A fabulous long weekend spent at West Dean College on Dynamic Life Drawing with the wonderfully energetic Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright. My aim was to re-ignite my love of Life Drawing, having become increasingly frustrated with this discipline in recent months. Previous tutors have told me that I need to “loosen up” so having read the wacky agenda for this course, I was hoping it would be the answer to making me a Loose(r) Woman! I wasn’t disappointed.
The first evening was spent in the dark, drawing the delightful Frankie who was painted in neon paint and under a UV light. Sadly, without a UV light, the output is not nearly as exciting but I still liked the use of pattern to create the illusion of a human body.
Drawn in the dark. The picture really comes to life under UV.
After a morning of warming up with various exercises (continuous line, non dominant hand) and short poses, the second day was taken with a Frida Kahlo scene. Funny how drawing fabric seems so much harder than the unclothed human body. We used some pre-made backgrounds for these drawings.
Frida Kahlo scene
Day three got messy with wet on wet techniques, painting ink over acrylic then blasting it off with a water sprayer, and using a long bamboo stick and ink to draw on the floor (while hoping not to draw on the ceiling) at a distance. I really like the potential of the acrylic and ink layering technique but sadly without a large sink unit and a studio, practically I can’t see this happening in my dining room.
Messy but effective partial removal of ink from acrylic using water spray
The final day was using collage to depict a clothed scene. Funnily enough despite my usual love of collage, this was probably my least successful day. However, as is usually the case, I’ll put the work away and then will probably be more excited by it when I revisit in a few weeks time.
Paper collage (what to do with the drawings that don’t work!) and pastel pencil drawing
I now have a huge A1 folder full of stuff to inspire some follow on work and while “the leopard can’t change his shorts” (yes, I am a massive Terry Pratchett fan), I am definitely feeling much looser than I was last weekend