I haven't done any life drawing for decades - it's one of those disciplines that I don't really enjoy but I know is very good for improving observational drawing and I've benefited a lot from in the past. When having lunch one day at the excellent Creek Creative , I noticed there was a tutored life class with watercolour with John Wiltshire on 3rd June . I try to avoid doing things on a Saturday to spend time with Ian but as he was working that day I had no excuse.
It turned out to be a really good session, I've spared your blushes including photos here , my studies were mixed in their quality so I'm just showing you the better bits!
The first challenge was setting up the easel - it's cunning design was not one I'd come across before but having tried it , I think it could be very useful to have at home.
We started off with some very quick poses using charcoal on newsprint, concentrating initially on fast and slow lines of the body. The model moved around 90 degrees each time - I rubbed out my drawing each time and drew over it, liking the history of the marks. We did this exercise twice, beginning to look for the negative shapes the second time round.
We then did a longer poise on cartridge paper applying what we'd learnt
After a well earned coffee we did 2 studies on coloured paper using charcoal/ graphite and white chalk looking at tone and areas of high contrast .I went a bit mad with the white chalk on my first attempt ( top) , my second (below) was an improvement.
We all shared a table at lunch ( excellent soup and cheese scone as usual!) and chatted with several very nice people, some having lived in the area a long time and already done several of John's classes , others like myself relatively new to the area.
In the afternoon we moved to watercolour using a limited palette ( I feel a visit to Cornelissens is required to buy some particular Schmincke colours - they were so intense! )
We were allowed to do a very light pencil drawing just to indicate the areas of contrast with quality of line and then built up layers of watercolour working from light to darks. The quicker painting I did on cartridge paper ( above) was better overall than the hour-long one I did on watercolour paper( below)as although I got some nice effects with hard and soft edges, I continued when I should have stopped!
It was a most enjoyable day , thanks to an excellent tutor, good company ( and lunch) and a fantastic model, without having to travel up to London. I'd definitely do further courses there, the Auerbach one looks intriguing.