Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Last Post?

Sustained Study - Clothed - Section 25 - Modelled Drawing
24 May 2013
Oil Colour on Paper
42cm x 59.5cm (16.5" x 23.5")

It's done. On Wednesday, I finished the last exercise from the Natural Way to Draw.

Thank you to everyone who has posed for me and a massive thank you to Elaine for taking most of the burden. Her effort and perseverance have far exceeded mine. I couldn’t have completed the book without her help and support. I am sorry some of the drawings have been less than flattering.

Thank you to everyone who has visited the blog and commented on the posts. Blogging has been an important part of the learning process. It has helped me to think deeply about the exercises and to assimilate the lessons.

At this point, I should ask the questions: Has the effort been worthwhile? Am I pleased with what I have learnt?

The answer to both questions is yes. In the original post (see The Natural Way To Draw) I said the reason for following the Natural Way to Draw was that I wanted to develop a more spontaneous and confident drawing style. This has happened. My whole approach to drawing has changed.

There are aspects of technique that I want to work on and improve, but these are much clearer than they were when I started the course.

An unexpected benefit is the book has taught me to look at art in a new way. It has helped me to appreciate and enjoy it more.

So what comes next? I have some ideas, but the first thing is to take a few weeks off.

I am going to continue with the daily composition exercise (see The Daily Composition Revisited) and do some sketching, but this will not involve any posing by Elaine.

I am taking a break from blogging and will be back in a few weeks.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Summer Landscape

Its No Joke
Watercolour on Paper
34cm x 14cm (13.5" x 5.5")

Yesterday was the Shelford Group of Artists’ Painting Day for June. Tony Slater’s theme was Summer Landscapes. The organisation of the day was different to usual. In the morning, we went out sketching and in the afternoon, we painted a picture from our sketches.

This was a perfect opportunity for me because I want to sketch while Elaine and I are on holiday, but I haven’t had much experience. The day gave me a chance to decide what kit I am going to take and to think about an approach for drawing landscapes.

It was also a useful experience of what it is like to draw outdoors. I have a dread of attracting a crowd of critical onlookers. Yesterday has helped me to realise this is an unlikely scenario. I saw four people all morning and the only interaction we had was to exchange hellos as they jogged or cycled past.

Its No Joke - Sketch
Watercolour on Paper
28cm x 19cm (11" x 7.5")

This is the first sketch I drew while I was thinking about a composition. It includes the helpful reminder that the expanse of green in front of me is grass – who could have guessed? Once the sketch was finished, I did some gesture and contour studies of the landscape. Next time I intend to focus on gesture drawing before deciding on a composition.

I was due to finish the Natural Way to Draw yesterday, but I am a few days behind schedule. The current plan is to finish on Wednesday and to celebrate with an ice wine cocktail.