The course notes say to review all of the figure studies that you have completed so far for both Parts 4 and 5, think about the progress that you have made and notice the techniques that were the most successful.
I am going to reduce this to reviewing just the colour studies, so part 5 only as that was my aim to look at going into this stage. Through this stage I have tried out some different media, but have mainly worked with pastel. Therefore it makes sense to continue this into the assignment rather than move onto a new medium.
My early pastel drawings and quick sketches are not great, but were good introductions to the media.
My later and more considered drawings were better, with the drawing of a man on green paper being my favourite to date. However, it is not bold and adventurous! Therefore, I think I need to go more down the lines of my pastel self portrait where I used bold colours. I like working with this medium though and have got more confident with it as I have gone used it more.
I did consider trying to add paint splashes, or some other media, but decided to stay with what I know, but try to be bold in my colour choice – how it goes remains to be seen!
The use of coloured paper with the pastels seems to work well, so I will continue with that, although I will use a fairly neutral colour as it doesn’t always work (such as my self-portrait with framing guide).
So, the subject. Although I am going to life drawing class, we don’t often do two week sketches due to the availability of models, and I want to have enough time to complete a drawing I am happy to submit for the assignment. Therefore, it’s either myself or my wife. Although drawing my wife is easiest in terms of measuring (which I find hard to do for a self portrait), my availability is easier, plus my stage 4 drawings were all of my wife, so I should go for something different this time.
Background – I think I will try to include some other elements in the drawing as well as myself, but will have to experiment with what might work.
I initially was thinking in portrait format, but the drawing board dominated in that format, so I switched to landscape format.
I decided to include the photographs in the background as this fine art course marks my movement from photography into other art forms, so I positioned myself so they worked best in the background and excluded anything else which might distract the attention.
I placed a light to the right hand side of me to shine light onto one side of me, with the ceiling light on also, drawing the curtains to ensure natural light did not feature much, to ensure the light levels and direction stayed constant throughout my drawing.
Had I gone bold and adventurous? Not really! I had played it safe and got the colours as close as possible to real life. I intended to do that initially and then go in with the bold colours, but then I liked the drawing as it was, so decided to stop. What I couldn’t decide was whether there is enough tonal range in the figure drawing or not? After mulling it over and discussing with a few others on the fine art Facebook group (2 out of 3 agreed), I decided to go back and add some darker tones to the image.
I may have gone in too dark around the eye (although it was the darkest area of my face), but overall the increase shadows have helped. I didn’t go in with the more bold blues/greens/purples but I didn’t want to ruin a picture I liked and I am pleased with the outcome.