I drew an apple this morning. It seemed a good idea so a practice work using hard contè coloured pastels. Dawn on Clairefontaine Pastelmat, which has a very strong tooth, but quite smooth to touch. I like the result, but I don’t like drawing on it. Too harsh and scratchy.
I was at my last mixed media class today. I have decided to give them a rest, at least until the autumn. We were looking at doing first a large and then a small drawing based on an array of seed heads. I chose some dried Chinese lanterns, as I liked the warm colours. The large drawing is in pastels predominantly, with some over-working with charcoal and conte crayon.
Then I focused on one lantern and drew it just with a very fine fineliner. I did this in a curious little sketchbook I bought in Tamil Nadu over ten years ago. Made in the Auroville ashram in Pondicherry, a place that did not impress me favourably when I visited it a couple of years later.
The paper has a beautiful, almost basketweave texture. Made by survivors of the 2001 tsunami, allegedly. I must use it more. It is hinged at one corner, which is unusual.
A morning studying colour. I went for three red chillies on an orange background. Blocked in with orange and yellow acrylic. Chillies drawn on top with pastel, emphasised with conte crayon. The ribbon was introduced to bring some additional variety. Not sure it was really necessary, but I like the result.
Art classes have stared again for the second half of the term. In the mixed media sessions we were trying to use frottage to add texture to dry drawings. Basically bras rubbings as back ground. to give you some texture. A good idea, but my rubbings were so pale and I covered them with so much scribbling that you couldn’t really see them. It was good to work from real things. We had various bits of dried vegetation and I chose the teasles as they are local and important around here, being used in the weaving industry.
The big pictures were fun, but the two little ones of individual flower heads were better.
Back at the class after a two week break. I like these classes because you just pay for when you attend, which has saved me a lot. I always miss sessions for various reasons.
We had a lovely model who not only looked great, but was at least as old as me. I love confident people who are happy to flaunt whatever they have. She had on a pair of “racy” red stockings which she thought might add a little life to things. I think they did. She held one pose for the whole session, with only one break. Remarkable. I did two drawings from the front, displaying my usual ability not to fit everything onto the page.
I moved around in the second half for two side on sketches, but I think I was losing it somewhat. Drawing for two hours after work is quite tiring.
We had a new model tonight who held a single pose all evening. Two sessions of 50 minutes each and she didn’t move a muscle, not even to stretch a leg. I did just the one drawing, which I am pleased with, in parts. It is a bit over worked, but partly because the paper was more textured than I realised and charcoal just didn’t look right on it. I rubbed everything n, and then worked over it with pastel and conte crayon. Her left leg is a mess, but only on the drawing. It looked perfectly normal in real life,
We had a beautiful model who for reasons that I can never really understand was having huge tattoos engraved on her side, bottom and feet. I suppose we all want our bodies to be works of art. I really struggled with this pose. First I drew it in pencil. Then went over it with water soluble crayon which didn’t work at all. Finally I dragged a stick of charcoal on its side all over it,followed by white chalk for highlights and finally conte crayon for details. It finally started to work. Never give up.