This is an exercise where I wasn’t able to follow the brief since there is no adjustable lighting in the hall where I attend the Life Drawing sessions, so I exaggerated the shadows and relative tones that I could see.

A2, hard charcoal block on cartridge paper, 10 minutes. This was the first time I had used this medium and I found this really enjoyable to work big and fast, just capturing shadows. I like the dramatic feel of it, it somehow suggests movement to me even though the model has her legs tucked underneath her.

By way of screaming contrast….. every blog should have a comedy moment and here is mine!

For this session, the director introduced a prop; a wooden frame. I measured it by pencil and eye and determined that it was a rectangle of 2:1 ratio. I’m an accountant, I love maths and nice neat ratios make my ‘left-brain’ happy, so my initial reaction was “excellent, this should be really interesting and fun to play with”. Yet somehow I created this monster. I struggled throughout the session with relating the prop to the model – I think I had trapped myself into over-thinking everything and I couldn’t see the ‘whole’. In this pose the frame is tilted forward so the ratio disappears and perspective takes away the right angles…. I couldn’t make the jump. I was trying to look at the negative spaces inside the frame to help but because the frame wasn’t mapped accurately, this could never work.

(I quite like her left foot and calf in isolation!) A2, white conte stick on black cartridge paper.

Believe it or not, this was the very next drawing I did. The cursed prop was just leaning on her legs so I could ignore it, and this is one of my favourite drawings I’ve ever done. I particularly like the shadow cast by the left arm onto the left hip, and I feel like she is ‘really sitting’ on the cushion with the grading of tone in the shadow on her leg. I think I’ve captured the weight being taken by her left arm with the slightly inverted elbow, but the shadow around her tricep is a little heavy.

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