Last week I took a week off work – where I am employed to commission other people to make pictures – and spent the week drawing my own pictures.
1. glorious – yay! Not at work!
2. daunting – oh my god, there are some genuinely talented people here
3. reassuring – okay, I *can* draw, even if I still have a lot to learn about the various proper techniques
4. exhausting – standing at an easel, drawing with one’s whole arm rather than in a crabbed hand, and concentrating on mastering new concepts and approaches (especially when you’ve been doing your own self-taught thing for 37 years) is more physically demanding than I had anticipated
5. inspiring – by the end of day one I was looking at everything differently, especially people. Faces and bodies are so endlessly varied and our anatomy is so fascinating. We are amazing.
I can’t remember when I enjoyed a week more.
But rather than try to explain what was essentially a visual week in words, here are some pictures…
This is the view into the small casts room, from the entrance to the larger life drawing studio:
This is the ceiling of one corner in the main room. Every available space is basically crammed with pictures illustrating some technique or other.
Another corner, this time filled with various casts of famous sculptures. And yes, that chap is wearing a woollen hat. I have no idea why. Crazy artists, eh?
Lunchtime on Day 1 and this is my easel. And the kind of drawings I usually do if left to my own devices – viz. some contour drawing on the left hand page (where you look only at the model, not at your hand or the page, so you REALLY look without worrying about the nonsense on the paper – jolly liberating) and on the right hand side a rather stiff and unconvincing pencil drawing.
The tape marks on the floor indicate where people’s easels are set up on certain days – everyone is very particular about their position since some of the poses are sustained and repeated over several weeks to enable a finished oil painting to be undertaken.
And here are some of the drawings I completed over the course of the week, mostly attempting to differentiate line, tone and form.