Tag Archives: drawing

Drawing class with Susan Kester

I’ve started a series of drawing sessions with Susan Kester in Chalford. Just drawing what is in front of us, with guidance from her. I used charcoal to produce this plant, which is quite reasonable I think.

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Back at the life class

Not a great deal of art recently, due to travel and general indolence. I managed to leave it too late to register for my usual Tuesday afternoon life class in Cirencester. I had delayed because I was getting fed up with their very limited choice of models. The same one kept coming again and again. Now I will have to use the Stroud Life drawing groups evening sessions . They seem to have no problems with getting almost unlimited models . The woman who modeled last Tuesday had come from Cardiff .

The two sketchbook poses are the first and last ones. The other two were done on better quality pastel paper . I am disappointed with the paper in the sketch book , which is to shiny to take more than one layer of chalk. The chalk “pencils” I have tried are also a bit disappointing , especially the white, which seems to have gritty inclusions. I need to invest in some new pastels and paper .

Life class

Another Tuesday life class and a female model at last. We were working in coloured pastels, which is my current medium, so I was pleased.

First a four short warm up poses, trying to establish the basic forms as quickly as possible.

Then two long poses, about half an hour each. I tried out the linear, non-blended style, which is tricky with a body, but I still like the vividness of the colours. It would work better on coloured paper.

Finally, four very quick poses of just five minutes each. These can often work out well. No linear stripes, they take time.

So all in all, ten drawings in three hours, which is not bad going.

Watercolour; an old shed in the garden 

This week’s class was about drawing and painting. We spent nearly two hours using fine line pens to build up a dense, textured drawing of a garden with an old shed in it, and then half an hour sloshing watercolour over it. It needed longer than that as the paint really needed to dry in stages. 


Although I quite liked the result, I think it probably looked better when it was just a drawing… 

Stripy pastel nude

2016-08-18_11-33-13.jpgI have produced another Degas-esque pastel, this time based on one of my own drawings. This is one of my favourite life sketches, which I have based another painting on. I am sure that I will use her again. It is interesting to work from an old drawing, rather than from a live model. Trying to get an exact rendition goes out the window. What you concentrate on is trying to make her look real, rather than “like her”.

The vertical line technique still works well. I have bought a box of 30 half stick Rembrandt pastels. These work well as they are slightly hard. Really soft pastel loses the individual lines too quickly. The limited range of colour is not a problem, as you can make almost any shade you want by laying on lines of additional colour.  I still find orange especially useful.

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Neuroscience 3

I’m pleased with the result. The lines give the colour life and they stop you trying too hard for detail. I have curved them in places to follow the body, and I think this could be done more.The paper is a rough, mid-brown pastel card. I think a more contrasting colour might be a good idea. But I like her

Working on my drawing skills

I’ve decided that I need to improve my basic drawing skills. To that end I am starting to do a lot of small copies of exemplars, starting with Leonardo da Vinci (may as well start high). It is also something I can do in the evening, perched on a sofa. Most painting requires and easel and all the other technology. Drawing just needs paper and pen.

I love drawing in ink. You are stuck with every line, whereas with pencil you can keep fiddling with it. I love charcoal too, but on a larger scale than this. Not suitable to sofas.