An evening of quick drawing of 5 and 20min sessions. Good to be back in the class with a great model, Father Christmas!
Last Wednesday’s session was our last with Orlando. He is an excellent teacher. We had a harpist playing for us all day. It was so beautiful! To draw and listen to the refined music, trying to capture the movement and feel of the sound felt heavenly.
Orlando described how a photograph could never capture the richness of the scene. He said the image would have been flat and devoid of the emotion imparted through the playing of the music. Only drawn or painted art could capture this.
However, I had a hard time. He rightly pushed us out of our comfort zones making us look and draw in new kinds of ways. Here, we were asked to focus on the tones of the setting not the lines of the objects or figure. I had started with hard edged washes which looked too comfortably and memetic, similar to some of the other ink drawings I’d done before. Orlando said ‘start again, completely wet the page and have another go’. I’d not even got properly started yet with the depth of tones we were working towards. I felt deflated as the drawing looked alright and now I was being told to ‘wash it out’. But Orlando was right. Somehow the necessary delicacy of the wet paper worked with the light touches of ink to capture the sounds of the harp. A whole new way of working.
Today’s class consisted of four life drawing sessions with a corn snake, chameleon, white python and bearded lizard. We’d been warned of this reptile invasion and despite my initial lack of enthusiasm I was entranced by these beautiful and gentle animals.
I’d have never thought of describing a snake as ‘cute’ but they were. Strong too and inquisitive both of us and the studio space they found themselves in.
One of the drawing exercises this week at RDS was to study a figure for 5 minutes before making a drawing from memory. We were allowed to make notes and very quick sketches in this preparatory period but were then left to make a large drawing.
Theo, our canine model, was fantastic. It was strange how easy it was to capture the likeness of a pet but so hard with a human figure. It revealed how we are so plagued by preconceptions of human form that they get in the way of making good drawings.