Monday, November 24, 2014

Nude a week 6: Odalisque

Odalisque.  Wate- colour on water-colour paper.  43x50 cm.  A twenty minute sketch. Click to see this larger.
This is a water-colour on water-colour paper.  You can see the paper's rough texture on the bottom left corner where I've used dry-brush effect and also wet-in-wet flooding on this area.  Alexandra is wearing very exotic satin silk loose trousers.  Once again, I chose the position to draw the model so I could emphasise the strong C rhythm starting behind the ear and sweeping down neck, right arm, dark trouser shadow, to her right knee.  The arms fall into a lovely line moving from right arm, hand, over right knee and on to the left foot and toe.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A nude a week 5: Cut-out paper - nude with plant

Nude and flower: 32 x 40cm. Cut out paper

How I did this

Angela who organises the life drawing group, inspired by Matisse cut outs exhibition, had an  idea to bring the group scissors and glue and see if anyone wanted to work in this way.I hadn't seen the exhibition but I had seen his cut outs in St Paul du Vence many years ago and was deeply impressed.  I had never done this before but with brick red paper and the model, I cut away very fast, the pose was a short one.  Dark pillows, a light one and a potted plant beside her, and that was fun and refreshing.  I didn't draw on the paper before cutting.  I cut directly with the scissors. I had to work fast and where a line was needed inside a solid shape, I cut a sliver off the cut line so it would show. (At the hairline on the head and above the left thigh, for example.)  I worked on golden sand coloured paper, cut it all out and pasted it on another paper.

I tried to see the Matisse exhibition but I missed it.  So instead we decided to go to the cinema where there was a film of the exhibition.  It was very disappointing. To much of it was some old somebody talking about where to put what on which wall.  Not enough of it showed the pictures.  A big disappointment..

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A nude a week 4: Basking in light

Alexandra - bathed in light 30 x 25 cm. Black ink on ochre paper

How I painted this picture

I used a big sable brush with a fine point.  Once again I looked for the big C in the pose.  The spine from the back of Alexandra's head down her back, seat and thigh, accentuated by the intense black shadow.  The A shape formed by her arms and head and the serpetine line from shoulder, breast, left leg knees down to the toes and on along the mat.  I loved the deep contrast of light and shdow, any detail was almost superfluous but I touched in a fine profile line and the star shaped hand.  Gold tinted paper, a bottle of black ink, a brush and a lovely model that is all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In memoriam

Jeanie and Nick at the memorial to Yaani and Mimi in Minstead churchyard on the anniversary of their death.  We remember them. And mourn for them and all the thousands of lost children inthe world.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A nude a week - 3:Jill bathing

Pastel sketches of a woman drying herself and relaxing after a bath. I particularly like the curve of the spine as she bends to dry her legs and the long sweep of the towel on the right.

How I painted these sketches

I liked the pose on the left where the model is is drying her leg., you can see the sweeping curve of the spine like half circle pointing up and to the right.  I drew this first then put in the arms and the lower part.  I used a violet pastel on thin paper.  Sadly we have not been able to photograph it well yet but you can still see the drawings.
With the figure on the top right , I liked the sweeping line from the hands along the shoulders and down to the towel clenched in the left hand.  Some strong accents are almost like pen lines.  Yet others, like the profile to the left of this figure, , use the pastel very gently with the hair almost like a water colour wash.
These five figures are all drawings of Jill, done very speedily and executed as she moved from one position to the next.  The overlaps don't worry me.  I love the way her hair falls.

How I paint nudes (part 3 of 7?)

In the previous post I talked about how I take a big selection of materials to the life drawing group and choose them, almost at random.

When I have made my random selection, I really am very open to what fate has handed me at that moment.  On another day I may feel like painting in acrylics and stick with that.
Each pose is different - some are very short - sometimes the model slowly and deliberately moves from one post into a totally different one so you have to work very fast and use your memory.  This is what happened with the series of poses above.

News:  I've now got a Facebook page

And finally a reminder: I hope to mount an exhibition of these paintings soon so if you can help it would be great.  Anyway please get in touch and if you feel you would like to buy any of the pictures, make me an offer.  We can probably do business.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A nude a week - and how I drew them

I have done hundreds of nude drawings and paintings, and I thought it was time to show them.  So this is the plan.  Over the next few weeks I will be publishing one of my nude pictures at least once a week and describing how  I painted that particular picture and adding a bit about painting nudes in general.  I hope you enjoy it.
Deeply relaxed.  Male nude, pastel on sand coloured paper 46 x 30 cm.  I like the way every aspect of the man is relaxed. Click on the picture so see it at a larger size.

How I painted this picture

This is a pastel I did at the group that meets in a village near where I live.  It was done on sand coloured paper using black, white, grey, soft brown and red-brown pastels.

You can see the curve of the spine from the model's bottom, up and over, along the neck and sweep down the arms with fingers dripping like molten wax. This is what I saw first and retained it throughout painting this pastel.

I used the colour of the paper as the main colour which united everything. You can see the colour of the paper coming through the flesh tones of the buttocks and where the light red-brown has an open quality because of the vertical grain of the paper.  I use a piece of pastel on its side pressing more on one end to to get the blending effect.  You can smudge with your fingers but it doesn't give the same sparkle.  Where the model's hair shone bright, I enhanced it with dark shadows beyond and did the same with his left hip.

How I paint nudes (part 1 of 7?)

What I'm interested in is the light and shade, the colours of the flesh, the body shape. the anatomy, bones skin and muscle  The way the neck sits on the body and the head on the neck, the fullness and the boneyness, the shadows and the texture of the cloth the model is sitting on.
I studied life drawing one day a week as a student at Liverpool art college.  We studied anatomy from a book and were tested on it in the first term.  At first I thought "I hate anatomy"  But thanks to the one day a week life drawing sessions and the skeleton hanging in the corner it has been part of my life ever since.

More soon with another picture drawn or painted in another medium.  By the way I hope to mount an exhibition of these paintings soon so if you can help it would be great.  Anyway please get in touch and if you feel you would like to buy any of the pictures, make me an offer.  We can probably do business.