‘Portraying Movement of the Human Figure whilst Preserving Some Realistic Detail’

I found Part 4 of this module the most engaging. As I approached the end of that part, I knew I wanted to use figures for assignment five. My most successful pieces in Part 4 were, in my opinion, the large charcoal figures . I really loved working on those drawings so I decided to do a similar exercise but try to incorporate some other aspect that I hadn’t worked through as well as I would have liked.

During my tutor feedback session for Part 4, Ilsa advised me to ‘not miss out on the experience’ of drawing moving figures in real time. This comment planted the idea of trying to capture movement.

I had previously been toying with ideas around ageing incorporating my own artwork I did as a teenager, or to perhaps see where working on a very large scale would take me, but neither idea truly grabbed me. When I later thought of combining my charcoal work with some kind of depiction of movement, my thoughts started running away from me and I had to grab pen and paper to catch them all!


The research exercises of this course interest me greatly (even though I’m not very good at writing them up in a timely manner…). I come across many works that I instantly love, instantly hate, or that make me want to look at other works by the artist. As I view more and more work, I’m beginning to form a coherent impression of a context into which my own work may fit; a growing list of artists with whom I feel some affinity. This feeling bears closer inspection- I want to try to identify the element(s) that cause it. In some cases it is obvious to me, it will be, say, the use of negative space or the treatment of light and shadow. Other times it is much harder to discern; it might be a subtle quirk, or just gut feel.


Even though I am already certain I want to use charcoal for this piece, I’m considering mixed media depending on where my investigations lead me.


I strongly feel that an absence of background is part of my ‘voice’. If it even occurs to me to consider adding background detail, it so rarely feels right to me to do so since it detracts from the subject. Therefore I’m fairly sure I will do this again.

I also have preferred my monochrome work in recent exercises. I appreciate that this is probably just a function of using charcoal but again I suspect that this piece will be in monochrome.


Initial thoughts:

Areas to investigate:

  • Will just a lack of focus in some areas do it? Portray in water? Distortion?
  • How do other artists portray movement?
  • Lines, smudges, ‘potential energy’
  • Looking at other artists:

Karolina Szymkiewicz, Tom French, Scott Hutchison, Matthew Ritchie, Marcel Duchamp

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