A3 brown paper, opaque white gel pen as well as coloured fine tip markers, 2 1/2 hours. Next week, I might try a gold gel as well. If you arrive late to a group portrait session (as I, ahem, may do), only the seats at the extreme sides of the model tend to still be free but I’m starting to rather enjoy the antique effect of a profile portrait. Perhaps it’s time to start a series?
This morning was well spent, looking and drawing and looking and trying and failing and nearly succeeding just a bit to pin a hint of what I could see to paper. I’ve joined a social drawing group that meets one morning a week to practice portraits. Gary, our model for the last two weeks is about eighty years old, and it’s been interesting and challenging draw all the wrinkles and softened shapes of a happy face where gravity has had its way. Drawing with no great goal in mind is more relaxing than anything else I can think of, plus it’s always nice to be part of a friendly group of people pursing art on their own terms, gently supporting and encouraging each other.
The Empire Strikes Fast is an energetic fan-pastiche stage show of the scifi classic, happening May the 4th (uh, details on the poster, if you happen to be in Wellington, New Zealand, that Monday). I was asked for a speedy image featuring the dark lord, hand drawn and hand lettered “by tomorrow if possible”. Challenge accepted! I even used a dip pen, just to take it all a little further up the absurdity curve, as my slightly higher-tech technical pens proved in need of some serious maintenance after not being used for a couple of years. Once I started scribbling it was hard to stop, although the lack of an undo key was a little hard to adjust to.
I cheated of course, working out the layout in Photoshop first, and beefing up the colouring in Photoshop afterwards, but it was rather fun going old-school for the key parts of executing an image.
Next task is creating some props for the shows, beginning with a wampa-ish creature to menace our hero.
I’ve started spending a couple of hours in a life drawing group once a week; working from a photograph just isn’t the same thing as working from a breathing, moving model. Plus, a time limit (10 minutes here) helps keep things energetic . . .
I’m spending a whole week drawing, with 5 days of figure-focused classes. Day 1 was proper old school instruction on what bits of skeletons matter and which major muscles I really should remember to look for. Day 2 was more drawing muscles and general foreshortening, days 3-5 drawing a variety of models from life. Fun and weirdly soothing, and I suspect ultimately very helpful.