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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