During my life drawing sessions I have often drawn my students as they focus on the model. Their intense concentration and attentiveness has always fascinated me. Life drawing can be an exhausting activity and observing them, as they struggle with their drawing, can be quite revealing.I often witness many emotions; flashes of frustration, a suggestion of anguish, brows furrowed in disappointment and, at times expressions of wide-eyed elation on those moments when all is going well.
All this emotion! Little wonder when you consider that, as an activity, drawing the human form, challenges many pre-conceived assumptions about how we understand the human body. It also lays bare, and insists, that you face up to, and address, these limitations in both ones’ understanding and technical inadequacies. This self critique and examination is necessary if one is to progress and can be a very difficult & humbling experience to undergo.
Alongside the hard work, however, there is also the thrill of the breakthrough. That excitement that comes from the gaining of new insights, and the encouragement provided by witnessing the slow acquiring of knowledge, skill and technical competencies that were not apparent before.
Media; pencil, rubber and a small A6 sketchbook (size approx’)
I’ve included, in this post, a selection of drawings made during the summer term at my life drawing group. The group is called Lifelines. The work presented demonstrate my attempts at familiarising myself with drawing using brush and Quink ink – an ink originally developed for use with fountain pens. There are a couple of nice properties that Quink ink posses which I like. Quink ink comes in blue or black, I use the black which is more like a Paynes Grey, a warm grey and one of my favorite colours, when drying, the blue can take on a brownish hue in some areas which can add an interesting quality to the work. Quink ink can also be used with bleach as part of the drawing process which, when applied, can create some nice effects as it bleaches those areas of ink that it is applied to. I have yet to work with bleach but will do so once I am confident with the direction I am going with my current approach.
I am also preparing work for this years Cambridge Open studios exhibition that we as a group participates in annually. I hope to include the best of the drawings using this media and technique. I make no claim for the quality or success of the work on show here. They signify my honest attempts at experimenting with a new media using various technical approaches in order to see what happens and in order to learn from the process.