It’s been a week of ups and downs at the Foxton atelier.
The drawings have slowed, infact they’ve stopped. I’ve just realised today that I haven’t done a drawing for over a week,apart from cafe sketching. I should throw myself out of my class. I’m not beating myself up toomuch though because the paintings aregoing pretty well at the moment. I’m trying out a few things which, uncharacteristically, seemto be working.
But cafe sketches first. Although these are going on pretty much as normal, I’m getting increasinglyfrustrated with not having proper, held poses to work from. I still enjoy my trips to the cafe butI’m getting a bit tired of having to abandon drawings because whoever I was drawing has moved,left, or been obscured by someone else getting in my line of sight. It’s been like that for thelast four months or so that I’ve been doing these drawings, so I don’t know why it should bebothering me now. I think maybe I’m getting to the point where I need to be working from posed modelsto get much further.
I’ve just posted two lots of drawings from the Cafe Nero, one from yesterday and one from lastweekend.I think maybe the frustration is showing in the drawings, since neither trip turned out any especiallygood drawings and yesterday’s trip was especially dire. For the first time I left in a huff withouta single decent drawing in the sketchbook. Maybe I didn’t drink enough coffee.
This was the last batch for May, and didn’t go too badly. For this trip I was trying to concentrateon my eye training, judging shapes and proportions, and to get away from trying to get likenesses.I only managed to get three drawings finished, but they came out ok.
This is the last one from that trip and is my favourite one of the day. It comes somewhere betweengetting a likeness and concentrating on proportions, although as likeness it doesn’t stand up. I like itanyway.
This drawing is from yesterday, the first trip for June. I started feeling frustrated from the firstdrawing and it went downhill from there.
Of course it could just be that I was having a bad day,just the luck of the draw, but I’m thinking about having a break from the cafe for a while. But I needsomething to replace it with. I’ve got a couple of ideas along those lines which will no doubtappear on the site if I do them.
The paintings have been going much better. The new series of ten pairs of objects is well underway,and I’m happy with the progress I’m seeing. Working sight size, trying out different mediums anddrawing out the shadows in glazes first all seem to be having a positive effect and are keeping thingsbubbling along nicely.
I’m pretty happy with the way this one came out, number three of the series. The setup and the methodwere the same as usual, with the exception that I laid in the shadows in a warm mix of burnt sienna and ultramarine,instead of the cool grey I used for the Garlic and Peach. It gave the painting overall more warmth,and more life I think, and also meant I had to spend a lot less time working on the shadows. The translucentglazes let the grey ground of the panel show through, and appear to give the shadows more depth and warmth,more reality.
This one I did today, and was a break from the deep chiaroscuro of the first three of the series.Also it’s looking down on the still life from above, something I haven’t done for a little while. It didmake the easel a bit wobbly though, with it pitched far enough forward to be flat on to the still lifefrom my point of view.
Although the drawing isn’t very strong on this painting, I think that I’ve managed to catchsomething of the light falling on the pear and the plum. Fine weather and a west-north-west facingwindow have meant I’ve had to start earlier to get the paintings done before the sun gets into the window,but I’ve been quite enjoying painting in the mornings instead of the afternoon. Sunday mornings arean especially quiet time and it’s good to be able to concentrate with no distractions.
But I really need to get drawing again. Up until a couple of weeks back I was drawing every day and I could see the progress from one week to the next, my line was getting stronger. I need to get back to that this week. I have a few new series I’m ready to start, but I want to finish the existing series I’ve got going before I start them. So this week my goal is to get the eyes, noses, and mouths series finished, or at least nearly finished, so I can get on with the new stuff.
Posted 4th June 2006
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