Drawing on a Thursday

Four days' accumulation of work

Day 4 of my Drawing for All course started at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  We were there to sketch sculpture, and think about rhythm and mood  in a piece of art.

We started in the Indian sculpture section, looking at how a sense of movement is created through decoration or sweeps and curves in the stone and metal pieces.

On the floor again; this time a mosaic surface, harder and colder than the wood of that at Tate Modern, for those for whom it might be relevant.

I attempted the Nogini, a woman’s head, and struggled to get the angles right, so was pleased when the time came to move on, in our whistle-stop tour.  Next stop was further East to China, where I lent on a window sill to study Buddha and the curves and drapes of his cloaks.

I was reasonably satisfied with his clothing, but I fear that I ended up making him look rather too smug for a Buddha.

But there was no time to get into too much of a twist about it as we were off to Europe.  Samson Slaying the Philistine has a very handy seat right beside it, so I was happy to perch there peering up at the two intertwined bodies, Samson’s hand high in the air for the coup de grace with a jaw bone.  I didn’t quite do it justice, but I could see the flowing lines linking the two characters like a helter skelter in human form.

Our last stop was at the Rodins.  I’ll freely admit that I chose The Prodigal mainly on the basis of the nearby bench, but am pleased that I did, as it was by far and away the most successful of my morning’s efforts.  I think it’s the simplicity of the form that made sense to me.

It was back to base for the afternoon and Zoe, another life model, reclining on a series of cushions covered in a velvety drape.  The task was to capture the pose and surroundings with particular reference to the mood and rhythm.  This was the longest pose, and the longest we would spend on a single drawing.

I was enjoying it, but by the time we arrived at the half time break, I had reached a point with my sketch from which I had no idea what to do next.  I knew it wasn’t finished, but felt I was on the verge of spoiling it.   I asked Fabia, and she told me to start a new drawing.

It was only after I had finished the second attempt that I could see that the teacher had seen something in my work that I thought was why it wasn’t very good, but which she saw showed the way that I visualise things.  I see the big lines, the swags, shapes and patterns; I’m much less aware of all the textures and shades.  Taking that on board was immensely helpful.  I’m going to stop envying those people who can do all the subtle shading, and stick to my lines and curves.

So, it will be the last day tomorrow, and then what will I do?

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