50 figures – 6/50

I’ve been pondering why I find it so much harder to produce something I like in art class compared to at home. Sure I use photos at home so there’s that whole thing about it already having been 2d’d, but I have always felt that’s not quite all there is to it.

I might have hit on it today when I tried the pose below. I found it just as hard as art class – and I realised it’s not a standing pose. When choosing photos, I nearly always choose a standing pose. I’m guessing I’m more familiar with that and so can be more lazy with my observations. Something to think about?

This was a quick sketch, and I can see I’ve over exaggerated the back, and her lower half is too small. And it has a slightly cartoon feel to the face. Not my best effort! But an effort all the same…

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50 figures 5/50 – a better photo

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50 figures 5/50

Sunday afternoon sketching. I should have checked measurements a bit more

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Art class – 50 Figures 4/50

This was from last week’s art class. I gave up on my initial attempt as I wasn’t happy with the way it was going. I had a long chat with the teacher after break, and did this sketch in the final thirty minutes.

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50 Figures 3/50

The output from last week’s art class. It was a challenging class and we were encouraged to try a different technique of measuring, which I found harder than usual and that has resulted in a very wonky figure…

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Fifty figures

I just love the human figure translated into art, and this is reflected in the art that I’ve chosen to buy for my walls. And so it’s long been my goal to be able to draw figures well.

But, as anyone who’s given it a go will know, it’s haaaard. Really, really hard. There’s so much to think about – composition, placement, proportion and style. And, for someone like me who is relatively new to art and doesn’t have a great skillset of drawing techniques – e.g. I don’t have a well developed style to fall back on – it can be really frustrating.

I joined a life drawing class in January and have been going diligently each week, and I HAVE seen an improvement. BUT not enough…

So, I’ve decided I need more practice. The life class is great, and it’s definitely better (and more tricky) to draw a live model, but I end up feeling it’s a once a week ‘get it right’ activity. I have been sketching at home, on occasions, but I’ve decided I need just a bit more focused.

First stop was better paper. In art class we use A1 paper, but the biggest I had at home was A2. So, I put in an order for some really heavyweight cartridge paper, that arrived on Friday. Next, a drawing board big enough for the new paper. This was easy – a trip to B&Q to get a sheet of MDF cut to the right size. Luckily, for all its faults, my easel can take this size. So I’m all set up and ready to go.

Which brings me to the point of this post! I’ve seen, and participated in, a number of challenges recently. 29 faces, for example. A similar hearts challenge. These were both run by the lovely Alaya Art

So, I’m staring at my pile of very good quality paper and I’m thinking I need to DO something with it. So, fifty sheets: fifty figures. That’s my challenge and my goal. Fifty attempts at filling that paper size with something meaningful, to progress my technique, style and skill a bit more.

I’ll be working from a photo or from the computer – which is MUCH easier. And hopefully I’ll begin to see skills emerging that I can take back into the art class and apply in the life situation. Exciting!

This weekend I made a start, with this one from Saturday:

There’s a lot about this that I love – the shading is quite new for me, and it really fills the paper. I used chalks and charcoal pencils as well as simple charcoal. Obviously the drawing could have been better.

Anyway, buoyed by this, I did this one yesterday:

I don’t think the shading worked quite as well, and of course it includes hands which are still very hard for me. But I like it – enough that I’ve out it on the wall for now! (And that’s a first).

So, that’s my start. Two out of fifty done. Watch this space…

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