ARTWORK ~ Pen and Ink/Pencil Sketches
The pen and ink, pastel and pencil sketches are a compilation of drawings and sketches from over the years, some of the pencil sketches dating back to 1974.
My long term aim in this area is to develop my artwork into a freer less photo-realistic expression, particularly of portraits I undertake. This goal is going to be quite difficult to achieve as I have already discovered, continually reverting back to my usual methods. Life drawing is one answer to freeing up one’s technique but live sitters are not always available. I have also found that the process that most life drawing classes use is frustrating in that the idea of one minute, five minute or ten minute poses does not allow sufficient time to bring a sketch to some degree of satisfaction. In fact 90% of artists using these classes have some degree of sketching skill and one and five minute poses to ‘free up the hands’ is a complete waste of time. 20 and 30 minute poses by live models work better, not just for myself, but other artists as well. Some say this is not the intention of these quick sketches and while I take this point, it does not suit me.
It would be helpful if these models would allow one or two pictures of a pose so that artists could work up a sketch/painting outside of the short class time. But with the current practice of posting photos on social media and sending them to other parties, it is rare for a model, particularly a woman, to allow this, no matter how altruistic and sensitive the artist may be to the model’s feelings. This is understandable and one has to respect this.
Speaking personally, I’ve found that a combination of drawing from a ‘live’ subject or a ‘still life’ as prep work and then using a photo[s] to complete the piece works for me giving a higher degree of satisfaction. I do believe, however, that there doesn’t seem to be much the point in totally replicating a subject solely from a photo — after all why not just spend more time taking a photo as an end in itself.
As I’ve mentioned trying to produce an engaging piece of artwork well removed from the ‘photo real’ is not easy and requires a lot of thought along with exploration of various different techniques. At this stage, I surely have a lot to explore with this approach.