What a wonderful drawing session we had last night at Shane's studio!!! It was a full house - apparently some of us have made a resolution to draw more in 2009!
We had the lovely Maureen posing for us, and this pose was very similar to the first gesture pose of the evening, so we went back to it for our long pose - due to the size of the group, this pose was great because it sat the model up high, had great lighting, and looked interesting from every angle, all of which makes for happy artists and successful drawings!
I was working on one of the surfaces I prepared earlier in the week - a very economical surface - masonite board primed with gesso. It's actually very textured - my gesso had a bad seal, causing it to dry a little - and making it more like the texture of plaster. So instead of brushing it on, I used a small scrap of mat board (that's why nothing ever gets thrown away - it all has a purpose!) and smoothed the gesso on to the board. I didn't smooth it out too much - I loved the ridges and bumps that were created.
After maureen was in pose, I started with a light wash of blue watercolor to lay out the pose and the proportions. I then used a deep blue Nupastel to gesture and define the form. I kept using a wet brush to soften lines or move the pastel around the surface - painting with the pigment.
The atmosphere was created almost instantly - the watercolors and the washed Nupastels dug into different nooks and crannies of the gesso. I also took out a little bit of sandpaper to sand away any areas that were becoming too dense.
So here's my current dilemma...do I leave it blue or do I change the color with some glazing? At this point, it feels a bit like an "underpainting" - waiting for some colors on top. I played with warmth a little bit on the computer, trying to give myself an idea of what would happen before I work on the actual piece....what do you think? Would you change it?