Reclining Figure In Tone
Here, I have chosen to work with sticks and pencils of soft pastel to allow me to focus on tone as these have worked well for me in previous exercises on tone. I am using a large support (65 by 50cm) of blue pastel paper and am restricting my colour palate so I really have to think about tonal contrast.
I started by drawing a couple of quick sketches to decide on the best composition.
My model is positioned in a way that allowed me to look at perspective and foreshortening with her feet closer to me. There was a strong ,natural light coming from the window to the left into a room which is naturally quite dark, which gave me reasonable contrasts.
The pastels allowed me to make mistakes as they were easily rubbed out but I tried not to smudge the marks as I wanted some textural marks. I soon realised that my darkest blue wouldn’t be dark enough, so I tentatively introduced a red for the darkest tones.
I was working with an easel and found myself holding the chalk pencils as if they were a paint brush which helped free up my mark making.
I am pleased with the proportions, the tonal contrasts and the likeness I have achieved and I like the introduction of the red as this gives a bit of contrast to an otherwise too soft an image. If I were to do it again I might choose to work with colours different from the background. As a composition I am happy apart from the head being too near the top of the page. Maybe I could have made it more interesting by zooming in.
Seated figure with line
This time I struggled to think about what medium to use working with line on an A1 support. After looking at other artists work, particularly Henry Moore, I decided to use a range of artists pens, biros and graphite pencils.
Thinking about the composition I wanted to capture something of the sitters personality and managed to capture him suited and booted and squeezing in a bit of work before catching his train. He is busy tapping into various gadgets a look of concentration on his face. I had struggled with how to get the position of his hands so had a practice with different types of mark making.
Rather than a few hours this took me several days, so although I started drawing from life I had to continue with a photo. I found it so much harder getting the proportions right while working on such a large scale. Then came my indecision regarding what sort of lines to make which has resulted in a bit of a mixture of styles, but I’m not sure if that matters as I rather like the end result. I am pleased that I have managed to describe the folds and contours of the shirt without using tone. I think that I have struggled finding the right marks to use to describe the hands .
Portrait using line and tone
I started by looking at other artists work that I found interesting and expressive. I knew that I wanted to keep it monotone and use interesting marks and decided to try a couple of ideas with interesting cropping.
My model always looks quite confrontational, even though he isn’t at all. I wanted to try and capture his intense stare and decided on having him look directly at the viewer but with his head angled away. I decided to work with water-soluble ink with a dip pen and brush. I have used a square support which I think works quite well.