What Valentines Day?

Despite my star sign (and for fear of being controversial, possibly my XX chromosomes!?) suggesting otherwise, I’m not the romantic in my marriage so February 14th didn’t really ring a bell when I booked a Saturday life drawing workshop at Peter Symonds college. Luckily, despite the long suffering husband having previously been diagnosed as “Romantic” during a style and image consultation, he also had some bike maintenance to do so was not terribly miffed at a Saturday home alone (actually alone would have been preferable to the reality of being left in charge of a hyperactive Weimaraner and a noisy Jack Russell but hey ho we can’t all get what we want for Valentines Day!)

Anyway over-commercialisation of folk traditions aside, I thought it would be really worthwhile to have a whole day to practice some of the skills and techniques we had been learning in our weekly class.  So, along with a friendly group of mixed life drawing experience, Andrea our lovely and hardworking model, and under the expert guidance of Michelle Buhl-Nielsen, a really indulgent and productive day was had.

The morning was spent limbering up using exercises to isolate gesture, mass and contour, giving me another opportunity to revisit our weekly sessions.  I rather liked this superimposed seated pose.

"seated life drawing"

Chalk mass drawing then graphite contour on top following a repeat of the pose

The afternoon was then spent on a long pose (probably three hours in total) so we could really meditate on our drawing. Michelle has been encouraging us to move out of our comfort zones and practice a way of working that perhaps isn’t instinctive for us.  So with this in mind, and after mapping out in pencil, I put down the graphite and picked up the dreaded watercolour tubes and much to my amazement thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was even pleased with the end result. Next time I might even commit at the outset and use watercolour paper!

"water colour supine nude"

Water colour on cartridge paper

I came away from the day thoroughly inspired and most excitingly with a few gesture drawings that are just shouting at me to be translated into textiles.  I have a few exhibitions to prep for and had been getting a little anxious as my usual habit of immersing myself in drawing until something jumped out at me hadn’t been forthcoming.  Now, with a sigh of relief, I can relax and start playing (once the current knitting commission is finished that is!).

"1 minute charcoal gesture drawings"

1 min charcoal gesture drawings

"1 min charcoal gesture drawings"

1 min charcoal gesture drawings