Since moving, a year past September, my painting activities have reduced and I've been somewhat lacking in motivation. Hopefully this is improving and so I decided to take another Portrait course at the College of Bath Further Education in order to move the process along. This is the same course I took a while back with the same tutor Jackie Harding. It combines both drawing and painting and both head shots and full figure drawings/paintings using different drawing mediums, although when we come to paint I'll stick to watercolour. Jackie has a low key approach and we are into drawing immediately after a short introductory talk. The sessions are 10am until 12.30 and it is a ten week course. I obtained permission to take the following photographs.
This lady is one of the models we had last time. I've forgotten her name but she is coming again next week so I'll remedy that.
This is the approximate view I had with my easel on the left of the photo. She wasn't quite as far away as she appears, camera distortion, but sufficiently so that her features weren't easy to identify.
This is my finished drawing. I've cropped it a little as the original is on A2 sketching paper. The college has a shop with a limited range of art materials, such as sketch pads, paper etc, on sale at very cheap prices. The cafe is similarly good value!
I used Faber Castell graphite pencils 2B, that I made sure were very sharp. After sketching the general outline I then drew the features checking distances, spacing etc constantly. In her short initial talk, complete with a sheet she gave us that had illustrations and an excerpt from Betty Edwards 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain', she. emphasized the principals to follow regarding the correct proportions of the head and not drawing what you thought was there be but by careful observation what they actually are. Rather than use a pencil for measuring I have some spacing sticks I've made from thin garden stakes, marked in inches. Possibly I should go back to using pencils, but normally I use mechanical pencils which aren't so useful for measuring. Jackies method is to go quietly round the class then suddenly she is by your shoulder suggesting this or pointing out errors. I might add I was constantly erasing and re-drawing throughout the session. For example she pointed out on one occasion that the height of the top half of her head, basically the hair, was too short in relation to the face, on another certain angles were not quite right.
I think there were seven students in total but another two were possibly missing on the day. The first three sessions are drawing then we move on to painting. We have the same model next week but the drawing session will be varied, not sure exactly how but possibly using charcoal.
Pat from my AVA group is also a student and thoroughly enjoyed it as I did. The only problem we had was finding a parking space in the Park and Ride. For a first session, warts and all, it went quite well and I was pleased with the result.