Life with Atul Vohora

Marks to make form

I’ve been trying to push on my life drawing in a number of areas.

  • Making the form with marks inside the form rather than describing the edges, as a lot of drawing are.
  • Finding rhythm in the lines and shapes that engage.
  • Taking the drawing to the edges, describing the space in which the ‘subject’ is, to that end using simplified approaches to the ‘background’ that are clear as well as defining the space, a landscape approach.
  • Making marks that help describe the form, rather than simply marking the edges of either tones or the points at which the form turns.
  • Using areas of hatching to define the form, rather than simply mark the changes in tone as seen.
  • Filling out the whole area of the drawing to create a whole image.  I was touched by the recent exhibition of Picasso’s later work in this respect.  It is much more evident seeing the paintings live rather than in books.
  • Starting with lighter, more searching marks, then lifting the definiteness as the image coalesces, using rubbing out in this way as well.
  • Measuring using a fixed unit that will not move, while the subjects do move around, as well as using many comparative measures to check.

There were some interesting drawings by Jenny Saville of mother and child, moving around, at the Gagosian gallery, well worth seeing if you have a chance.