It’s been a while…

Clementine (graphite)

Clementine (graphite)

You may have noticed, it’s been a while since I’ve shown up here, written anything, or had any arty things to share with you…  I’m so sorry I disappeared, a year is an embarrassingly long time to be missing in action! But it was a huge year with lots of personal and professional challenges… I’m very happy to be on the far side of it rediscovering some balance and fun! If you’ve been patiently waiting for something new, thank you! You have amazing patience!

I did manage to keep some sketching going throughout all the upheaval, mostly at the weekly life drawing group at the Camelot Lounge. Many of those sketches were too rough or a bit too nude to be comfortable sharing on a public site 😛 However, I wanted to share one piece from last Wednesday’s Gyspy Sketch Club session which I’m particularly pleased with.

I have always had problems with faces and most of my drawings of the models at the club are torsos only, with no more than a vague oval and maybe some scribble where the face should be. I would love to be able to really capture a likeness, or just get some features in the right place so that my oval blob looks human! Mind you, most sketches are completed in less than 5 minutes so I’m generally focusing on getting the limbs and body down rather than bothering with an area I know I struggle with.

Occasionally during the evening the model strikes a pose that just can’t be seen very well (it’s a busy room), or isn’t very inspiring. For these situations the management have thoughtfully set up a video camera casting a slightly different view of the model on a large screen. This was one of those moments and I had just 10 minutes with a beautiful close up composition that was crying out to be drawn.

I think I started off with her eye and worked away from it, trying to smudge shading in and sort of mapping the area, trying not to identify it in my mind as a face (try tricking your brain into this!). Then, judging the distance between the outer edge of her eye and the edge of her face, & just putting in a line, next looking at her nose and how the upper edge of it by the nostril is almost horizontally in line with the inner corner of her eye. And a mark here and a scribble there, creating small areas of shading rather than outlines… suddenly I realised I had something that was starting to look like a face!

And then she moved to the next pose.