Thursday, May 27, 2010

The struggle begins in earnest

The following works are from my first sketch pad at the East London Tech art school in 1975. I know these large format pads, with fine paper, had a special name, but I can't recall it. Anyway, these drawings I believe show some progress, but I'll also point out the glaring problem areas.

Life drawing and painting were a key part of our course. Every Monday evening we had extra drawing lessons, which were also open to non-permanent students. Despite apartheid, art school head Jack Lugg believed in using African models. I'm not sure what they were paid. Anyway, in this early attempt to come to terms with drawing the human figure, I seem to have tried a bold approach. Noticeable is a lot of cross-hatching in my attempt at shading, as well as severe anatomical anomalies. Due to having only an A4 scanner, the picture is cut off, but in reality includes the whole figure. Hands and feet, such a key part of the human figure, are also weak.

This drawing, a bit further on in the book, shows a different approach. I seem to have gone to the other extreme, eschewing bold outlines for a more fluid following of the form. This, had I known it, was probably a great leap forward. Yet, obviously, there are still major problem areas. The hands have no structure and shading is again hardly even attempted. On the positive side, I believe the character of the pose has been captured. Again, this work had to be cut off due to scanner constraints.

There is an Ingres quality to this study in so far as solid, bold outlines are used. Again, there is a grappling with a new technique, not to mention anatomy! The shading is still nowhere. But again I quite enjoy the overall effect.

Clearly influenced by those Sixties illustrators, here I tried a minimalist approach. Sometimes, as here, Jack Lugg got students to pose and we'd draw each other. But look at that hand! It's a tiny mess of a thing, with the shading a weak cluster of squiggly lines. I think the face is a redeeming feature and again I enjoy the overall character of the work.

No comments:

Post a Comment