Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Posing Naked!

Self portrait
My accomplice is such a busy girl! So many hobbies and activities! I haven't drawn her for 16 days now and it will probably be another week before I get the chance. Like any art, drawing has to be practised as regularly as possible to maintain a level of proficiency. When I find myself without a model I have to turn to self portraits, which I do enjoy but it's a different experience. I've always found that beginners draw me much easier than female models. My body has many more reference points to help keep track of the drawing. I've also found that pictures of me seem to sell, those that I do and those of other artists. So while Naked Two is busy elsewhere, I'm going to be looking in the mirror, practising and creating some powerful male nudes...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Little sketchpads

Sitting in pearls
One of the students in my Wells life drawing class gave me a lovely little sketchpad of watercolour paper that she'd made herself. It was very nice of her and the hand-made pad looks great. I thought I'd better draw in it immediately before I got nervous of spoiling it! So that afternoon I did 3 quick sketches of Two and luckily they all came out ok. These little sketchpads are great when filled with drawings and shouldn't be pulled apart for individual framing. I hope to continue to fill it with splashy sketches. Thanks, Judith!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Cheating with Charcoal

String of Pearls
I love drawing with charcoal. It's so responsive and makes such a range of painterly marks. All you have to do is concentrate on what you're looking at and the charcoal practically does the drawing for you! I like to use a big, thick stick about 3cm long and draw with the whole length touching the paper. Two was a bit sleepy on Saturday but managed to put on a lovely string of pearls before she nodded off. I like the bit of story a little prop like this creates in the picture.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Fund Raising!

Calling Out
To help cover the costs of framing for our exhibition in November "How to Draw Good Naked" we're going to sell some of the sketchpad drawings we do along the way. Click on the link on the right and grab yourself a bargain! We're not charging much as the sketches are fun to do and help us improve and develop. Also we're running life drawing classes on Saturday mornings in Wells, including a full day on 16th July and we're doing a two day workshop in King's Lynn at the end of July. Email me via my profile if you'd like more info.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Contour Drawing

Drawing nude
We had a lovely drawing session outside in the sun on Friday. Naked Two is working hard at finding her drawing eye so that she can move on to creating pictures in different media. We use "contour drawing" as an exercise to strengthen control of our looking. The exercise involves drawing without looking at the paper. The eye stays on the model exploring slowly, trying to observe every tiny detail without rush or question or any interference from our thoughts. The pencil point is locked to the eyeball and moves with the eye as it explores. It is the eye that does the drawing, not the hand. This exercise works just as well with the pencil in the left or right hand as the eye can still move it just as easily. Of course the drawings go quite astray without being controlled on the paper and the benefit is what you learn about looking. However we both like the odd results that "accidently" occur and the contour drawings have a rich intensity that I strive to capture in my correct drawings. Here is Naked Two out in the sunshine, concentrating!

Friday, 3 June 2011


Contour of face
Having broken the lack of discipline, practise is the next step. And this week has been all about practise. Contour drawing is the key, and fighting against my hang ups has helped. Faces have always been an issue, too many preconceived ideas in my head to battle with, but thanks to my new found discipline, and practice I feel I'm getting somewhere. The next step is battling with 'media' - oh boy!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Stripping off

And the pants
I'm still exploring the idea of clothes being removed to reveal nakedness. I feel that on-the-edge moment is quite a powerful image but I'm not sure what it says. It's more challenging than a straight-forward nude and seems to say "look at me" with the figure engaging with the viewer. Unlike a Degas voyeur image. It also suggests that clothes are bonds from which we need to escape. I like that idea - the body struggling out of restraints to show itself to the world!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Contour drawing
Discipline. Life drawing needs a bit of this, and sometimes life gets in the way. And this being my first post I'll let you come to your own conclusions.
My drawing skills are very slowly evolving, having heard far too many tips, pointers and lessons from years as a life model - 'You need a bit more yellow in your skin tones' being my firm favourite (as spoken to a retired gentleman with dubious drawing skills.)
And now the baton has been passed on and I am the one trying to listen to the worthwhile advice. Having weeks off doesn't always help, and trying too hard to produce 'pictures' too soon doesn't either. But at the moment I am just enjoying the process, looking at beautiful bodies all day and getting lost in drawing.
Progress is slow but enjoyable!