A couple of posts ago I blogged about how much I was enjoying my new weekly Life Drawing class with fab tutor Michelle Buhl-Nielsen at Peter Symonds college in Winchester. After looking at gesture and form in the first few classes (see previous post) two weeks ago we started to look at contour, kicking off with my favourite exercise the blind contour drawing. Do give this a go if you’ve never tried it, you’ll love it!
I love the way these drawings confuse the human form but we can still clearly make out elements such as nose, feet, knees etc. When asked to draw the same pose again but this time looking at the paper, I was disappointed with the result and much preferred the energetic and playful blind version (although one lady in the class couldn’t work out which was which when she looked at my output!).
The next exercise saw us highlighting change in external contour using straight lines only.
Luckily we had a mesomorphic male modelling for us during this session which really helped. I’m guessing a curvaceous female model would have been very difficult to interpret in this way!
Finally we started to look at cross contour. This I found quite difficult and was pleased we revisited it during last week’s session where one of my colleagues had helpfully created an LED gadget which projected lines across the model. I need one of these!
During the last class we also began to combine some of these elements by creating a watercolour form first (no line allowed) and then adding contour during a repeat of the pose. Of course the model was unable to exactly replicate the position which resulted in a lovely displacement of the layers. This reminded me very much of how I approach my knitted life “paintings”, creating an intarsia form first and then adding embroidered and couched linear elements on top. I have also since used this idea with mono-printing (more of this in another post).
This week’s class equipment list has now arrived in the inbox and it looks like it could be more development of this type of layered drawing as watercolours are again required. So, I’m off to Hobbycraft to purchase some more watercolour paper and perhaps have a cheeky little coffee and cake while I’m there (well it would be rude not to!) Anyway, watch this space as I’m sure another update will be forthcoming in due course.