Figure Drawing, Less is More
Had a wonderful weekend at the drop in figure class and the Independent Painters portrait session. You can see a few of those drawings added to the slide show on my page, "Figures and Portaits", on this website. Attending always seems to re-fuel my art energies. In the figure class I'm exploring possibilities of drawing and painting mediums I enjoy working with, so although I used my usual graphite stick for the short poses and gesture drawings, I was trying out some new markers I just purchased that are near to a flesh tone in three assorted values. When I felt like I was getting nowhere very fast, I resorted to the addition of my current favorite medium for the figures, my liquid acrylics, but with a large brush this time. It's my goal with the figure drawings to pare things down to their minimal expression. I'm trying to make as complete a statement as possible conveying it with fewer lines and a select range of values, so that the viewer needs to supply the missing information to complete the total image. I don't mean that the viewer should have to work harder to figure it out. Instead I feel that I can depict a lot about the model by implying it. I've always had a feeling for negative spaces and the idea that I don't need to copy every detail, where I can make the statement without complexity. In my floral paintings, for example (see the page "Floral Paintings" ), there are often parts of flower petals that I don't complete, or likewise with their stems or leaves. I feel that there is a point where I feel that I've told enough about a subject that feels like a complete idea of it, and that to convey more is to go too far.
So in the figure drawings, although I have worked with much more "finish" at times in my career, especially during my years as a graduate student, and am well-equipped to do that, my interest now is in "understating", seeing how much I can convey with "less". (See the figure at top of blog, and click on it to enlarge)
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