Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Life Drawing

I've been doing a little bit of life drawing in the last couple of months. I started with casual life classes at Tate Modern, which were a lot of fun, and not really traditional life drawing as such. In the pictures I've posted here for example, the models were set up in the Van Doesberg show, and we were encouraged to use Dada methods/ideas, and were limited in the materials we could use, eg just paper and glue for the exercise on the left. [I should note here that the model consented to being photographed, and that the works on the right are not by me - they're impressive though, I think! The one on the left is mine, but incomplete.] Unfortunately I discovered these classes right at the very end of the programme, so I only made it to 2 classes.

The Tate classes inspired me to finally enrol in an evening course, and I'm now half-way through a 10 week course at Central St Martins. I chose Life Drawing with Colour, which is new for me. I've only really ever worked in black and white, so mixing colours on the page is a new challenge. We started with earthy tones, then introduced blue, then introduced red, then yellows, greens etc. It's fun, but quite difficult - for example, trying to re-create flesh tones using only red, green and white: difficult! But I think part of the idea is just to get a feel for the kinds of colours and tones you can create. I'm enjoying it a lot. These photos are from the class where we introduced blue to the mix. So I used burnt umber, raw umber, yellow ochre, white, and cadmium blue. The first shot was taken half-way through, and the second was taken at the end of the class. We're just using pastels at the moment, and because time is limited and the focus is on colour, I'm having to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies (in terms of getting the figure exactly right), which is actually quite liberating. I might be adventurous and try some water-colours next week.

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