Why? You may ask. Enough with the nudes! Hey, I have not been outside to paint landscapes since early March, when I was painting in Florida, so my non-nude output is pretty much limited to my retouchings of those Florida plein air paintings.
My class with Peter Clive at the Institute on “drawing with color”, on the other hand, has become “drawing [model’s name omitted for sake of her privacy] in color”, and last Saturday I joined the Saturday Life Group after a month’s hiatus (partly because of my conflicts and partly because the Institute shut us down twice because it was hosting Open Houses for prospective students)–yes, we have been doing the SLG at the Institute for two years now–much nicer space that what we had been used to.
Plus, I got to rummaging among my recent drawings and I uncovered some overlooked ones that deserved more respect. Let no halfway decent drawing go unsung, I say! I therefore give you a trio of drawing-with-color nudes, in what I believe is their chronological order:
Colored Pencil; the disembodied foot at the bottom is the continuation of the leg that disappears off stage right. The Masters would do stuff like that, Peter advised, so I should too. So I did–just to prove, like the Masters, I can draw a foot, and the fact that the foot didn’t make it into the drawing proper had nothing to do with any reluctance to draw it. (To fully appreciate this, you need to know that figure artists are always joking about wanting to avoid hands, feet, even faces in their drawings.)
Cretacolor colored charcoal (chalk); this one is influenced by a neo-classicist Picasso drawing that I think I remember. Wish I could show you, but when I tried to find it on the internet, the closest I could get was his “Woman in White”, a mixed media painting. The one I picture is a profile outlined in dark red with blue somewhere in the drawing–either in background or on clothing.
Cretacolor chalk: The new thing here is the layering. Previously I would apply blue in the shadows, pink as a midtone, and white or yellow as the highlights, more or less, give or take. Here, every color is a little bit combined, although in different degrees. The layering makes for a richer looking image, which I like a lot.
This is a portrait of me done by Peter Clive in the Drawing with Color class. Our model had failed to show up, and Peter likes to start out with a demo, so I volunteered to act as model until we got a real one delivered. Is this what I look like? For more examples of Peter’s artwork, go to this NH Institute of Art web page.
One more from Saturday, a quickie pose (20 minutes) — I just love the attitude (this model is the same one I called energetic in last week’s blog):
This model also posed for the lead off or cover image above. The cover image represents a one-hour pose.
I think that the reason figure drawing, especially nude figure drawing, is so highly prized as a regime to improve drawing skills is the need to see and apply subtle value shifts. I can see areas where I should have been more subtle, even in the one-hour pose, but that’s OK. Perfection is not expected. It is to be sought, but not expected.