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.
Our tutor was ill, so we had to run the class ourselves. Or to be more honest, the model did. It was actually good to spend some time just drawing and not learning a new technique. The model said he was happy to do whatever we wanted. I don’t think anyone had the nerve to say “can you take all your clothes off so that we can all sit and stare at you?” Drawing clothes is quite a challenge, anyway.
I’ve made several sketchbooks now, and I wanted to cut some sort of maker’s plate into them. As I’ve been very busy printing, cutting a lino block seemed the best idea. As I often do I liked back over years of life drawings to find inspiration and found this one, which is an old favourite.
Then I cut a block, which I think works quite well.
Printing straight into the book is a bit but and miss, but that rather adds to it.
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.
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.