It was too cold for our life model to undress, so she just unpinned her hair and lay down on the platform fully clothed. Her unruly hair and unconventional style of dress – dungaree shorts and thick tights – at first made it seem more difficult to capture than her unclothed form might have. It seemed odd to be painting a person with their clothes on!
However, it made for a very interesting exercise. I used a palette of magenta and blue against a greeny/turquoise background and was quite pleased with my efforts.
A couple of weeks later, in my wee studio, I decided to turn the study into a finished painting. Using orange, yellow and touches of cadmium red, I added bold pattern and refined the figure here and there.
Here’s the result so far. Not sure if I should leave the yellow stripes as they are or if they should all be lined with red. What do you think?
Since October, I’ve been doing weekly life drawing and painting classes and I am learning so much from them.
Monday was the last one before Christmas and we spent the whole day on one pose. This time we had a young male model who was very slim with wide shoulders (male models are usually older with a lot of girth!)
I decided on a blood red background and used yellow, blue and magenta with a bit of greeny grey for flesh tones. As I had all day to work on it, it is pretty much finished – maybe a wee bit of tidying up of the hands and feet – we’ll see.
The shadow of his arm gave me problems, and I am not 100% happy with his shoulder. As we are not allowed to take photos of the model, I have nothing to reference in order to make changes so might just leave well alone.
My favourite bit is the head. Let me know what you think.
A few weeks back I began attending weekly life drawing and painting sessions at the Glasgow School of Art.
The emphasis has been on using colour and it has been eye opening. I find it fascinating that you can paint the human figure in, for example, greens yellow and reds and it works!
Now while I love beautifully painted figures in proper skin tones, there is something quite exciting about a figure with yellow highlights and magenta shadows with perhaps some purple or turquoise in there too.
Yesterday’s painting turned out a bit Matisse like – it’s not finished – the face, feet and hands are still very rough but overall, I was pretty pleased with it.
My favourite bit is the vibrant stripy cloth at the right hand side. Let me know what you think. 🎨🤔😊
So my life painting class continues and at the heart of it is using colour.
Slowly, I am realising that we are being encouraged to consider the ‘harmony’ within a work. My approach has always been ‘get your darks dark and your lights light’ – which is a valid way of working, but I am finding that this harmonious way of painting can deliver some exciting results.
For example, when painting skin, it is more important to think about how the colour harmonises with the garment and/or backdrop it is against. In other words, it does not have to be skin colour and the backdrop colour can be whatever you want to make the painting more exciting.
Interesting approach and potentially very ‘free’. Could be what I have been looking for for some time to help my work ‘loosen up’ when painting figures.
Last week I used a limited palette of red through to yellow with touches of blue. It was coming along nicely but a bit tamely. At the suggestion of the tutor a magenta pink background was introduced, touches of which were used on the skin and hair to create ‘harmony’.
Definately added something. Here’s the result of 2 hours work. Not a finished work, but a very useful exercise.
Ironically perhaps, my other work – landscapes and floral works – are full of colour and pretty free. Visit my website and you’ll see what I mean.
I decided at the end of Summer that I needed to challenge myself artistically and as I live out in the country, to get a bit more social contact.
So I signed up for a class at the Glasgow School of Art on colour. One day a week for 18 weeks. I didn’t realise it was a ‘life’ class but I have to say it is the challenge I was looking for. And it is hard work.
I haven’t drawn or painted from life for more years than I am willing to admit, and it has been quite intense so far. Ten minute charcoal sketches,
five minute sketches, two minute sketches, one minute sketches. No time for detail, just quick impressions of form.
Last week we started painting with a limited palette. Three colours from the same part of the colour wheel, white and one other from the opposite side of the wheel.
I found this difficult as I have never paid attention to colour wheels/colour theory and needed help. So I need to get myself a colour wheel.
Anyway, the image is the study from that session. Took about two hours in total. Hope you like it.