Drawing from a life model was challenging but I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone was looking forward to it. Not all the students have had the opportunity before so I decided to give them something completely different to worry about – AO size paper! How big is that? Well – BIG – and because you have to work on the floor, it gives you a very different drawing experience. And that has to be celebrated.
We started with some ease-in processes to give students a chance to explore the format and get used to working on the floor. We started the life modelling with some short poses and drew with charcoal and 3 different colours of chalk pastel. Doing one drawing on top of the other can on the one hand get a bit confusing but the benefit can be all the unplanned mistakes that happen on the page – the shapes that appear, smudging of colours and creation of tones. I was really pleased with the results even though the results were not the main purpose of the process – getting involved, sensing the energy, the mood and responding in a creative and intuitive way was.
The rest of the session was spent exploring ink. A wonderful medium in that it flows, especially when used with lots of water. I love the unpredictability of the medium and once again, as with all the other techniques used on this course, offer the students a chance to get lost and let the art materials lead them to unplanned places. Some found this quite difficult as the immediate response is one of wanting more control. It takes time to learn how to find the balance between letting go, stepping back to see what’s happening on the page and then stepping back in to direct the drawing to a successful conclusion.
If we remember that this course is not about observational life drawing but about developing an intuitive and emotional response to drawing, then the results were really pleasing and surprising – with some drawings really communicating a connection and empathy with the models pose.
Once again a challenging evening and I think all the students rose to the challenge, worked hard and were rewarded with stunning results.