Monthly Archives: May 2011

Danny – combinations

People and Places

Danny Cuming led this very interesting portrait project. The idea was to combine the figure, from in the studio with an outside scene to create a new image. in this way we could vastly expand what is possible in a portrait. The first step is to gather reference material from both the figure and the external site chosen, with drawings, colour sketches, written notes and, if need be, photographs. Secondly, to make up some small thumbnails until an overall composition is finalised. Thirdly, in my case I did a full combined drawing. Finally, to go ahead with the painting. There are several key elements to making the two work together, notably scale, eye line, reflections and lighting.

I really enjoyed this project and plan do more of this type of thing. In my case, I used the station at St Pancras international, but several different parts of it to create one image. Stations have strong and ambiguous ideas surrounding them, meetings, partings, and just going through. They are ideal for looking at the contrast between the organic human form and the manufactured and linear environment of the modern world.

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Conte with Chris Moock

Earth Colour Portrait Drawing

he last week of the term was drawing using Conte, led by Chris Moock. In part this is driven by his interest in drawing and the bridge between drawing and painting. However, it also coincides with the Exhibtion of drawings by Watteau at the Royal Academy.

I like working on a coloured ground, just as I do when painting. It allows for both dark and light to be drawn directly into the ground. The red allows yet another dimension of hot and cold. As working on an Ochre grounds adds to the potential. In many respects it reminds me of the warm and cool paintings that I did a couple of years ago, some of which you can see in the Still Life tab of this website.

I love the medium itself, the conte sticks have a velvety texture about them, they spread of the end and side of the stick onto the paper in an extremely controllable and fluid way. Since this project I have used black conte stick in life drawing instead of charcoal. Its not easy to rub out, but leaving a trace of where you have been has its own character and enforces a certain discipline.

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