In light of the new BBC4 TV show entitled ‘LIFE DRAWING LIVE’ which I viewed on player last night, I am re posting a blog on the subject.
In early December, I was invited by my good friend and fellow artist, Maria Do Rosario Tavares (Miza to me) to give a painting demonstration for a group she is working with in Chester. The subject, ‘life painting’ – one of my favourites. It was only a two hour session, but a very good one. The group and the model were lovely.
To warm up I made this rapid watercolour/gouache of David, the model.
Those who have followed my blog probably equate my work with hummingbird images, which of course is right:) However I also love to paint the human form,
Twenty minute – full sheet watercolour and felt tip pen study –
I love short poses – preferably three to 20 minutes max. This enables me to capture the energy and movement of my subject….
five minute watercolour study – male dancerI was fortunate to go to art school at the beginning of the sixties. For the first year, we made charcoal drawings of nudes, almost exclusively. I quickly learned what an important foundation block the observation of the human form is.
Twenty minute watercolour study…(all the white is dry white paper)In the late sixties, it was said that the ‘busts were thrown out of the studio windows’ and replaced with a less formal mode of study. Personally, I feel that if you have a strong foundation block – it frees an artist to explore with more self confidence….much as I believe, that ‘self discipline equals freedom’
Ten minute full sheet study of Scarlett, one of my favourite models
Along with nude models we also worked with ‘costume models’ learning how to capture the human form beneath the drapes of fabric – again honing observational skills.
This man modelled for me in Paris….a beautiful dancer. I often do quick portraits of my subjects in a life painting session.
It’s exciting to see that ‘life painting/drawing’ is back in vogue. I believe that many people who attend recognise how relaxing it is and that it is a form of meditation.
In this instance one of my favourite models arrived with her new born baby….It was a magical session. In the warmth of the quiet studio both mother and baby completely relaxed…..Focusing on the loving hands of the mother. Another model I really enjoy who wears blue stockings,
I love grabbing the gesture and seeking out the abstraction of the shapes produced.
Beginning in 1982 I began a series of works integrating the human form with the rock formations of Isle au Haut Maine.
If we wish we can use the sketches made in a life session and take them to new levels…..which can be where my last post ‘How Does the Creative Process work’ comes I into play.
large oil on canvas – ‘The moment people turn their backs on one another’For those who would like to try life drawing – I suggest that you tune into ‘LIFE DRAWING LIVE’ BBC 4 TV—–a good way to get started.
Happy paintingA Bientôt