Thursday, December 31, 2009
There was no music playing on the Thursday night when I went over to the TSA. M- was working, and his gestures were dynamic as always.
These are all 1-minute studies. The first couple I did as usual, but then I had this notion of getting more gestural, less anatomical. I tried to set down marks to convey the actions more in his poses - the bend of his spine, the curving in-ness of some limbs, the angularity of other bends elsewhere, etc.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
These were a 20-minute pose facing away and a 10-minute pose Z- ended the night with.
It was part-way through the back study that I got my groove back, once the Russians had left the radio (see the previous entry).
Prior to that it was an hour of false starts, where I just could not get the proportions - or even a semblance of Z - to work at all. As it was, it took 3 tries to get the size of Z- 's hair on the page to be small enough to allow the rest of her figure to fit.
The shorther study was about 10 minutes, but only 5 or so of those were spent drawing as from where I sat a lamp stand was bisecting her face, and I tried unsuccessfully shifting a bit here and there so her head would be one side or the other. It is a rough drawing, but I think there is something good and direct in it in spite of it not being very polished in its handling. It was an alive study.
Prior to that, whether due to music or neurosis or whatever, there was an hour where I seemed to have completely forgotten how to draw people. That happens once in a while.
Anyone else have that experience?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
These studies took 5 minutes each. They went fine as well.
Following the 5-minute poses, the radio station (Radio-Canada) switched from `easy' jazz to a concert of Prokofiev & Shostakovitch works. Good music, and lots of merit as music to listen to, but that was the problem.
For some reason that night, the music was like a jamming signal, and I just couldn't draw to it. The tempos were all wrong. It would be fast when I was trying to draw a long line, loud when I wanted soft, and the sonic textures just weren't working.
Sometimes I can shut that out as needed, but not that night. Every time I would get into a groove, the music would swell in some dramatic phrase that derailed my connection to the sketching.
It would have been interesting, I thought, to see what would have come out if I had run with that, rather than resist, but that wasn't the mood I was in that night. I wanted the familiar experience.
For me, I lean towards very un-challenging music to draw to. Give me an hour of baroque lute music and I'm happy. Dissonant music is much more hit and miss. Also stuff with big tempo or volume jumps are jarring. It would be different if the point was to sit and listen, and that is the trouble with some music - it uses means to grab one's attention that become an interruption.
For an hour onwards, the drawings were a write-off.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Some nights start well, but run into troubles. I was quite happy about joining Z- as she was working for Artists 25 on the Tuesday night. Granted, I hadn't been out drawing for over a week, and drawing my sweetheart brings with it a degree of higher personal expectations and desire for good results. (Particularly so because I know how hard she is working while she poses).
These were 2-minute gesture poses she did, and they went fine - a little disproportionate, but I was settling into a drawing groove.
These were mostly 15-minute poses, excepting the reclining back view, which was 20 minutes.
on that last pose I started - as I frequently do when no face is involved - on the left side of the page. There wasn't enough room to fit her whole figure on one page when I reached the right side, so I kept going on another page to fit her head. You can see the seam of the 2 pages.
Some days, a 24" x 36" page isn't enough.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I was able to attend the majorityof the session on the following week, and worked on one extended study using conte crayon on Japanese paper.
Z- was looking lovely. She had a dark eye make-up with a slight sheen, like burnished metal. It looked like a 1930's glamour style, which her dress set off very well.
In hindsight, i've pushed the overall shading too far, and the place where shadows fall on the eye socket on the right has the unfortunate effect of looking a bit like a black eye. Had I left the values of her skin tones a little lighter, it would have been clearer what was makeup. The Japanese paper is a bit of a one-way proposition - it doesn't take well to erasing, so it's best to leave things as is.
I like a nnumber of things about this study, but the final score would have to be something on the order of Life 4, Art 1, in my estimation.
All the more challenge for the next time...
On the Thursday night, Z- was working at Artists 25. A meeting ate most of the time I was wanting to spend sketching, but I got there for the final 35 minutes of the session and did a couple of quick sketches. Both are conte, but one is on newsprint, and the other beige one is on Japanese paper.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
These were both 10-minute poses, and they finished off the evening. As has been the case on other evenings of the aerial drawing sessions, ten minutes gets into diminishing returns category; the studies start looking overworked.
Friday, December 25, 2009
These were all 5-minute poses. Once again, D- alternated her airborne poses with some yoga work. The leg behind head pose requires a remarkable amount of flexibility, but not something that is easy to address aesthetically. It is a very good drawing challenge in trying to make all the body bits sit plausibly in an unorthodox relationship - but if success is attained, wht does one do with it? In these studies just bearing witness satisfied me in the short term.
I don't practice Yoga, and the stamina entailed in holding that for 5 minutes impressed me.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
These are more 2-minute studies. Of the people who have worked at Diane's aerial sessions, I found that D- was one of the people who were most at home in the air, in almost any orientation.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
The Tuesday of that week marked three consecutive days of drawing sessions - something I don't accomplish very often. That evening I went over to the Drawing Room session at Diane McGrath's studio. D- was working, and I hadn't drawn her before. these were 1-minute and 2-minute poses on silks.