Friday, 18 May 2012

Life Drawing and Fun

Life drawing again - yesterday I had a particularly good session - as can be seen more fully over at my flickr page. But that leads to the question, what do I mean by a good session? For me, the process of life drawing is more important than the result - in some ways this is the opposite of oil painting. If I feel that I have spent my time really translating what I see into graphic form, I am happy. Every session there are different problems I am trying to solve, and months can pass trying to figure out one thing. Yesterday was particularly good, as I felt I caught the movement and character of the model (the lovely Mimi) more than I usually do. This is sometimes important, and sometimes not - after all, when anyone other than me looks at the drawing, they are not judging it on its faithfulness to the model. However, I prize life and character, and often feel looking at other folks drawings that what little character is present belongs entirely to the artist. Models (and by extension, as most life models are female, women) have character and thoughts, and moods, too, and this is something I am trying hard to portray, both in life drawing and in oils.

The history of art is littered with empty women, especially in oil painting, and I know this is partly the ladies fault for requesting a painting to make them more beautiful, younger looking, etc. But that can only be an excuse for portraits - not for Titian's mythical ladies, or Renoir's daft teenagers. (to pick on just two - they are still outstanding paintings). There are, of course, exceptions - in the field of life drawing, Watteau's delicate heads come to mind immediately.

Boy, I've lectured for a bit! Anyway, I had fun and I enjoyed letting go and seeing what the watercolour wanted to do. Hopefully people looking at the results will share some of that joy.

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