On most Monday nights I can be found at The Prince's Drawing School in Shoreditch, attending one of their numerous life drawing classes. However, today being a Bank Holiday, this is not a normal Monday night. Instead I'm busy working on some personal drawings on my own in my studio, making the most of the extra 'out of the norm' day this long weekend.
But seeing as I totally forgot to blog my drawings from the previous week's class, I may as well share them with you now:
We kicked off this session by working with wire - something I'd never done before:
We had 10 minutes to draw each of those poses using the piece of wire handed to us. The interesting thing about wire is that it's a finite length (compared to say, mark making on paper) so it really helps you focus on the truly essential elements of your subject and your attempts to distil the information into your drawing. While I initially interpreted our wire work as merely an exercise in "seeing" the subject, through the course of the evening I grew to appreciate it as a working method and a medium unto itself. One that I thoroughly enjoyed and hope to continue working with in my personal work.
After working in wire for a bit, we switched to pencil on paper but were encouraged to transfer the wire methodology to this medium. Broadly speaking, this meant continuing to draw without lifting our pencil from the paper - essentially creating a continuous line feeling it's way around the subject, manipulated only in velocity, bearing and pressure.
My sensitivity to the pencil and how it relates to my observations seemed all the more heightened by the intense wire work I did earlier in our session.
As you can see, if the wire work and pencil work have one thing in common - it's that they all focus on contours and not tonal value, when depicting the form. Being aware of this, I chose to work in tone for the final pose of the evening:
To me, the result is far from successful, but, I came away feeling much more aware of process and subject than before, which is arguably the best one can hope for with drawing.