Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bath Portrait Course Week 7 of 10 - 27 February 2011

This week was an eye opener. Jackie asked us to use ordinary brown paper, the sort parcels are wrapped in, so I bought a large sheet from the college shop for the princely sum of 20p. The model was again John. 


Actually we were asked (told!) to do a full size drawing including legs and torso. Then the catch. We were asked (told!) to use a green stick about 20" long - slightly larger in diameter than a pencil - of the type sold at garden centres as small plant stakes. Attached to one end by masking tape was a piece of willow charcoal.  Apparently this is something the old masters did, use very long paint brushes for very large paintings and we were shown some photographs illustrating this tecnique. Some appeared to be wall paintings. You have to hold the stick at the very end, not being allowed to cheat, and having your arm outstretched. 

John - Brown Parcel Paper 29" x 44"

As you can see this is huge and it was a daunting experience, wondering where to start and how to proceed. I did not enjoy the first session much but by the second one was coming to terms with it and  was fairly satisfied - with reservations - about the result. I've made him rather fatter than he actually is and  as you can see couldn't get his legs in because I didn't initially set the midpoint correctly. Better to run off the sheet than try and cram him in which I noticed a couple of others did with the usual results. Apart from slight use of red and white crayons on his head I stuck with this long pole throughout. 

What is this to do with a watercolour blog? Drawing is the basis of all painting and I certainly wish I had given more attention to it when I first started. The apparent reason for the procedure just described is to encourage `looseness'. Next week we have Sarah back with the hat and I'm hoping to paint a `Charles Reid' type of watercolour of her.

I shall be returning to other subjects in the next few weeks, several are in draft form, so don't think I'm becoming too portrait oriented.


Mick Carney said...

Great exercise from thoughtful teacher and a super result for a first attempt.

Peter Ward said...

This course is taking me into new areas that I hope will benefit me overall. Thanks for comment Mick.

Anns Art said...

You will benefit Peter, all the exercises will help tremendously. You certainly have done a great job here of drawing John, and most of all I hope you enjoyed it, that's the important thing.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Ann. I wouldn't say I greatly enjoyed this particular exercise but light was beginning to show at the end of the tunnel by the time I finished.

Robert P. Armas said...

Great drawing Peter.I think that you captured the essence of the model,that's what is important,no having calculated the midpoint and running of space for the legs is a mistake that we all do once in a while,if not the legs is another part of the body,that should not bother you.
I can see already great improvement in your latest native Americans portraits and if I'm not mistaken the leap in resemblance is due to these drawing classes you're taking.Keep the good job.
Looking forward for the Sarah portrait soon.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for those comments Robert. I'm just hoping I can sustain an improvement.

Irena said...

You are lucky to have a knowledgeable tutor who is encouraging you to push the boundaries. I'm sure your work will benefit tremendously.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Irena. Let's hope you are right!