Sunday, 31 March 2013

Recent Exercises in Oil and the Subjective Study

Relaxing On One Arm - Gesture Drawing
23 March 2013
Oil Colour on Paper
28cm x 24cm (11" x 9.5")

I am enjoying the exercises in oil from the Natural Way to Draw (see More Exercises in Oil).

Facing Away - Gesture Drawing
23 March 2013
Oil Colour on Paper
28cm x 32cm (11" x 12.5")

The bristle brushes I bought for the exercises have started to wear out. They are looking scruffy and will no longer form a straight edge. This has forced me to loosen up and to stop trying to draw neat and precise lines - which has improved the drawings.

Leaning on a Chair - Half-hour Study
10 March 2013
Oil Colour on Paper
33cm x 33cm (13" x 13")

The half hour study is one of my favourite exercises. You can get a lot done with oil paints in half an hour. At the end, I am usually aware of some fundamental structural problem with the drawing, but the results are interesting and characterful.

Sustained Study - Section 23 - Modelled Drawing
13 March 2013
Oil Colour on Paper
53cm x 25.5cm (21" x 10")

The modelled drawing in oil is a continuing challenge. The studies tend to start well, but by the end, there is always too much paint on the paper. At times, I still struggle with the basics of modelling with white and imagining a single light source, but this is getting easier.

Section 24 introduces the Subjective Study. It is a bit like a word association test. You look at the model and then draw the first thing that comes into your head. You look at the model again, look at the drawing and then draw something else. You can also explore further. If you look at the subject and you think of a fish, rather than draw the fish, you try to abstract (and draw) the quality (gesture) that made you think of a fish.

The objective of the exercise is to more actively involve the subconscious mind and to see and represent the model “in a manner more personally truthful” than in the other exercises.

Subjective Study - Section 23
29 March 2013
Pastel and Graphite Pencil on Paper
42cm x 59.5cm (16.5" x 23.5")

Elaine and Felix (the cat) relaxing on the sofa were the inspiration for this study. I’ve no idea whether a subjective study is supposed to look like this, but I suspect there is no right and wrong. I probably became too bogged down in the beach theme. It would have been interesting to explore what was common in Elaine and Felix’s postures, but that was not what came to mind during the exercise.

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