Seated figure using line (charcoal, Conté crayon, graphite, rubber – A1)
For this and the following study I worked with my model in her comfortable environment. I asked her to make herself comfortable and to chose poses that would help her to do so. She went onto her yoga mat and for the sitting pose placed herself on the small yoga stool (meditation)
While doing some sketches I asked her how she felt, what she saw etc.
Emotions & key words: calmness, serenity, inner view, reflection
Her feelings: her leg felt firstly with tension, like not fitting, she turned slowly calm, calmness coming top-down
Her inner images: relaxing like small clouds
I wanted to capture those elements in my drawing. With my sketches and some photographs I experienced further and was researching that I came across before and whose approaches I thought might be helpful for me to get my visual effects I want (Frank Auerbach, Alberto Giacometti, Jenny Saville, Emma Stibbon). Indicative lines and lines that search for the form, in combination with added layers for atmosphere. I decided to be a bit more controlled for this study on my lines (compared to Auerbach or Giacometti).
… and some more experiments on A3 (scaling up my ideas). Quite a wet heavy surface, hard to drawn. Perhaps for another drawing – but for now I went on.
Experimentation with charcoal powder on the surface:
Overall, I liked the strong visual effect of the charcoal dust black at the bottom, supporting the idea of her legs initially at unease (heavy). I wanted to keep the top rather light (idea of relaxing).
I continued to prep my A1 paper (300 g /sqm cold press paper) with a mix of charcoal powder and a little water, applying this with a paper (tapping onto the paper) and continued with a brush. I chose cold press paper due to its rougher surface was I preferred for my line markings (more expressive).
I felt that this attempt was not successful, too dark at the top. I think I just overdid my charcoal/water mix application. I decided to start again on a new paper, cut out the shape of the figure, and used to rest of that drawing to ‘print’ the charcoal (still a bit wet and heavily dusty) onto my new paper. Puttig the cut-out figure in the middle for keeping that areas unspoiled for the moment. I liked this much better and decided to start with my line drawing, placing the main shapes in place (still awkward and incorrect).
From here I continued with my line drawing, searching for the forms, building up three dimensional perception. Adding a few marks with white Conté crayon on the pants made them appear less flat and more solid. White crayon marks on the mat to indicate a flow. Towards to end I rubbed off the area around the upper part of the figure to make it a more ‘enlighted’ perception (like the white area on Emma Stibbon’s ‘Snow Field’, 2014 work – Available from: http://glacierhub.org/2015/05/21/artist-emma-stibbon-talks-glaciers-and-bearing-witness/ )
After taken a longer break and reflecting on my drawing and my concept of feelings and emotions I was not happy with the depiction of the face/head. It was done with charcoal markrs and I found this as too heavy (black). So I decided to rework it, erased the marks the best I could do (after having put a fixative onto the drawing) and went on my graphite in more controlled way and with shorter marks (hatching). This reminded me of my research on Peter Peri, whom at that time I didn’t like so much. Now I could feel that at times this more controlled approach could give a differentiating effect. At the end I liked it much better. And through this the drawing now consists of more controlled markings at the top (face) down to expressive (torso) and rather indicative markings (pants). This supports my idea of easiness and relaxing (top) to uneasiness and heavy (bottom).
After finishing my drawing I showed to my model and she acknowledged the match of her emotions during posing and the final visual effect. I felt that getting emotions and feelings of a sitter in a drawing is quite hard – and so rewarding if done.
Remark on the brief: ‘This study is about drawing three-dimensional form using a single line or combinations of lines: narrow and thick, curved and straight, fractured, expressive, gestural, dynamic, dramatic (and so on). Try different media and supports; do a few tests with textured and found paper, unusual formats, etc.’
=> I took the freedom to work on the support first to create the atmosphere and feeling before starting with my line drawing in charcoal, graphite, chalk, and rubber.
From assignment 3 I had a few challenges to overcome:
– Scale, free flow as in my sketchbooks on larger scale, usage of colour, to incorporate markings from contextualized artists in my works
Therefore I will reflect also against these on each piece.
- I think I mastered the scale right by exploring the space of A1.
- Keeping the drawing in black/white keeps the attention better on my markings and expression.
- Contextualizing other artists helped me to find an appropriate drawing approach and visual effects. At the end I combined several approaches to find my own way through this drawing.
- Understanding feelings and emotions of a model (as well as my own ones) helped my as a guiding thread for my markings and to accomplish a visual effect.
- My markings did follow my concept from controlled lighter tone (face) -> more expressive and darker tones (torso) -> indicative and dark black (legs)
after considering further my tutor’s feedback and in preparation for assessment I decided to push the upper part of the future back with rubber and white Conté crayon in order to have a more convincing contrast (light – dark)