Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life Drawing again

I have finally been able to join a life drawing group. Once a week I get to join others at the local university for a life drawing course. The instructors are two senior art majors and they do not seem the least intimidated by correcting and instructing a group of their parents' age.

We have been working in charcoal. The last couple of sessions have been working o toned paper, lifting out highlights and drawing in darks. This is a new method of drawing for me, and I find it a great aid to start with the middle value and then work by subtraction back to the lights.

Usually in both ink and watercolour I start from the lightest values and gradually build up the darks, always taking care to preserve the lights. Charcoal is turning that on its head.

I will note that figure drawing has me working considerably larger (18x24 inches) than I am used to. It is also considerably easier for me to draw the figure from photographs than from life.

One Week to go

In one week I leave for a three week sketching and painting tour in China. I am very excited by this. China has long had a hold on my imagination, now I will get the opportunity to spend three weeks sketching and painting on location there.

I will be on a tour lead by Lian Zheng. Highlights include Beijing, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army, the Three Gorges and Shanghai. We will be studying both Western style watercolour painting and traditional Chinese ink painting as well as Lian's unique fusion of the two.

Internet access while in China will be limited at best, but I will post the work from the trip here on my return.