Step into the dungeon, I mean the advanced cast room a.k.a the dungeon. I thought a little sneak peek into our workspace in school would be insightful. Our casts are set up in a box with the sides painted black with an adjustable spotlight. Framed on the wall are 3 out of 4 step by step process drawings we use at the atelier as a helpful reminder of each stage we aim to achieve. To the left of the set up is my drawing, slowly chipping away at it one week at a time.
Week 5 into this cast drawing and I still need to adjust a few shapes/lines however it's coming together. Upon comparison, I can now see where the gesture has been lost in my drawing and what lines need to be adjusted to fix this. After half term coming back to this drawing with totally fresh eyes should help me make these adjustments.
Mouth studies - Once again we did feature studies, we never draw a feature in isolation. We practice placing them correctly in the portrait and render the closest connecting features around to understand how they work together. I have always fallen into the trap of being able to render a beautiful eye but not being able to connect the nose correctly. This has helped me understand why drawing features in isolation are not as useful as a whole.
Tom our wonderful figure model for this 2-week session (6 hours) loves a little classical pose. I am glad to be able to draw him again this term as I like to compare my progress and see if I can capture the model a little better upon the second attempt. Thus far I have achieved just that and I would like to share that with you below. I am actually really excited to start modelling this drawing after the half term for several reasons.
Below, for the first time, I will be using Burnt Sienna pastel to render this drawing. I did a small value scale on the side of my drawing to understand the range I will be able to push my drawing to. I cheated a little bit and added raw umber to the darkest part of the value scale, just in case I wanted accents of dark points in my drawing. Alongside my value scale, I drew a sphere to indicate how the light is falling on the model and how that will be represented on a round form.
In May I drew Tom for the first time, I find these subtler poses quite difficult and struggled with getting his gesture and proportions correct. He is a 6'1 male, however, in my earlier drawing he looks a lot shorter, the head seems unusually big for his body and generally, I had given him quite an animated look. 5 months later it's nice to see some clear progress, he looks leaner, taller and a little more anatomically correct now.
The all-seeing eye in the corner was to remind me of which side of the easel I was looking out from in case that was ringing a few alarm bells. With so many drawings going on throughout the week it's easy to forget things you may not have even consciously taken note of. I often forget what side of the easel I was looking out from which can completely change your entire perspective.
I can't wait to give this medium a go, this material doesn't have as high of a value range as willow charcoal or charcoal pencil, therefore, it would make my drawing a high key image. Willow charcoal, for example, would have around 9 values that we work with at the atelier I have less of a value range to play with but it is a small sacrifice for a pretty red drawing. Here, are some examples of Robert Liberace's drawings in the style I would love to try and achieve.
During half term I will be visiting Paris for 3 days. Watch this space for updates on that trip!