Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Struggles at the British Museum

As promised a trip to the British Museum this morning. Three drawings which I enjoyed doing, although as ever, disappointed in the outcome. All done at A3 scale as encouraged by Andy Pankhurst whose course I did at the National Gallery (memo to self: I very much like Andy's work and want to add it to my reference collection..see below).

The first one was the Mexican figure: hands crouched around his knees in a very modern pose. He had a very Muppet-like mouth which I partly captured. Mouths are my downfall and this one should have been easy, but the curve was a lot more subtle than I could handle. I was pleased with  the feet. But above all the real disappointment was failing to get the squatness. He was squat, he had weight and I have him almost thin. Getting my drawings to have weight and sit on the surface, is a recurring challenge for me.

The second is an American Indian figure done fairly quickly in charcoal. I felt better about this one and it reminded me of how much charcoal can free you up and allow the line and the shading to flow.

Finally, I found a delicate tall and thin Buddha. Its delicacy was a challenge and here the trick was get the lightness of the form. I probably didn't spend as long as I needed to and was also unsure whether this was going to be a line drawing or  fully shaded. In the end it was half and half and less satisfactory for that. The rather strange leg and foot crossed on the front really did look a bit like that. Difficult to look graceful.

And here's one of Andy's life paintings. The simplicity is beguiling, but the sort of thing that is so much harder to pull off than it looks. I particularly like his use of colour in the backgrounds. there are several of these with wonderful rich red background. here the mix of colours works just as well.

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