I went along to the Stroud life drawing session tonight. Not many people because of the atrocious weather. But a lovely model who I have drawn before. She has wonderful hair. One day I will just try to draw that. A pleasure not to be drawing another middle aged man.
The first layer of my planned leafy art nouveau woodcut is fully cut and prints quite well, although I am not sure of final colours at all.
I am planning an over lying layer of a leafy girl to compliment, but she is just in the planning stage. I want her to have a thick, plaited pig tail which will echo the least shapes. I was really struggling with this until I noticed a girl working in the cafe had a perfect pig tail, so I tried copying it, and have just about worked out how they work.
Portrait session, using oil paints. I had a small canvas which I wanted to use. Kept the scale of the work down, which I liked. Some of our recent work has been so big as to be unmanageable. Quite pleased with the result, but I realised too late that the shoulders are at a smaller scale than the head. Need to stand and think more.
My usual Tuesday life class was cancelled as the tutor is poorly. I went to the Stroud drop in class instead, for the first time in a long time. Over 20 people there but I got in early enough to get an easel. A lovely model, Maeve, and such a relief to be drawing a woman rather than a middle aged man, which had been what we have nearly every week in Cirencester. A couple of practice scribbles and then I worked on just one feathered pastel. A difficult, twisted and foreshortened pose. I tried a couple of quick sketches when she was having a break. She could barely walk when it was finished.
Today’s victorian lady. I have tried to avoid the temptation of mimicking the wood engraving and have just treated it as a final drawing. I am actually going to do a wood engraving two day workshop next month.
I found a lovely book in one of our second hand bookshops. A compendium of images of women from the 19th century. All are wood engravings from the likes of the London Illustrated News. The quality of the images is astounding. I am trying to copy several of them, just to see how they did it.
It is near impossible to accurately mimic them in pen. They are essentially white lines engraved onto a black background. With pen it is the reverse, black on white. You can reproduce some of the linear work, but crosshatch fails. It goes darker on the pen drawing but lighter on the engraving. I will try to do some copies without trying to follow the linear original later.