I have been attending life drawing classes every two weeks for a couple of years, it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience but with very varied results.
Our tutor has been teaching us to use a variety of media, including pencil, conte, charcoal, chalk, pen and ink, felt tip pen and water and also an orange/brown wash.
Improvements in my technique have been sporadic, some days I feel as though I can draw well, other days I despair.
You are not going to see the worst ones, mostly they are embarrassingly bad. Here is a selection of the ones I feel happiest about. Its odd how one week I can make a successful two minute sketch with my ‘wrong’ hand and the next week every thing I draw is quite awful.
Gradually I have come to realise that my drawings are always better when I concentrate on the head and shoulders of the models.
Trying something different here, I have rotated the squares around a central point, a set of six are one way round, the other six are reversed from the outside to the inside.
I really wanted to exploit the colour variations of the overlapping areas, I painted with watercolour using a different colour for each distinct shape, not the individual shapes formed by the overlap. The inside shape in each square is either Indian yellow or magenta, then the remains of each square painted either ultramarine blue or cadmium red. Each overlapped shape is then changed by how many colours are laid over it.
This is a trial so there are numerous mistakes but I like the way it’s going. Next time I shall move the two sets further apart and swap the colours around too.
Here’s a painting of my father’s, undated but I think from the early 70’s. He was doing quite a lot of work like this then, quite large paintings with geometric shapes painted in flat bold colours. As with most of his work from that era, the frame is a simple aluminium L section, nothing to divert the eye from the image. How times have changed – he was offering it for sale for a mere £15!