Assignment 5

Exploring the human figure through yoga asanas (postures)

In this chapter, I was drawing through a series of yoga postures gathering ideas that I aim to explore now, through a more free and experimental approach.

RED SERIES- watercolor and fototransfer:

DEEP BACKBENDS- The fearbird

“The fearbird” is a personal symbol that comes back to me often, a flutter of wings in the chest when going into deep backbends, and then the release when the pose is completed. A flock of birds, or wings or the stiff frozen bird of fear are images that have often appeared in my drawings before and it is an idea I want to continue exploring.

Here I am in Laguvajrasana imagining a flock of birds released from my heart.

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I make a series of experiments in A4 of different deep backbends- inspired by Louise Bourgeois using red watercolor:

It is definitely the last one that I will keep developing. I see the figure in watercolor as it is now, with the “fearbird” as a foto transfer of a flock of real birds. Here some small tests:

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ROOTS

Roots growing through my feet or hands is another image that comes up in several poses like where the contact to the Earth is very dominant. It could be a close up of only the hands or feet with the roots growing.

Finally I crop the figure til only the feet are left- standing still in Samastitih- equal standing- stability and roots.

 

Roughly drawn shapes in watercolor (Louise Bourgeois, Marlene Dumas). But then I am attracted to the mix of the more illustrative feet of the last drawing, combined with the abstract shape of roots or connection.

I am testing various other wet on wet or watercolor approaches, but will stick to the red version with the fototransfer of the birds.

A third image I want to develop is Garbha Pindasana- the embryo in the womb pose. The name alone lends itself to a lot of imagination.

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I am exploring how this can work in a series:

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But it is definitely this version I want to develop:

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This seemed to all fit very well til I got more experimental with the first posture- Garbha Pindasana and realize it really looks weird and difficult to understand if you are not very familiar with the pose (A4):

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I will change for Balasana- the childs pose- a similar message but a simpler shape:

 

These are the final drawings in A4:

In a series it looks like this (3xA4) :

 

I am happy I experimented with fototransfer and explored the postures much more loosely and less detailed, it feels like new territory again. I am rather happy with the two drawings to the right, the feet and the backbend. The womb pose does not quite work yet.


YOGA MAT DRAWINGS

In this experiment I wanted to explore the movement of the yoga practice without focusing on the external shape it takes. So I cut brown packaging paper the size of my yogamat.

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And was drawing the marks left by my hands and feet on this mat. In this first version I was simply outlining the hands and feet with a black Uniball pen while moving through the yoga sequence. In the end I added white ink to clarify some surfaces:

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Here are some details I really like:

 

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I like the ghostlike character of the lines, but decided to try out a thicker blacker line so I switched to charcoal sticks instead:

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and some details:

Here the smearing of the charcoal created some surface and I like this mix of multiple lines and some tone.

For these two drawings I kept interrupting the practice though, to outline the hands and feet, and now I wanted to experiment with covering my hands and feet with charcoal so that I could leave marks while moving fluidly:

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Details:

This felt wonderful to draw, and I think you can feel the movement, but it all got very smeared. Lastly I added some outlines of the feet in white charcoal to bring back some clearer shape. I am quite happy with this mix of flow and line.

Lastly I repeat the same experiment stepping into acrylic paints, to try and keep the fluidity while preserving the marks as well:

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Details:

In the end I dripped paint and ink over the marks, Jackson Pollock like. This version was really fun but the result is chaotic.

Finally I could of course not resist a photo session of my paint covered feet:

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I am really happy with these yoga mat drawings. More with the process than with the results. It feels very much in line with my intention to explore this subject from a personal experiential place, rather than just looking at the shapes of the postures. It was  a very creative and spontaneous process that feels freeing and joyful.


BACKDROP mini animation

I was looking at the series of picture of moving figures by Eadweard Muybridge, and experiencing my first backdrop after a long break- and practicing gesture drawing with action lines… Til it all came together in the idea of this small book of animation.

Every page has one part of the movement of dropping back. Flicking through the book creates a mini animation of the movement with the figure dropping back and standing up again. This blog does not allow videos… but maybe the idea is clear through these photos:

The backdrop happens twice in the booklet, dropping back, down, up, back down and up again.


 

COLLAGE AND LINE – cutting through yoga magazines

Despite my keen interest in the subject, it is rare that I read yoga magazines. I used to work in fashion a life time ago, and I guess I have just had my share of idealized, beautified versions of women, of body, of life. I even feel a little frustrated flipping through these magazines now, but feel satisfaction at ripping them apart and cutting body parts out. As I have mentioned before, my experience of yoga is definitely not only one of serene smiles in the midst of lotus flowers, but rather a tool in working out some rather dark corners. Inspired by the work of Wangeshi Mutu, here I am swinging the scissors for some collage combined with drawings, all A4:

Cosmic Warrior Mama:

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Natureasana:

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Creatureasana:

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Blissful eye:

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I like the slick, clean look of leaving the background white and the figures standing out with a clear shape in the 3 first pages, so I decide to stop here. Originally I had some ideas of adding ink splashes or watercolor, but this “clean look” attracts me more. It also links back to the magazine world of beauty images.


 

ONE LINE FLOWING THROUGH THE SERIES- A CONCERTINA BOOK

Similarly to when I discovered Tracy Emin, when I first looked at Chloe Piene’s drawings, I could really not appreciate them. But now having tried to draw similarly, I start seeing the beauty of them and how they have a very personal language.

Here I have interpreted yogaposes with a ragged flowing loose line, inspired by her work, all A5 :

Downward dog and backbend- these are my favourites and in orange just to try something different. Chloe Pienes drawings are always in black.

 

Lagu Vajrasana and shoulder stand:

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana standing and Paschimottanasana, seated forward bend:

It was again very freeing to use this wild crazy line .

And from here came the idea to draw one line through the series, connecting pose with pose like the breath connects the movement. For this I will use my small concertina sketchbook, that will then unfold to reveal the whole series in one line.

I start by sketching out the “correct” poses ligthly in pencil and then draw with the wilder free line in black pens. This is not the series as I would practice them, it is a sequence that unfolded drawing it.

It is not so easy to photograph- but the end result is a concertina sketchbook with 32 panels:

As it happened over a long period of time, the line is quite different and even in different pens. At times I think it comes close to Chloe Piene’s wobbly line, at times more strict and straight with geometrical elements and at times very “sketchy”.

This is how the series look:

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And some close ups of my favorite moments:

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For assignment 5 , I connected two parts of my life that I love- drawing and yoga. I learned a lot about both! It has been very useful to continue with figure drawing. I love drawing the human body and will definitely continue learning here.

I was afraid I would fall straight into cliches about yoga art with this subject, but although my drawings are still too illustrative at times, I believe I avoided the most obvious pitfalls- not a single “OMmmmm” sign here!

I have really enjoyed looking closer at several contemporary artists work and let myself be inspired to explore their techniques or styles. My approach has become looser and more spontaneous through all these different experiments.

Through this assignment, I created the opportunity to use various media and combinations like watercolor with fototransfer and collage with line drawing, and also very different supports- from yoga mat sized drawings to two different series in tiny books.

Gesture drawing

Practicing gesture drawing again to learn more about the human figure in movement. Here I am focusing on the lines of action.

From online resources, 1 and 2 minute quick drawings:

 

Then I continued with focusing on yoga poses and their line of action.

 

 

Here some quick gesture drawing of poses from the primary series from memory:

Postures step by step

Here I plan to draw some of the Ashtanga yoga asanas I usually practice physically as an exercise in studying the figure in the postures, and to gather ideas in my sketchbook so as to then let go of these precise forms and allow more experimentation and flow.

Starting point: Samastitih, equal standing.

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Raising my arms into “ekam”, the first inhale, feeling the simultaneous pull upwards and downwards, grounding.

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Dwi, trini..

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I am looking for how the pose FEELS. Here I can see the hands and feet growing roots into the ground, connecting. These roots can dominate the drawing. They are an intricate system of letters and words maybe.

This is me doing Salabasana and upward dog:

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I need to take a look at feet and hands..

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Downward dog

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These above poses are repeated over and over again during the practice. The repetition of these more geometrical simple poses in the same drawing could create interesting patterns and shapes.

The warrior sequence:

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Vyrabhadrasanas- the warrior sequence- clearly defining a goal and following it fearlessly. Pointing arrows.

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The triangle poses- geometrical again and possible to build together in sequences, patterns. Here I drew the arms too long and think of playing with amplifying that further- long long arm reaching up.

I also just did some fototransfer experiments ( see separate post) and am intrigued by using dense text that can look like skin. The left side pose would be possible to explore with a bodysuit of small patterns /letters/symbols.

Here some trials of that idea using collage and newspaper:

Connecting heaven and Earth, the arm long reaching upwards and the figure merging with the background. The newspaper parts would be a phototransfer of the yoga sutras of Patanjali in sanskrit for example, or possibly newspaper text in Kannada language.

Padangushtasana and Pada Hastasana- they look very similar but feel different. For Padangushtasna I hold on to my toes, for Pada Hastasana the palm of my hands are under my feet.

I drew these above drawings on old pages of exercises in mark-making and really like the effect- I will use some more old drawings as a background.

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So here I was just having a little fun with an old drawing of strawberries…With pink yogaposes 🙂 The persons like small insects climbing with their funny poses on the huge stawberries.

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Virabhadrasana B- the second warrior pose. Rotating gathering of strength and shooting out towards a goal.

Here I am using a page of sutras in sanskrit from the Fototransfer experiment:

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The pose is Utthita Hasta Padangustasana and not very successful, but I really like the skin like texture of the background and possibly the contrast with the pink Uniball pen, but it has to be done differently.

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A few more poses.. I don’t see how to develop the upper standing poses further, but a close up of the upper body of Utkatasana could be interesting.

Paschimottanasana:

 

Paschimottanasana is an intense forward bend, cultivating humility and looking inward . This is a recurring old image as well, the feeling of a huge weight placed on the back like a huge stone. Sometimes a Mysore teacher will lay on the back to produce that effect and it maybe looks scary but it feels amazing- like exploring inner corners that were previously hidden. Here I tried it out in pencil, black ink and watercolor.

Kurmasana/ Supta Kurmasana:

 

Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana- the turtle poses-  are the first leg behind the head postures of the primary series. Leg behind the head is an intense hip opener and if the contrary- the backbends- invite to open the heart also emotionally, these poses invite to set clear boundaries and learn to say No. I was playing with the idea of a turtles shell of course because of the name, but will not pursue that.

Prasarita Padottanasana:

Here again I come back to old ideas with the two drawings on the left.  When in this pose, it almost feels like the body gets turned inside out, and there is an intense focus on the space between the shoulderblades. A new “I”, “eye” emerging. And seeing the “fearbird”, my own symbol for hidden fears. This is an idea I definitely need to develop.

Garbha Pindasana:

Garbha Pindasana- the embryo in the womb posture. This is a pose I have never tried drawing before, maybe because it comes easy for me to do but is difficult to draw. Now I see a lot of potential- the name alone brings a lot of ideas.

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I can imagine the posture in a womb like bubble, rather dark and around it again old sanskrit texts , maybe trough phototransfer.

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Some “womb” experiments. I am not sure what media would be the best yet, but this is a pose I am curious to explore further.

 

Here some more details of hands and feet:

 

Marichyasana A, the first in a series of 4. Here it would be possible to play with some more extreme foreshortening:

IMG_0744Some more hands and feet in various stages of tension:

 

Savasana, the corps pose or simply “take rest” is the last pose of the practice and the last pose I will draw here:

 

Part 5: Written element

Exploring the human figure through yoga asanas (postures)

 

Part 4 of this course showed me how much I love drawing the human figure. Yoga has been part of my life for over a decade and here I want to explore the human form through the yoga practice.

I am used to a daily physical yoga practice, that I have had to pause for a moment. Here  I would like to explore the practice through drawing instead. So I will look at the physical aspect of the poses, and still have so much to learn about drawing anatomy. But more than that, I am interested in how the poses FEEL. Less than exploring yoga as a subject, I am searching for a personal drawing experience, just like a yoga experience on the mat.

I see the danger of falling into too illustrative or too anatomical drawings with this subject, so that is something I want to avoid.  Also , if I look at the representation of yoga in the media, it seems to always be linked to beautiful bodies, blissful smiles and lotus flower filled environments.  While this is true too, in my own experience yoga is also linked to the alarm going off before sunrise and a lot of sweat and pain and discomfort that most serious yoga practitioners I have met take on to deal with their own darkness and feelings and addictions.

In my research , I will focus on artists using real/unreal elements or finished/unfinished parts rather than any yoga related  art, and explore artists that have a more personal and emotional way of drawing, like for example Louise Bourgeois and Marlene Dumas. Inspired by Wangeshi Mutu, I will use collage to reinterpret some found yogarelated images combined with patterns, and drawn elements from imagination. “The fearbird” is a personal symbol that comes back to me often, a flutter of wings in the chest when going into deep backbends, and then the release when the pose is completed. A flock of birds, or wings or the stiff frozen bird of fear are images that will surely appear in the drawings.

The first step is however to better my general drawing skills of the human body . To give this some structure, I will follow the Ashtanga yoga primary and intermediate series of asanas (postures) , which I would normally do physically . I will draw through the asanas as an exercise to learn them, and to gather ideas in my sketchbook, but then let go of the precise form and allow more experimentation and flow.

As for most parts of this course, rather than one single final drawing, I see several different approaches of the subject with various experiments using mixed media, incorporating fototransfer and collage as well as experimenting further with ink drawings and bleach.

The yoga practice is a series of postures so it lends itself to a series of drawings. I plan to create a small series on A4, using watercolor and fototransfer. Then experimenting with  bigger support cutting brown wrapping paper to the size of my yoga mat. And finally to use a small concertina sketchbook to flow through the series.

 

 

 

Tutor report Assignment 4

 

Formative feedback

Student name Clara Maciulis Student number 513759
Course/Unit Drawing 1: Drawing skills Assignment number 4
Type of tutorial (eg video/audio/written) Written

Overall Comments

Clara, thank you for submitting assignment 4, it was great to see some of your work in the flesh. You have been ambitious with scale and media. At times you fall into drawing from inside your head rather than closely observing what is in front of you and your proportions suffer as a result, you are for the want of a better word an emotional drawer in that you respond with your heart to what you see, you are expressive and imaginative. Some of the work you have produced for this section is quite exposing and there is almost a sense of pain and vulnerability, I’m unsure if this is intentional. You’ve chosen interesting and challenging poses to draw for the most part, bold and dynamic.

Assignment 4 Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Painting Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment.  In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

 

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

  1. Figure study using line

You have been meticulous here, particularly in the second piece, the colour choice of your pen and composition is interesting, it is ephemeral and sits between fantasy and reality. I can see the hard work you put in here, it feels precious. For me this does lean towards illustration and reminds me of those heavily detailed mindfulness colouring books which are super popular in recent years. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this of course but it may be worth considering which degree pathway you would rather be on, drawing is an option on the illustration pathway also so it is something to think about as you obviously have a skill here.

I am happy about the comment of the drawing being between fantasy and reality- something I like to explore further. I would prefer avoiding falling into too detailed illustration though and will be careful with that in the next chapter. I feel more drawn to learn how to express more with less meticulous detail.

 

  1. Figure study using tone

The poses you have chosen are really bold and work well, as mentioned above I think you got lost in the activity of drawing – my guess is you enjoyed yourself but lapsed concentration for observation of detail and proportion, you can afford to be looser and more gestural which would be more forgiving of these discrepancies so if you want to let go then really let go! Check out this student’s work on WeAreOCA.

Wonderful loose and spontaneous looking work! I would love to be able to express myself like that in drawing 🙂 And although my studies in tone maybe look rather quick and loose, they were not and I really tried to work on the proportions so this is definitely something I still need to learn through lots and lots of more practice.

 

  1. A portrait combining line and tone

I think you have been really brave in this section of the course choosing to look closely at yourself. Using Giacometti and Schiele for inspiration you’ve produced a varied series of drawings some more successful than others. Drawing the figure will take more than just a section of this course to master so it’s great you have enjoyed it and want to explore and develop further. Keep looking at Da Vinci’s anatomical drawings for reference. You mentioned yourself that you carried out lots of experiments rather than honing in to produce one drawing for the assignment, I think this is characteristically been you throughout the course, you clearly love materials, exploration and learning and are hurried to find it all out at once. When you allow yourself to focus you refine your ideas, you produce considered works you’ll just have to get into the habit of reigning back every now and again.

 

I particularly like your experiments with ink and bleach and the bleeding vs the linear aspects. I think there is room here for further exploration in part 5. Think carefully about your colour choices as you move ahead, the drawings inspired by Emin are interesting, the pastel contrasted with the black works well. I also enjoyed seeing the Gormley inspired work, I think this sort of thing could work with your yoga poses quite well, where the detail is less important than the pose.

Yes, thank you, this is definitely a line of experimenting to continue!

Continue looking at Louise Bourgeois, also Marlene Dumas, Elizabeth Peyton and Wangechi Mutu. Chloe Piene may also interest you.

I will write a separate post about these artists, but a first quick look reveals a general impression of form and blocks of tone without much detail and pattern- very far from the drawings in line I made for Assignment 4 and definitely a direction I feel more tempted to explore now. Ink and bleach, maybe some watercolor and spontaneous drawing !

I wonder would a concertina sketchbook work if you intend to make a small drawing everyday.

This sounds like an interesting idea to present a long series of small drawings like a practice of the poses, one flowing after the other. Or maybe a long long roll of paper with one pose after the other.

I’m really glad you got to look at the Drawing People book too.

Yes, a very inspiring book!

Sketchbooks

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You have produced a mountain of drawings, well done! When you have used yourself and honed in on your torso these works are interesting and captivating, you use coloured pencil sensitively. There are lots of experimental works on a variety of surfaces. The looser, gestural works are more successful than some of the more detailed pieces, continue to practice facial features proportions, hands and feet. The x-ray over drawings are also an interesting, honest series of work.

Loose and gestural- explore further!

 

Research

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

You have carried out extensive research for this section of the course, openminded and tried out some of the techniques in your own work. Continue to do this, marrying your research and making, elaborate on what you think is successful about the work you are looking at and why. Say less on the biography of the artist.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

You always immerse yourself fully in each part of the course and your learning, you produce a large volume of work describing what you are doing on your blog, some of your posts are as a result lengthy but this is to be expected.

Suggested reading/viewing

Context

With section 5 in mind look at the artists mentioned throughout the report, try to focus your ideas and experiments to produce a series of work. Look back through what you have produced and pick out the successful things to take forward and develop, keep in mind your contextual studies to make reference to within your artist’s statement.

 

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Hone in on the successful elements of your work to take forward.
  • Respond with a critical eye to the work of others.
  • Be careful of becoming too illustrative if this is not your intention.

Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment.   Written or video/audio

Well done, I look forward to your next assignment.

Tutor name Joanne Mulvihill-Allen
Date 24 June 2017
Next assignment due 31 July 2017

I am very happy with the encourageing tone of the report and excited to try out new ideas for the next Assignment.

 

Back to Life drawing at Pranotos Gallery

Today I went back to a life drawing class at Pranoto’s Gallery in Ubud.

I have spent months studying the human figure for Part 4, so I was very disappointed in my first 5 minute drawings:

But I realized I need time to warm up and was much more happy with the following 20 minute drawings:

And the final 2 times 20 minutes of the same pose:

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I realized I have learned a lot about proportions and feel more confident. In this last drawing I believe I captured both the pose and the expression. What I need to consider more and work on is cropping and finding a more interesting approach. Here I was still just focused on “getting it right”.


Second life drawing class today for this new part of the course.  Today’s model looked like a photo model and posed like in a fashion show. She had an unusually long elegant neck, accentuated by her short hairstyle. (To be honest I would love to draw a less image perfect woman, that feels confident in her body anyway, with some fat and wrinkles and everyday poses..)

Today I was in a better flow and found it much easier to draw the right proportions . I realized that I have learned a lot during this course! Again, I focused entirely on “getting it right” again, not cropping interestingly. I guess it really felt like that is what I want to get out of going there- being able to draw the human proportions correctly and fast.

I used only colored pencils (Caran D’Ache) , these are 5 minute poses:

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10 minute poses with slight cropping

A single 20 minute pose:

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Here I really struggled again and picked up my eraser although I really had intended to NOT use it. It was a frustrating drawing and looks like it too…

The final 3 times 20 min the same pose:

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I am happy with this last drawing. I think the different colours work here, the pose and proportions are ok. I like that I kept the cushion just lightly outlined.

All in all I felt much more relaxed and in control than last time. I see that the gesture drawing exercises are giving some results, so that is definitely something to continue .


Third life drawing class for this part of the course today. I really really liked the model who was choosing really original and interesting poses, instead of looking like a top model on a cat walk.

I struggled with the first 5 minute poses though- there seems to be like a necessary messing up of the first trials before getting into the flow.

I was much more happy with the following ones:

Then the first 20 minute pose- with a bean bag:

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The last 2 times 20 minute the same pose. Today I made a point of cropping some of the poses and not always draw the whole figure:

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I am happy with this drawing. The face worked well and the rest of the upper body. I like that I stopped on time for the legs.

I had a little more time , so tried the same pose in pink Uniball pen:

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I like the scribbly effect and the color, the pose works as well. Here I chose to crop the arm as well which maybe looks a little creepy. I could have chosen a slightly different angle to let the arm be cropped more naturally.

I realize how much I am learning from these lifedrawing classes! This was my last one here as I am  moving countries next week and will have to find a new one there. Hopefully an exciting way to connect to a community of local artists.

 

Assignment 4

FIGURE STUDY USING LINE- Seated model in an upright chair

MAGIC GARDEN

I am inspired by this little drawing that I saw in the exhibition by Jose de Almada Negreiros in Lisbon. Like here, I want to draw in ink , a very detailed darker background and the figure in light lines in front of that.

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I used to love drawing imaginary leaves and flowers and forests before I embarked upon this course and decided to learn how to draw from reality. Now I imagine a background of a magical forest with leaves and flowers as an intricate pattern and then my own whole figure in front of that. Because of my recent experiences with breast cancer, this figure is skinny and scared and suddenly foreign elements like an X Ray or a syringe appear in between the foliage.

I would never have imagined I would like drawing self portraits and have always been the person hiding behind the camera lens , but in this chapter I have looked more on myself and drawn my own body and especially torso and breasts more than I would ever have expected. It has felt like a way of dealing with body, illness, body image, fear.

Reading the description of the assignment again, I realize I have to use a chair of some sort, which was not in my original vision. But maybe I can crouch on it or saddle the chair in some more unusual manner. Sitting there calmly crosslegged does not fit what I want to express.

First tentative approaches to the composition in my A4 sketchbook:

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Getting seriously frustrated about having to use a chair.. I had so much fun with the figure drawing and now this chair is challenging me again!

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Chair , chair, chair..

I have asked my partner to take some pictures of me on a kitchen chair. I need some reference to study the poses on the chair. I already know that I want to use ink as it gives me so many beautiful options of different intricate lines.

 

I chose a pose with one outstretched leg as I really like the composition with the strong diagonal it creates. This is A4:

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I am debating if I have a face or not and decide that not. I want the figure to be very white and clean, expressing the human form with just this single clean outline. This pose expresses perfectly many feelings I have. It is somewhat trapped but still rather relaxed and confident. There is a stark contrast between the empty light figure and the wild full background.

I was seeing this in blue or turquoise all along, but once I started playing with the inks, a beautiful old “goldgreen” ink became the only answer.

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I start by outlining the figure and chair, using the eraser so much that I spoil the first sheet of A1 paper, which I then just played with and it became this “happy accident” drawing, filling in small creatures where the paper is ruined..

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So I learned to use very very light marks and no eraser for a second go, and had a chance to fix the front foot and the chair.

This is the final drawing on A1 aquarel paper with Rohner & Klinger Old gold green ink nr 754 :IMG_8101 (1)

I am happy with this drawing. I dreamt it, I planned it, and then drew it. I spent a very long time drawing leaves compared to the figure, but I think it works well together. Also the leaves really allowed me to experiment with all kind of marks.  Although the figure is made up of just a few light lines, I believe it has a real three-dimensionality too it.

There is a mix of reality and fantasy that I like in the drawing.


FIGURE STUDY USING TONE- Reclining model

ISA

My dear friend Isa has come for a visit and is ready to be my model. We are looking at drawings by Toulouse Lautrec and Egon Schiele and talking about the nude and the role of the model, about prostitutes and the image of “cheap girls” and seduction.  Isa pulls out a pair of black bas from her tiny suitcase, an accessory adding to this story. I am interested in exploring the (almost) nude with the eyes of a friend and a woman. Isa is exquisite and elegant and I love her dearly. Will this still be visible? Or where will the story carry us?

I really liked this first pose when she just fell back on the bed , but was not happy with how I managed to capture it- something to practice with more patience.

I decided to develop the pose to the left.  I like the more dynamic diagonal it creates and connects to the creases of the sheet. She is curled up and protecting herself, so it is not at all a seducing pose. What has happened? What does she feel? Small test:

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I use A1 carton brown wrapping paper- I like the feel and surface and also the freedom that comes with using cheap sturdy paper (after spoiling the above A1 aquarellsheet). It is also another part of the story- cheap girl on cheap paper.

A1- I start by using coloured pencils in pastel tones. It is too soft and gentle. I had the idea to use white ink to give the skin a sheen, but am afraid the paper will get wobbly.

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Finally I switch to dry pastel pencils in more vivid colours:

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The proportions worked out well. There is something sweet and cocooning in the pose that makes me want to protect her. But I am not happy with the technique of this drawing. It is neither rough nor detailed. I decide to heighten the contrast and add some brown, also to hide the face with a curl of hair and add the shape of the bed:

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This got a little more interesting. But I decided to explore my initial idea with black and white ink and not worry about the paper getting slightly wobbly:

A1 carton paper, black and white Windsor and Newton ink:

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I think the atmosphere of the drawing is much better captured in ink. It is drawn rather roughly, not detailed which also works well with the paper and the subject.

I decide to try the second pose and be braver, drawing even less carefully.  I look at Tina Berning’s drawings of  “girls on cheap paper”  and am trying for a more “modern” look.

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I am much more happy with this drawing. I think the more rough markmaking in ink fits the paper  and the subject. I like how it is clearly made up of blocks of tone. The proportions are not perfect , but the atmosphere and pose are strong. It is not a seductive nude, it is a personal moment witnessed and has a lot of potential stories behind it.


 

A PORTRAIT OR SELF- PORTRAIT combining line and tone

Giacometti and colour

I loved exploring Alberto Giacomettis portraits for the research section and decided to try drawing inspired by them, following lines over and over again. The idea came when I saw my own reflection in the kitchen window on a dark night and as all the details fell away, I clearly saw the patterns of lines that looked like a Giacometti drawing.

IMG_8015First trials in the sketchbook, then I immediately switched to A1 with enthusiasm:

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I really like how the kitchen turned out, but I am not so happy with the figure here. And I really need to take off those headphones.

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I like this last one closer up the best (Conte sticks on A1):

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It really looks like me, and at the same time I believe you recognize that it is aiming at Giacometti’s style. I had so much fun drawing this!

In the sketchbook section, I played around at drawing inspired by Egon Schiele :

And now I have this idea to develop a portrait with the lines of Giacometti but the colours of Schiele.

First attempt with colored pencils on black paper A4:

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I quite like this as a portrait in crazy colours, but it has lost the initial idea. I am confused by the description of the Assignment brief saying that the face needs to be in believable proportions and not face front. I guess this takes away all likeness to Giacometti already as his faces are facing front and elongated…

Second attempt with oil pastels on black A4:

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Lets try this elongated but still inclined:

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I switch back to colored pencils A1 :

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Next attempt, A1 coloured pencils again:

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Terribly serious despite the colours and too small on the page.

Final attempt in oil pastels on A1- with more wild lines and the long thin neck of Giacometti, while the head is still tilted.
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I am ready to give up this idea , and approach the portrait from a new angle, but it was a lot of fun on the way.  I will leave these pictures here here on the log as a curious detour…

I decide to focus on colour patches again instead. Here are some trials in sketchbook:

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on a brown paper bag that feels like skin:

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This page with mostly “normal” colours feels best (A4):

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I decide to develop that on A3 with more normal proportions for the features:

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This is just a little too boring, so I switch to a french newspaper background :

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SCRIBBLING

For exercise 3 ” a portrait from memory or the imagination”, I drew this “scribbly” portrait in orange Uniball pen in my A4 sketchbook.

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I really enjoyed this and want to explore this “scribbly” loose drawing style in various colours further .

I tried applying this to the drawing of a staircase and outdoor scene on newspaper for Assignment 3, which did not work out so well, so I am curious to explore it for the portrait instead.

Sketchbook pages:

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It is interesting to mix different colours, in similar tones or contrasting ones and just scribble several layers as I tried here above.

I decide to develop a portrait of my partner in mixed blue and green. I like that gentle colour combination on the white paper, the scribbles are readily visible and as a side note, these are his favourite colours that he wears all the time.

A3, Aquarell paper, blue and green Uniball pens:

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I am happy with the scribbles and the combination of blue and green, also the combination of finished/unfinished. I also captured the expression well and the contrast between his long feminine hair and soft lips with the other angular masculine traits of his face. The proportions are not great though. He had a very slight forward tilt that I did not handle well.

For the next round we tie the hair back in a ponytail:

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The proportions are off again. I have captured the expression well, but the features are not correct. I liked using all different marks to indicate the different textures.

I have to admit to myself, that I am still at a stage where the face has to be looking straight forward for me to fully handle the proportions of the features correctly. After all this experimenting I still like my little imagined orange fairy portrait the best, so I decide to draw this here again.

A3, Aquarell paper with pink and orange Uniball pens:

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I have really learned a lot this part of the course again and I have loved it. I still need a LOT more practice. I would like to continue practicing the human figure and especially the moving figure for the personal project of Part 5.

For the portrait- I jumped too quickly into trying all kinds of experiments instead of focusing on the basics. The features are still out of proportion and none of all the drawings is one I really want to send as THE assignment piece. This is a lesson too 🙂 I would have benefited from choosing one idea and developing it calmly to more perfection instead.

I have looked at a lot of artists for this chapter and have tried to imitate the style of some, which has been a lot of fun, and I learned so much.

There are two techniques I still have not found the time or space to explore- monoprinting and phototransfer, so I hope to try that out for the next chapter instead.