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.