Thursday, January 8, 2009

Drawing from the Live Female Nude - on a new surface

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 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?


Kim Caro said...




Sue Choppers-Wife said...

Personally I like the blue, but a strong warm color, used just as accent marks in certain areas, might really enhance it and play up the texture even more. Lots of exciting possibilities for you to play with :)

Gallery32 said...

First of all, this is lovely! Secondly, I like the blue but it does feel like and under painting. I would add more yellows, ochres, and warm tones to make it jump off the page.


janice said...

i like your colorwork, so i would want it in full color.

Anonymous said...

I really love the texture in this piece! I think I prefer the blue also. I think you could bring in some warm tones without altering the overall tone of the piece; I agree that it doesn't feel like an underpainting to me.

Bruce Johnson said...

I really loved what you came up with on Wednesday. You could push it to bring out texture (sanding the bumps or touching on them lightly with a warmer color) but I honestly don't think you should change. You might experiment on another but I love this one the way it is.

Krystyna81 said...

thank you so much for all the feedback!

I have played with it just a little...first I sprayed the surface to protect what I drew from the live model.

Then I used a mix of glaze and gesso to accent a few highlights.

And I added a few moments of shadow and line in the same blue to accent some spots that needed more definition.

At this point I am leaning towards keeping it blue and experimenting with more colors at our next drawing session!

At the very least, this was a good experiment and I can't wait to try it again!

Thank you all again for taking the time!

Anonymous said...

I love the blue - it looks sad or wistful - great work.

SleightGirl said...

I can't decide...I love them both! Maybe you could put them both together, kind of a half and half...if andy warhol can do it, and your's are so much better. I just love the shading!

Julie said...

I would leave it blue. I think it's amazing just the way it is!

Linda Hammelman said...

I love the blue for her pensive mood. Would you want to consider warm touches? She's lovely!

Alex Louisa said...

I'll put my hand up for the blue too! I can't wait to see what you do with it.

I'm going to be going to life drawing meets this year too. Once a fortnight, it's put on by my fave indie gallery. I haven't done any life drawing since I was back at high school!!