I had the privilege of drawing portraits at Tension Gallery SE20 where we had an afternoon, open to the public, of drawing in the space surrounded by the ‘Foursight, and everything in between’ exhibition. (Running till the 1st February 2020). I haven’t drawn from a live model for awhile, but my recent drawings and paintings of mainly abstract themes, definitely affected my portraits. The people attending the session simply took turns posing for 15 minutes at a time, so the angle of observation, and model selection were not much under my control. However I thoroughly enjoyed the time, and tried to make the most of the composition and model presented to me. The mediums I used for the drawings (in order of appearance) were charcoal, fineliner pen, charcoal and pencil.
On reflection afterwards, I realised that my drawings are a bit like a moulded biscuit baking tray. The raised flat parts, the moulded negative shapes, and the buiscuit filling is all important in making a successful biscuit. And so similarly I fill in everything- the bits that are ‘negative space’, i.e. the background, and the model. I feel that the model is (almost) secondary as I am drawing, and that the composition and structure take priority. During most of my drawing time the model is almost unidentifiable- but then I tighten up and perhaps lose something in trying to make the likeness true. I think I shouldn’t worry too much about a good likeness in future, and see how far the ‘construction’ of the composition carries me!