I have been going to life drawing classes for six years now, but last night’s class was something of a revelation. The classes have recently changed to be run by different members of the group each week and explore different ways of working to try to get us outside of our comfort zone, my comfort zone being working on a rubbed in charcoal base and focussing in on tone. Last night the class tutor (Helen Peyton) lead it exploring mark making. We started off with continuous line, then opposite hand drawing, hatching/stippling, drawing in ink with various implements and finally charcoal on the end of a long stick. These are all exercises I have done on this course and the previous drawing course, and at times in the life drawing class, but this time I finally got the point! In combining these different methods, interesting mark making happened and exciting results started to emerge. What Helen said during the class really resonated “you can view a drawing which is like a photograph and appreciate it, but then walk away and never want to see it again. But a drawing made up of interesting marks will excite you and you will keep coming back to it” (not word for word). The drawings I produced are not fantastic pieces of work when viewed as a whole, but when you look closely, some of the mark making is.
This is an exciting area to explore now, rather than a seemingly pointless exercise to have to get through. The revelation has come too late for most of this course, but I think it could lead in interesting directions in the future. It also fits perfectly with the interest I have already identified on this course with matching detail and random mark making from processes like rusting and burning.