Saturday, January 12, 2013

Research & Discovery with a Model

Those of you who follow my post may already know that:
- One of the reasons I draw is to explore and experiment with the boundaries of vision
- I love to blabber (but usually try to restrain myself)

It's been a long time since I did painting, and a longer time since I drew a live model, and since I have my drawing-group I didn't find the time to take the time and paint in a relaxed manner.
So yesterday I treated myself to a meetup of a live model, which was 90 minutes of pure pleasure,
Partly since Scott (the host) Lucie (the model) and the group were so friendly and fun.
But mostly since I had the chance to introspect and extospect, experiment with colors, compositions, lines, and just plain listen.

So today - the five are colored drawings, the two are hidden colored drawing, and there's a pencil one as well.

And for the blabbering part - I'd like to share some of the noise that crossed my mind while drawing, and the drawing experience a bit...
You may find it boring or obscure, but I wrote this one mainly for myself.

I brought a block of colored paper, and red and yellow acrylic left from a workshop I did. chose purple and yellow since it clashes so well, and started drawing using a finger. soon enough I discovered two things:
- Thinly spread yellow actually darkens the paper. so some places I wanted to lighten became dark.
- The finger is too thick to draw facial expressions.
Than used red to define the darker-than-purple, and the outer bounds.
What I'm mostly happy with are the arm on the left and the rib-cage.
And a general rule - sometimes I make a move I regret (the nose, the red part of the chest), I take a breath and accept it, and try not to fight it or cover it.

After a pause, a new pose. I choose another paper color, borrow a brush (thanks, Scott), and go for a more detached set of spots, again starting from the yellow.
I search for the shadows, try to examine whether their border is well defined or not, how do they define the body, the yellow works, but it remains too flat, so I take the red again... just to find that the the color combination doesn't work at all (I still have to understand why...)
Covering the yellow of the hair (that should have been left blue) makes the hair come-out even more. what I do like is the face and the knee. and I realize I may have confused the yellow on the right... sometimes use it as a definition of the border, and sometimes as part of the arm.
Also - I have lots to learn about holding a brush - a finger is waaay easier.
And for the first hidden painting - to illustrate why the color combination doesn't work, watch what happens when I remove the colors... suddenly the darks and lights work much better.

Next, I left the colored paper for a while, and drew on white. 
The idea was to clean the red brush from the color left from the previous drawing, to have some background, and than draw on it with a pencil.
The red part passed quite easily, though I wanted sharper edges. than the pencil - starting from the face, I put too much details on it (but what's done is done)
The sofa turned out strange.
What I like:
- The contrast between the softness of the red and the sharpness of the pencil.
- Textural changes: radiator on the left, hair, stomach, toes.
What I don't like:
- It came out quite like I 'envisioned' it. not a lot of surprises.
- I'm sorry there was no place left for the left foot
- The face is too heavy.

Deciding when it is 'done' is quite arbitrary, it is really a matter of decision and not knowledge (unless the time is up for the pose). Since I ended before Lucie changed her pose, I took a shot at a quick sketch.
Not much to say about it, the haste to make the sketch in two minutes didn't do justice to her face (she was soft and smiling), the last few seconds I added the lines of the shoulders and arms, and it makes a movement I like.

Last pose.
Not playing favorites, I do like how this one turned out...
This time the paper color doesn't clash with the yellow, And painting with the finger I get good control so I can well define the legs, the foot, the breast and the rib-cage.
The pencil part adds different textures: the curved long lines, the vibrating hair and stomach.
I find the shadows (the hand's shadow on the sofa and the space between the sofa and the floor) are confusing and too automatic. (does the leg bend or is it extended)
And a thing I like is the open-ness of the form, that the lines don't frame the body but only help shape it (the arm extends with no limit)
Another thing I like is the two layers that interact without mixing, like two separate slides one on top of the other, defining separately light and shape.

Next, another take at the same pose.

This time only with spots. trying to define only the major outlines.
As I said, my brush technique sucks, still I like the way it turned out.
While drawing I tried to leave out as much as possible.
The jagged line below is an attempt to define the border between the leg and the tissue on the floor. The shoulder blade is so square it may be confused as part of the sofa. and the hair is the only dark part that is not a shadow. 
I like it mainly since even I have to struggle to find the model in the painting, she keeps appearing and disappearing. (if you don't see her - use the drawing above it as a reference)

And for the second hidden drawing...
when I came back, I was surprised to find a pose I didn't draw, and it took me a while to realize I was holding the above drawing at another angle. funny, isn't it?

Till nextime!


  1. And in fact, I just saw a third one,
    - In the second pose, the model is her back to us on teh left, legs turned to the right, and head looking down and right (see hair pulled back, and a trace of an eye and a nose)
    - In the third, the model is smaller, puffed hairstyle, sitting facing forward, legs folded, among unclear foreground objects.
    The real point that is fascinating is how the vision is active, how it searches to bring a real object out of the shadows, and it almost can't help it. we may guide the mind to look for something, and than it finds it (like a hound-dog), but if we tell it to look at teh abstract it will still hunt until it finds a prey.

  2. c'est très intéressant Dov de te lire. Certaines de tes dessins sont remarquables, le jaune notamment, et j'aime aussi les deux derniers...


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