My husband and I went to a Drink n’Draw this past Saturday for a couple of hours, meeting up with a friend of ours. This is a 30 minute sketch off of a 45 minute pose – the first time I’ve gotten to work with a live model since grad school (beyond quick sketches of my family), and it felt really good. This particular group does weekly nude figure drawing sessions for a very reasonable amount of money, so I’m going to try to get out to that whenever possible.
The model was beautiful, although the lighting was quite harsh in the bar as they had to use a clamp light almost like a spotlight. I was feeling not very good about the sketch and slightly envious of the tighter and more concise sketching styles of the other people at the table with me, but then my husband told me that he actually wished he had a looser style like mine. A case of you always want what you don’t have, I guess. Like my singing voice – I’ve always loved the raspy voice of female vocalists that either deal with vocal strain or smoke crazy amounts of cigarettes, but I’m at the complete opposite end of the spectrum personally.
I’ve decided to embrace my art style. Part of the reason I’ve got so many searching lines when I draw is because I’m really trying to capture the inner essence of whatever it is I’m drawing as well as the shape and form. That actually sounds a little creepy to me, like I’m trying to literally put a piece of the subject into my work, but really, it’s a piece of myself – what my response is after I’ve emotionally and intuitively broken down the subject (whether animate or not) in my mind and put it back together. And if that’s what excites me to create, then I may as well go along with it instead of fighting for a style that isn’t my own.
Where I could use a lot more precision is in my hands and feet. I need to spend a lot of time just drawing those body parts so I don’t stress about them.
I sketched last week in conte for the first time in a very long time. It can get a bit messy when working in this medium, and when you are the mother of a young child, the last thing you want is one more mess to have to clean up. But I had forgotten how much I enjoy using conte, and with similar mess factor, pastels and charcoal. Even china markers satisfy me somehow that pencils cannot. There is just such an immediacy to the line work and shading, and the weight of it is compelling to me on the page.
In further art news, I have purchased my necessary paints and illustration board to begin my first “Dangerous Women” portrait, but I’m going to do a practice painting first as I’ve decided to use gouache, and it’s again been years since I’ve worked with that, since I’ve favored liquid watercolors for a very long time. I also hope to finish my acrylic abstract this week.
Generally, I’m getting back into a regular practice on art, writing, and music. And I’ve had an interesting offer career-wise that may give me some steady income while allowing me the time to be the mother and artist I want to be. Hopefully that will be solidified by the end of the week, and I can talk about future plans then.
Copyright 2006 Kat Micari
The proportions are a tad off on this guy, and, if I remember correctly, I wound up running out of time in class to get the shading to the point where I wanted it to be. But I think I managed to capture the slightly slimy character of this model fairly well, even if it is exaggerated to a degree.
I ended up getting a little heavy handed with this sketch. Generally, I like to do my females a little softer than my male figures to help show the curves more.
Also, the foot in the foreground was giving me trouble, hence the many extra lines there. But overall, this was a good study for proportion.
Here is another life drawing sketch. Again, the lines are darkened to show the pencil work. I suppose I should be taking the time to actually scan these in rather than taking digital photos, but… that takes too much time. I will on my more detailed sketches though.
Here is another sketch! This one is the most detailed of all the ones I’ve done so far. I used a quality nude photo from the life drawing book I’m working my way through. I’m really pleased with it!
The pencil lines are darkened slightly as I needed to lighten the background on my photo.