Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Next Stage

Whilst the landscape is my main interest, I quickly became aware of the importance of figure drawing in the training of most artists and decided to find a class so that I could try it for myself. So, last summer I registered with the local university extra mural programme where I found a week long course to introduce artists to figure drawing and painting. The course was an interesting mix of theory and practice. We attempted drawing in a variety of media and styles, discussed colour theory and looked at the techniques used by a number of different artists. The course was intense as we spent a significant part of our time drawing short and medium duration poses as well as more extended time allotted to producing larger colour works. This is where I got my next revelation.

I had never worked in anything but watercolour and everyone else on the course was equipped with oils or acrylics. It quickly became apparent to me that there were distinct advantages to using these media when it came to rendering the subtleties of flesh. At this point I knew that my next stage would involve trying to become familiar with using one of these media.

The painting below is one of my watercolours from that course.

The other commitment I made to myself was that I would try to find a regular life class so that I could continue with the challenge that life work represents. Luckily on the same course as myself was someone who organised regular life classes at a place about ten miles from home and it is now part of my routine to travel on Tuesday evenings to Life Class. I believe this to be important as it gives me the opportunity to challenge myself with different techniques and approaches as well as share thinking about these matters with other artists.

The painting below is a 12"x10" oil sketch produced in one sitting at a recent class. Yes, I did say oil, that was to be the next step on my journey, more of which later.

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