Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Experiences in Life Drawing

I have been trying a new-to-me medium and technique in life drawing. Due to the small room and problems that solvents can produce, we are asked to not use them. Understandably so. I wanted to try sketching the figure from life in oils so I ordered a few tubes of a water-mixable oil paint. Royal Talens Cobra paints to be specific. I ordered a tube of burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, and white. Here is my second attempt using the paints.
This is painted on Fabriano water color paper that I gessoed with three layers and then added an acrylic grey tone to. I am struggling with three things at once here, working with an unfamiliar medium, an unfamiliar technique, and of course the ever present building of figure drawing skills. It can seem overwhelming at times but actually, it is a heck of a lot of fun! The paint really does seem to be in between an acrylic and oil paint. It certainly doesn't glide like oil. It feels sticky to me. It dries faster than oil and slower than acrylic. I think I will be able to adapt to it with a little bit of practice though.
This oil sketch was done over a one hour period.
Here are two ten-minute gesture sketches. One has more detail than the other as I focused on different goals for each one.
With this one (above) I was really focusing more on getting the nuances of the gesture than on proportion. There were so many interesting things going on in this pose.
I worked to get the gesture on this one too but I also wanted to get a bit of the form in and the interesting angle of the head. The model is reclining against a wall with his right arm crooked over a pillow.
I am slowly working on my still life. I really would like to get it finished as I want to spend some time painting quick color studies. It is taking longer than I thought but then, I made it more complicated than I had intended. All part of the learning.
The sun came out today and is supposed to visit with us for a few days but it is still very chilly. Too chilly for my fingers to be out plein air painting even though I can't wait to get out with some frequency.
We shall see if spring decides to stay awhile this next week as there will be several minus tides (neap tides) and therefore tidepools to explore...


Theresa said...

They are all lovely in their own right. The life drawing is nice, but I find myself drawn to the standing gesture sketch the most. I know that pose, I know the attitude that goes with that pose, the others aren't real life for me
as they seem composed. Does that make sense?

R. Delight said...

Hey Theresa, what you are saying makes absolute sense. One of the drawbacks from drawing from life is that a model has to hold a pose, and it is hard work. The longer the pose the more the model has to be supported. One of the reasons I am taking the workshop in August is to learn how to move to the more dynamic poses the instructor does. I pretty much feel the same way you do. It is my goal to do dynamic poses without resorting to photographs which have their own set of issues. That means I have to be fast and skilled. That takes time and I am working on it! Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

Anonymous said...

The water oils sound interesting - something that isn't as quick drying as acrylic would be nice for working outdoors. The gesture sketches are also my favourites - just the essence captured.

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