The day after I had sent my portfolio off to my tutor I had the opportunity to sketch my son climbing again. I took one sheet of green paper and a piece of charcoal willow stick to quickly sketch my son’s angle whilst he hung onto and climbed the local rocks. I also took a couple of photographs to help with finishing the drawing at home. The place where he was climbing had a distinctive split in the rock and because it was tricky to climb I was able to observe and catch him with quick gestural outlines of what I thought is a lovely pose. Once home I decided to use chalk pastel as the paper has a little texture and I really liked the khaki shade of green for the background. I found the coloured chalk pastels to be an excellent medium for smudging, making lines less or more intense for creating those areas of contrast. For the acrylic painting I did previously, I used blue tones for my sons clothing, as he wears a black sweater with dark blue shorts, the tones worked and for this piece I opted for a similar colour palette as a result. I think the tones of blue compliment the green background nicely and in fact I think the green contributes to pulling the whole drawing together.
A2 paper using initially charcoal willow stick and coloured chalk pastel
Thinking further about the body ‘in an activity’ it suddenly occurred to me during life drawing class that the body is (of course) always in a state of activity, it is moving, breathing, twitching, pumping etc. During the class whilst observing the model, I began to see the subtle changes in her posture whilst holding the pose, and unless I draw a statue, the life model is always slightly moving. I think from this train of thought I realised I am drawn to finding movement and expression in my work. With the above piece something just clicked, it is clearly someone in an activity, and the gestural style helps to capture that feeling. I noticed that as soon as I was starting to go back over areas I had already worked on I knew I should stop. However, I went to a life drawing class the following week and seemed to have forgotten all of this and I produced awful static work, so I am very aware this is not coming to me naturally yet, but I can now feel when something is right! I think continuing to research artists, and with recently making small copies of artists works in my log, has also helped me to understand a few more processes.