Before I decided on my final piece there was a lot of ideas floating round my head. I had surprisingly enjoyed using pastels in the tonal piece, more than I had before and I thought I would, and I found them particularly good at describing the roundness of the figure because of they way they blend together. I wondered about doing a close up study of head and shoulders but I wasn't sure which media to choose for this. A close up would require a degree of detail which would be difficult to do with pastels (in my hands anyway). Because I wanted to stick with the pastels I decided a pose with the full figure would work best.
I've previously studied Expressionism and had a go at trying to paint more expressively. Although this style of painting is one of my favourites I didn't have much success in my own attempts. I can't seem to make that break from painting what I see to painting what I feel. I'm still not entirely sure what that would entail even though I can understand the concept. So my aims for the drawing lean more towards the analytical side. I would however like to create a drawing that evokes a feeling, hopefully calm and tranquillity.
I'm not keen on using props in the drawing, I just want the figure to be the main focus. My previous work in this course however has shown the importance of including a background so I think that's important. The figure has to sit in place and mustn't seem like its floating. I didn't want the background to say much though, just to be there and support the figure. I want to use natural light if possible and for the light to come from one side to cast interesting shadows.
Quick Studies of Figures
I started out with some drawings of figures, just playing around before I decided on a pose.
I loved the way the pen could be used quickly to show the folds in fabric and show the roundness of the figure. I tried to work as fast as possible and didn't worry about mistakes and extra lines.
Studies of Faces
One of the things that still frustrates me is getting a likeness. I find it so hard to make someone look like they do in real life so I wanted to practise this.
I'm very pleased with the pencil drawing above although it still looks different from the person! I did this from a photo which gave allowed me to take my time and concentrate on the detail which helps.
I've always liked Peter Howson's paintings and I spent some time looking at these. His figures are always quite distorted and exaggerated so I thought I'd have a go and exaggerating a portrait.
My first attempt looked far to normal although I'd really tried to distort the features.
Studies with Different Media
I thought I wanted to do my final piece using pastels but I decided to have a play using ink washes. I've seen some lovely figure studies done in this way.
I think the key to using ink washes effectively is being able to look at the figure and pick out the darkest shadows and shapes. The resultant drawings are so simple and delicate. I realised that this technique would require quite a lot of practise so I decided not to choose this technique for the final piece.
I thought about doing a pencil drawing as I've had some success with this before. The trouble with this is that it would end up being a very detailed drawing and I wanted something on a larger scale so not only would it take a long time and be very laborious, it would also be very tight and I wanted to do something looser and more expressive.
So I went back to pastels and opted for them.
Studies on Dark Paper
Following the tonal piece in the last section I wanted to experiment with different papers and colours. I also used this opportunity to do some close-ups of hands and feet as I'd been itching to do this.
I'd seen a couple of charcoal drawing in the past on white paper and the artist has laid down the charcoal over the majority of the sheet and left the white to shine though for the lighter areas. I tried this method out with a close up of hand that were quite heavily shaded and wrapped up in fabric.
This experiment was OK but was more difficult that I though. It's really hard to leave the light areas light and still see what you are doing. Hands are difficult at the best of times but even more so like this!
I then bought a pad with black paper so that I could skip all the messy bit with charcoal and just use a light pastel to pick out the highlights.
|A4 Oil pastels|
After these studies I've decided.....
To do a full length figure, to use pastels, and to use a dark paper