Drawing the Head: 1-4 November 2012

A thrilling, exhilirating yet exhausting day today – the 3rd day of Heather Spears’ ‘Drawing the Head’ course. Here’s an overview of what we have been doing :
Day 1:
A stunning introduction by Heather to understanding the head as a form with weight and density. She showed us techniques on how to gain a better understanding of how to achieve this in our drawings. Drawing the head and trying to gain a likeness to the model is so much more than drawing a pair of eyes, a nose, mouth, etc. Getting the features right is such a small part of acurately drawing the human head. Understanding and observing posture, relationships of different parts of the head to others is the most important. This first day was challenging as it really turned our approach to drawing the face upside down. Well worth it even though it took some of us outside our comfort zone!
Day 2:
The second day was a bit more relaxing as we could settle a bit more in our comfort zone as we drew things we were more familiar with such as eyes, noses, mouths, ears, etc. We concentrated on understanding the features with some excellent tips and observations by Heather. I think the model felt a bit surprised at first at just how closely she was being observed by all 12 students but relaxed and got used to it after a while. The day was spent doing small pencil sketches in sketchbooks which made a change from yesterdays big A2 charocal studies on newsprint. A really good day with all of us learning something new no matter how much drawing experience we already had. This is what’s about after all.
Day 3:
As I said at the start, today was wonderfully challenging. I and many other students had not drawn babies or toddlers before. Before the models arrived Heather highlighted some of the distinctive features to watch out for. The rest of the morning we faced the baby! Really hard to do, not only becasue she kept on moving as you would expect a baby to do, but also because all the things we had learnt from drawing adults all the time were of no use at all. It really was down to careful observation and looking really hard for the things Heather had just highlighted to us. I found I was trying to re-invent my way of drawing to cope with a moving baby, use softer more flowing lines and concentrating very hard on shape and proportions. I think we all ended up with at least one drawing we were happy with and loads of unfinished abandoned sketches. In all a brilliant experience.
After lunch our toddler and his 7 year old brother arrived and we immersed ourselves once again in chasing the lines, fumbling with form and being challenged by character. Kept on drawing until the children just wouldn’t sit still any more. Once again, looking at students sketch pads, some good likenesses along with plenty of abondoned sketches.
After a tiring yet exhilirating day we left to rest and prepare ourselves for the final day’s challenge. I can’t wait to get back to the studio.

I’ll update you then.