Tag Archives: Life drawing

Tuesday Stroud life drawing group

Went back to this group for the first time in a couple of years. It is nice to just sit and draw. One pose all evening. Nearly 30 people there of all abilities. 

I did just this one drawing, working on the linear feathering technique again. I am going to vary it next time, to follow the body more closely. I like the general composition, but her head and neck are out of proportion with the rest of her. This is on cheap wrapping paper, which can’t hold much pastel. I’ll use better next time. 


Lino printing with a press 

I bought myself a small, manual press, which works surprisingly well. 

Basically, it is a lever press which about doubles your force. I use a bit of felt on top of the paper. I might try just turning it all over as the base is a dense foam. 

I’ve been working up another two colour print based on one of my favourite life sketches, my Neuroscientist. 

I took the easy approach. Photographed the drawing and traced it directly off the tablet screen at the block size. As a neat, simple outline, I think she looks good. 

Then another tracing, coloured up to show a white body on a black background. I thought the seat was far too prominent so had another go. Tracing paper is wonderful stuff. 

The balance between body and chair is better. As I did the body on one sheet of tracing and the coloured chair on another, it was easy to try out a black body on a white background. 

I went for this. It really emphasises the slanting composition. 

The block had to be carved in reverse, which tracing paper excels at. I used a proper transfer paper between the tracing and the block, which worked beautifully. Before I carved the body block, I decided to cut it down to square. This removes most of her face, which wasn’t working out well and would be hard to cut in lino. I think the balance works better as well. 

The first print from the press. Far better than I was getting by rubbing the back with a spoon. I really liked the look of this and wished I hadn’t bothered with the second colour. The line work has stayed clear. 

The whole printing area after I had pulled three prints. 

Second colour added, which looks good, although the registration is not great. I still think pure black would have been better. 

Mother and daughter, if that’s the appropriate expression. 

Stroud drop in life class

I went back to the Stroud drop in life drawing class for the first time in a couple of years. Inspired to do so after visiting their annual show yesterday. It was lovely just spending three hours drawing however you wanted. I used pastels and tried Max Hale’s vertical line technique, which works so well for landscapes. A lovely, excellent model called Maisey, which made it an extra treat. I seemed to have been drawing middle aged men for years. 


Historic sketching

I have started posting sketches on the Urban Sketchers Facebook group, and this lead me to look back through old sketch books. This is quite a job, as I have a whole shelf of small sketchbooks stretching back to the 1970s.


Not to mention another shelf length of large sketchbooks going back to the 1990s.


In amongst them all, I found this sketch from 1972,  which I think is the earliest sketch of a real building I ever did, or at least saved. It is the second Villa Wagner, in the outskirts of Vienna. A beautiful building which I hope I might see again this summer.

And this little life sketch, which I think was the first life drawing I ever made. We had an opportunity to go to life classes when I was an architecture student. I think this dates from about 1975. All things considered, I think it’s isn’t too bad. Probably the first time I had ever dared look at a naked woman closely.

Two more fragmented nudes 

I’ve painted four nudes now, based on old life sketches and using a collage of hand made papers as the basic structure. I find it very hard to decide if I really like them or not. I study them a lot, so maybe that indicates something. 

I adopted a very high tech approach with both of these. I pasted up the paper collage and photographed it. Then photographed the sketch and loaded up both images as layers in Sketchbook Pro on my tablet. Making the life drawing semi -transparent, I could see the collage through it. then I rotated the collage to see which layout seemed to suit the sketch best. Then I painted the image in that orientation. 

The technique worked well, and by squaring up a print of the composite, I was able to transfer the drawing far more accurately than I normally can.