Saturday, September 13, 2014

Back to Basics....Life Drawing

I'm continuing to attend the Friday morning life drawing sessions at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center.  I'm finding that it's great practice, and I've started to concentrate on charcoal for sketching.  It has a lot of similarities to painting.  Meanwhile the sessions help sharpen the eye and built an awareness of proportions. 

2 minute poses- charcoal on newsprint

Charcoal on drawing paper  20 min pose
Life drawing   About 30 minutes

Studio study from photo reference  Charcoal on dwg paper
 Lately I've been feeling uninspired about painting.  It happens to all painters now and then I suppose, but its  an unpleasant feeling.  There's a nagging voice saying, "Get out there and paint!" and a whining voice saying, "I'm tired, and I don't have anything to paint anyway and besides....."  I was feeling just that way yesterday (Friday) as I sipped my morning coffee.  And then it occurred to me that on Fridays, the Sacramento Fine Arts Center (SFAC) has a open studio life drawing session.  I have gone in the past, but Friday's are a part of my work week and it's not always possible.  But I decided to find my drawing materials, get myself moving and get over there.  I'm glad I did.

Oh my, am I rusty.  I felt a lot of nervousness about the whole thing.   And I got there late, so I had the worst possible location in relation to the model.  And then there was setting up and deciding whether to use charcoal or conte or pencil or pastels or.....?   Yes, my "You can't do this! Who are you kidding?" voice was working overtime.  I can always depend on that old  faithful "friend" to show up.  I remember reading once that the louder the inner voice is yelling at you to quit, go home, cease and desist....the more you can be sure you're doing the right thing!

My figure drawing skills need a LOT of improvement, but going down there and drawing was exactly what was needed.  Not only did I spend three hours of much needed drawing practice but I felt so energized when I returned home that I spent another three hours in the studio painting a still life.  It was a good day.  I'll be going back to the SFAC for life drawing whenever I can.

We did a lot of quick sketches followed by some longer poses.  I think these were both 15 minute sketches.  Both are charcoal. 

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art