Archive | 20:40

Distorting To Fit [parental guidance, male nude]

5 May

Mixed media drawing: male nude.

Last week I spent a couple of days doing some training in Renaissance drawing techniques but earlier in the week I finished this piece which had started out as a smaller drawing in my sketchbook. I was working within a specific size, which is my printing plate for monotypes because this will eventually become one of my large colour monotypes as well. I struggled with it for a while because I couldn’t get it to fit the space, but I took some time out to study some of Egon Schiele’s drawings and it gave me the confidence to distort the body quite considerably until it fitted. Schiele did it all the time and so did many Renaissance artists. They constantly looked for the patterns and ‘truth’ underlying the visual world and weren’t averse to altering what was in front of them to conform to what they considered to be ‘divine’ rules of nature. So I’m in good company, eh? 🙂

I did a lot of preparation on the ground underneath the drawing, stretching a large piece of Somerset and priming it with several layers of rabbit-skin glue, which gave it a lovely satin sheen. I washed over it with three layers of watered-down acrylic paint in yellow ochre, permanent rose and phthalo blue respectively. Finally I worked over the surface randomly with willow charcoal. And only then did I begin to draw, firstly by rubbing away the highlights from the charcoal background with a bit of rag, letting the drawing emerge. Then I worked it up with compressed charcoal and oil bars. This is based on a life drawing done with a young soldier model.

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