Tag Archives: nude

She is done

I think she is wonderful. It is the contrast of her completely modern body against that fabulous backdrop of egyptian hieroglyphics that always catches my eye. This is what ancient Egyptians must have actually looked like. How Klimt got away with her flaunting herself like this on the main staircase into the new Royal gallery I don’t know. The Viennese were so messed up about propriety and sexuality. I can see why Freud had so much fun getting old Wienerins to talk smut to him. It’s an endlessly fascinating city. 

Two attempts at Eve

I saw a stunning statue of Eve by Thomas Brock, in the Tate Britain gallery last week. One of those beautiful Victorian nudes that were deemed “acceptable ” because they were supposedly biblical or mythical. 

Edouard Manet slapped that hypocrisy in the face with Olympia, who was just a naked woman. But Eve is beautiful. I have tried two pastel studies of her, neither of which I am satisfied with, but they are getting there. In theory she is pure white. In reality, nothing is pure white. 

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.

Four colour lino block 

As an experiment (I am very new to this medium) I have tried to print my girl on the dockside in four colours. I have also tried using acrylic paint mixed with a print medium as ink. Not that great really. I think proper ink is probably better. 


First, I cut a new block which simply had the figure cut out completely, so I could print colour where the water and dock were. I printed in two ways. On the right, I printed yellow acrylic over the whole block. When dry, I covered the dock area and inked the water only in blue acrylic and printed it over the yellow. Very dark, greenish outcome as the acrylic is very transparent. On the left, I have printed yellow ochre ink just over the dock, and then the blue acrylic over white paper at the top. 


Then I inked up the body /shadow block with two colours of ink. You have to resist the urge to roll from side to side, which would spoil the effect. 


Adding the body looks quite good on both, but the dark water doesn’t give the feel of a hot sunny day that I want. 


Finally the line block added. I like the results, but not sure it’s an improvement over the original simpler two colour block. That really looked hot. 

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. 

http://www.stroudlifedrawing.com/