Doing bits large:
or left-handed, or maybe
Is my portrait my face or…?
Towards abstraction in self-portraits:
Unlike down south, where it’s all much more regulated, there is a pleasing imperturbable casualness about life-drawing up here. There is no official model’s association or union, and hence no rigorous insistence on changing rooms, fixed breaks, specified payments, etc. In Melbourne we stick to a fairly rigid programme of five at 2 minutes, two at 10 minutes, then a break of 10, followed by three at 20 with intervening 10 minute breaks. Up here they start with five or six at 1 minute, and then a series of varying lengths, could be 10, 20, 35, with indeterminate breaks. Seems to work and no-one complains.
The models all seem to be amateurs – among others we’ve had a student, a handyman, a university lecturer and a bus-driver. And today’s Norm, the bus driver, also appears some weeks on the other side of the operating table as a participant drawer in his own right – and pretty good too!
a couple of blow-ups:
and a final devil:
A simple start – an imagined head, in graphite. For those who remember, uncannily like Clement Attlee!
And who said both sides of the face should be equal?
Three-quarter head often more interesting than full frontal:
So – three-quarter head, in masses rather than in line, with use of negative space to bring head forward, and done in water-soluble graphite, water applied.
But if line is preferred rather than mass, sometimes a continuous line drawing can work (and sometimes not):
Does one really need to show the face in full? Perhaps less is more:
And yet less still
A group effort – five people in turn worked on this drawing of me. Therefore the first person set the scale of the whole and made the decision on line or mass. It’s done in soluble graphite and I did the final wash over.
This next series is aiming (not particularly successfully) at some chiaroscuro and sfumato effects. The ideal was not to put a clean line down but to rely on mass. The first two are in uncompressed charcoal:
Now, on brown paper and using two colours – charcoal and white chalk:
And the even more startling white on black!
But line is so seductive, black on white
Or white on black (with graphite overlay to give a silvery sheen):
Still two more sessions to go in this course.
This series of from 1 to 20 minute-poses, of Julie at JCU Tuesday night, was done on a 9.7″ iPad using Autodesk Sketchbook and an Apple Pencil. It’s a very different experience to drawing on A3 or half-imperial on an easel. Everything shrinks down. Mind you, I doodle sometimes in an A5 pad – and that is smaller than the iPad screen. But the feel is very, very different.
It took me some time to decide which app was best suited from Autodesk, Procreate and Artrage. The unenhanced Autodesk’s simple brush set seemed most appropriate. The next decision was to use only Autodesk and get its feel without being distracted by any use of the other Apps.
I used the pencil, pen, charcoal and watercolour brushes, the blender and eraser. One huge plus is of course the ability to undo and to erase. I have not yet attempted to use layers.
I soon found out that it suited me best to zoom out to 150 or 200% – that gave room for expansion if needed.
Anyway, first doodles: