Life Drawing 4: The Tall lady

Looking at the image in Photoshop made me want to make it into a print.
The original is in blue and pink pencil.
The original drawing took 50 minutes. The photoshop 20 minutes.tall-lady-reclines-2
The first version is a try at woodblock.

tall-lady-reclines-2-bwThe second version is more an etching.

tall-lady-profileThis is a very large head in charcoal and pencil, taken from the same pose, right at the end of the night. 5 minutes.


tall-lady-montageA compilation of the other poses.
All around 15 minutes. The last one was worked on in the break.
Fun to see the different techniques.

mr-skellington-reflected-in-goldGetting to the life room early, out came Mr Skellington, propped against a mirror. Gold and silver paint was used. Acrylic on canvas, 45 minutes.

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Little sketches


Izzy and Kate in Byron burgers. Drawn on the napkin with a 2H pencil.


There was a photo of a Clinical Physiologist, Dr Gerald Graham in the Times Obits.
I liked the lighting and doodled a version. Shot at an angle, because I’m lazy.


Here’s another one. Mainly drawn from the first doodle. Interesting that the lines get more curved the further away from the photographic source.


While working on graphic design (my day job), I’ve been drawing on post-it-notes. In black and white they look a tad more timeless. These are part of a very long-involved project about Ernest Hemingway. Fun how they are, all the same and all different. Some are more drunk, others more tired.

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Life drawing 3. Exercises…

After the drama of the Caravaggio sketch night, the next session back at the wonderful Mary Ward Centre was relaxed and featured no severing of heads. Which was nice.
The model was just a great model in a room rather than a symbol or story.

In the final image of the night I tried to draw and paint with care and lightness; in response to all that baroque darkness. Neater marks might have been better. Maybe next time.

A detail showing the different textures and media.
Compressed charcoal, acrylic, pencils and oil pastels on a large sheet of heavy paper.


The cropping, colours and the order in which they were put down was thought about beforehand. 50 minutes.


The first half of the night concentrated on experiments.
From top left:
A scrunched up piece of sugar paper and charcoal.
Using both hands holding a pice of charcoal.
Using both hands, each with their own piece of charcoal.
Using my right hand; I’m a complete lefty (obviously).
The first quick drawing / painting.
Drawing not looking at the paper.

h-standing-in-charcoal-on-scrunched-paper h-for-times-in-charcoal

h-standing-in-black-pencil h-standing-in-charcoal-and-acrylic h-standing-in-red-pencil

A really good work out.

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Life drawing extra. Dark Arts 2: In the spirit of Caravaggio

A cool/cold church next to Euston. Great models. Two and a half hours. A Caravaggio theme. Dramatic lighting. Great fun.

‘David’. Two A3 pieces taped together. Charcoal. 15 mins.


Some photos of the brilliant models. Rather strange to be able to take images.

img_2355 img_2353-2

‘Judith beheading Holofernes’ I’ve tried to get the look of concentration on Judith’s face. A3 paper with pencils. 40 mins.


‘David with the head of Goliath’. The pose changed mid way through the drawing making the image better. David now looks away in disgust. It was a great (fake) head. 15 mins.


‘Head of David’.  5 mins. Notice the familiar mistake of the eye being too high, corrected at the last minute.


See more of the nights work on Instagram. #londondrawing

Or on flickr.

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Sherlock / Ian Mckellen in the dresser

Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Mark Gatiss are great to capture in pencil.
Such different faces. Sketched while watching the TV.
It’s cheap life drawing but the model is usually moving.
Taboo is next.



The Dresser. A good movie with a crackling script and sharp performances. The actors were having a ball.




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Life drawing 2. Inks & Biro.

It was time for the last pose of the night.

The room was full of tension.
The tutor, John Close, wanted me to sit down and use a biro. So selecting a knackered paint spattered donkey that’s just what I did. The class was about proportion and for various reasons I was lacking in this on Friday night. Sitting down, having a piece of paper half the normal size and using only a thin mark making tool helped get the relations right. I was told to make small connections rather than make quicker, wider marks.
See what you think.
It took my work somewhere more academic than usual, with the biro adding a bit of modern life. The last pose of the night. 1 hour.


A detail.


Here’s the earlier work made with Japanese ink and chalk.

alex-standing-in-japanese-ink-2a-standing-in-3 All 15 minute poses.a-standing-in-japanese-ink

Not bad, but I have many works like this. Time to try a different approach.

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Life Drawing 1. Japanese lady ‘Y’.

The first session was joyful. Great poses, good teaching and a positive atmosphere.

Acrylics and compressed charcoal on prepared paper; pencils added later. 30 minutes.

The model had featured on the exhibition poster for my last big solo show at the Mary Ward Centre, it was great to paint her again.

A close up of the head showing the texture of the paper.

Another 30 minute pose with some added pencil at home. I like the play of the turquoise against the dusky pink and dull yellow. I’ve signed these two, which only happens when I really like my work.

Two studies from the first part of the class. Both around 15 minutes.

There was some fun talk about how ‘wrong’ this image was. Both feet were on the ground. At the time I was thinking of getting the some Vortiscist feeling into the work, making it strong, unsentimental and dynamic. 15 minutes.

A quick painting. The model was balancing on a plastic torso. 15 minutes.

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