopped him in black and white to help. I then had a go at some different media: tinted charcoal, soluble graphite pencils, inktense pencils, charcoal, watercolour and ink. Having worked through various combinations in my sketchbook, I decided to leave the blue-green beetlesheen of his tail feathers out and focus on the gold and red.
I wanted to go large (again, to get away from my A4 comfort zone) so charcoal presented itself as the most obvious for the bulk of the drawing. I liked the quill and ink on top of the charcoal as it sort of scratches the dust in places and leaves ink in others.
I drew him in pencil first then went over in charcoal. I then added ink and gold paint, and went over a few bits of finer detail with a charcoal pencil.
Here is the final drawing:
I’m pleased with how it’s turned out and I’m also pleased with my main aim of working through and using preparatory work to finalise the image. I wanted a slightly abstract/exaggerated version of him and I like the smudged background. I also like the gold and the ink on the charcoal. The tail feathers are less successful and I might have to practise these again; I’m not quite sure why they don’t look right but they feel a bit amateurish.
Welcome to my online learning log for Drawing 1: Drawing Skills. Having recently completed Foundations Drawing, I’m looking forward to tackling this course as the first part of BA Drawing. I think it is going to be quite a step up from my last course but I’m ready to embrace the challenge and I look forward to sharing my experiences on this blog.