I was so happy to get back to the figure drawing studio yesterday after the month’s break. I was prepared to be stiff, but actually right from the warmup gestures I could tell I was having a good day. I resolved to keep that fast, loose approach going in the longer poses. It worked pretty well for the seven-minutes:
In fact, the third 7-minute pose yielded my favorite drawing of the morning:
The light on the torso is what I loved most, and what came through. It was less successful on her right arm.
The poses got longer and if I was done and in danger of overworking something, or just dissatisfied, midway through, I flipped over the page and started a second one. So these two five-minute bits emerged from a 10- and 20-minute pose:
The vast expanses of back and belly, with their subtle shadings, are often beyond me. I put in too many marks or make them too dark, or else I back off entirely and the whole thing ends up flat. Yesterday I was able to evoke something of those slight changes in tone, like in the back on the first drawing, the belly in the second, and the arm here:
Three slightly longer poses. I was done with this next one after 15 minutes. I got the proportions wrong and made her too stocky–she’s actually very slim–but I wasn’t going to erase and fix it (almost impossible to do much of that on newsprint anyway). I was trying to keep my hand moving and focus on the light. Wherever I can see that light in the drawings, it makes me ecstatic. I never could understand the Impressionist obsession with evoking light, but I get it now. Though frankly, the Dutch masters’ success in this area left nothing to improve on, in my opinion.
In this next one the light ended up a little lurid. Not sure why. But it’s a sign of my erring on the side of boldness and high contrast, and that’s good.
The wrinkles on the bottom of a foot are a puzzle to me. Maybe the next few times the pose makes them visible, I should focus entirely on them and see if I can figure it out. Other than that and whatever happened with the calf, and once again making her torso look wider than it is, I like this last one pretty well. The light works in several places.