Part 4 project 1, exercise 1&2

This is going to be a tricky section to navigate given I’m not prepared to draw nude models and there are few available clothed bodies hereabouts likely to sit still for very long. For now though, it’s draped fabric and I have a handy towel.

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If I have to assign a label to these in terms of being line or tone, I’d go with line for the first and tone for the second. They’re both conte but one has more edge to it than the other.

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It’s not easy to get fired up about a towel so I’m going to move onto the next exercises where application to something meaningful is likely to drive my skill development.

This is a sketch from a photo [credit: Graham Mort] of Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, a co-student on the Lancaster MA Creative Writing course. The angle of her head is not as in the photo and a number of other details aren’t right either but as a quick sketch, and of a person of a different ethnicity from me, I’m pretty pleased. I’ve drawn guide lines again on the printed out photo to get the planes at the right angle but only did that after I’d got them wrong, which is why her head is tilted differently and she looks quite apprehensive. In her photo she’s regal and strong and I need to take another crack (or several) at this to do her justice. It helps that we’ve met, talked, cheered and collapsed in giggles and fatigue and inspirational depletion together. I’ve seen her walk, heard her dignity, read her exquisite poetry. She’s not a stranger.

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Conte on white cartridge in A5 sketchbook.

30th May. Black conte, white conte, A4 sketchbook, and a truly awful representation of my friend which I hope she never sees! Still the head tilt is wrong, the shoulders aren’t wide enough, there’s nothing statuesque about it, and there’s way too much emphasis around the eyes and mouth. I have a lot to learn about subtlety and proportions never mind fabric flow.

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A few more marks and there’s quite a difference. Also leaking across onto the next page helped. I’ve seen this in other sketchbooks but somehow kept myself within traditional boundaries. All that walking along the left hand side of the corridor and not running ever!

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Better? Mouth’s a bit big but the shape of Phillippa’s face is closer to the reality, and the tilt is much closer. Practising works – who knew!

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