Friday, 28 September 2012

The body in motion

Last Friday to Sunday I participated in a life drawing course which was entirely focused on the moving body. I.e. the model didn't stand still for 10-20 minutes at a time as is normally the case in a life drawing class. Yes, it's as difficult as it sounds and, at times,extremely frustrating. We had an excellent teacher - Georg Kleber - and I really felt I had learned a lot by the end. The downside is that not many 'pretty' pictures came out of the learning, but that's not really the point.

We spent quite a long time 'warming up', doing stick figure drawings of the moving model. The idea was to draw the direction of the movement rather than the actual model. Next we did kind of 'sausage' figures. The model posed for 30 seconds at a time. We had an amazing model who is a dancer. She moved so gracefully and was so flexible that quite often I wasted the 30 seconds with gawping and wondering how she could get her foot behind her ear. (Incidentally, I found concentrating on doing only one thing all day - without any interruptions! -  quite a shock to the system after being in 'baby land' for so long. On the first day I was so exhausted I had to go to bed 2 hours earlier than usual).

We filled sheets and sheets of these kind of sketches

The model then did a constant sequence of three movements and we had to draw the three poses. Here's one example:
 Next we were told to stop concentrating on drawing the outline of the body and focus on mass and the direction of movement. If we had time, we could add definition lines. I didn't realise how obsessed I am with drawing outlines until that point! Again, the model created a mini choreography of movements which she repeated over and over again for about 5-10 minutes. I worked with pastel/conté pastel to get the rough movement. And then, yes, in an almost OCD manner, added definitions lines....ok, I outlined the figures. Couldn't help myself!

 I did manage to move away from outlining (a tiny bit) as the course went I'll show in my next post.
What a cliffhanger!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Another sketchbook finished!

And I only started it in May! Uh...May 2010 that is (hangs head in shame). I did work in other books simultaneously but it's still pretty pitiful. I will do better in my next one!

The last few drawings were...can you guess? Yup, baby-related.
A fairly futile attempt to sketch Elaine from life. She never stops moving.

Coloured pencils used for 'Dino' the baby walker/ride on wonder

Finally nap time!
Not posted upside down - this is how I draw it. Standing, looking down into her cot.

Here's a couple of my favourite pages from the book. We visited the Yukon for a canoeing trip in September 2010. It was an amazing holiday. At home I painted a few of the buildings in/nearby Whitehorse which had caught my eye.
A B&B in the centre of Whitehorse

A cabin near the lake where the float planes land
The local cinema - very cool. Unfortunately there were no good films on.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Naked strangers

The second post in one week: I'm on fire! Well, slightly singed at the edges anyway. A phonecall with a friend last week was so totally devoid of good craic on my side (due to my contented but current very un-chatworthy life) that I realised I had to do something. When your most exciting piece of news is that baby pooed in the know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel (or in my case, shower). 
I did consider a few days in a spa hotel but (possibly foolishly) I plumped for a 3 day art course instead:Akt in Bewegung It's life drawing, but the theme is 'movement' so...uh...presumably the models move. Expect many pictures of squiggly lines and frustrated brushmarks. It's not until the 23 of September so I could always try and practise beforehand. After consideration, the course probably won't be a great conversation piece: "So what did you do at the weekend?"
"I stared really hard at naked strangers...and got my hands all dirty with charcoal." 
Still, I think I'll enjoy it.

On Sunday I wandered out and sat on the Art Nouveau fountain in a square nearby to draw one of the bronze statues on it. Can you guess what it is?

That's right! (ahem). It's a merboy, playing a shell-flute and sitting on a stag. Obviously. Here's what the real thing looks like from a more normal angle:
It is a lovely fountain.The figures represent water signs apparently.Maybe I'll get around to drawing the other three at some point (but sitting on this side of the fountain means more people can see me...eek).

Elsewhere this week...
Elaine got her first pair of leather shoes, specifically for crawling in the dirt:

 She doesn't have one foot freakishly larger than the other...that's my artistic interpretation (cough, cough)
She was overwhelmed with excitment on seeing the new shoes.
 Finally, a sneak preview of the ridiculous comedy outfit I'm sewing for her birthday on Halloween.
This is the practical version of the outfit. A tutu is also in planning. (Mwah-ha-ha-ha).


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Imagine how it looks inside my head

This week has fairly zipped by and yet I'm not quite sure what I've done with my time. The weather was sunny and hot (28 celcius +) at the start of the week but the person in charge must have had a sudden panic ("Arghh...1st of September is the official start of autumn...get that temperature down now...NOW!") and so now it's only about 12-15 degrees. Not horrendously cold but a bit of a shock to the system after the sweaty days of last week.

For some reason I decided that this ideal cold-catching weather heralded a good day to take Elaine to the extremely busy swimming pool. She was almost freaked out by all the noise and people, even when we sat in the toddler paddling area.  But then a yellow plastic watering can floated within grasp and she was as happy as a pig in manure. Following the manure line of thought whilst watching the frolicking cherubs I realised we were doubtless sitting in a solution that must be at least 50% urine. I managed to push that idea to the back of my mind. It did pop back when, with a sudden rush of motoric skills, she filled up the the can, grasped it like a mug and poured all the water down her throat. Mmm, yum. Here's some other stuff she likes stuffing down:


 She's not walking yet but standing up is no problem:
 The other evening I was in my usual dithering mode...should draw/tidy/clean kitchen/cook something/read/do exercise/phone...etc..etc. Instead of dealing with the general chaos I decided to draw some of it, namely the sofa bed in my 'hobby/dumping' room. Now that this is going public I may be shamed into doing something about it all!