I mentioned a drawing workshop I went on in October a couple of posts ago - I have only now got to photographing the results, and am glad to recall it before it disappears into the dim dusty recesses of my mind. It was an intense two day course devised by a fabulous artist and teacher, Hermine Spies Coleman, called 'Drawing with all of your senses'. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but we had to bring a wide variety of drawing materials, scented things, music, and food (lunch!) We had a young newbie model not comfortable with disrobing completely, to work from, though formal life drawing wasn't the object so it didn't really matter.
The first exercises were using a soft powdery medium like charcoal dust or powdered graphite, dipping our fingers into it and 'feeling the drawing' directly onto the paper. We then added glue or water to make a creamy mixture and continued the sensual experience of building the images with our hands - I was frustrated with how difficult it was to get the glue and graphite to do what I wanted it to, but persevered rather irritably rubbing from side to side to get the pigment to stick the paper, and was surprised and pleased to step back and find an interesting, evocative image (right) had resulted, as if she's in or made of water.
I have to admit to getting very bored with much of my life drawing last time I was doing it regularly, and this course forced me to leave my comfort zone and discover new ways of mark making and unexpected solutions to problems - and excitement. They may posssibly not appeal to many viewers who like their life drawing conventional, but I was happy to launch into fresh directions, and as I relive the workshop, am excited again to get back to the drawing board, the sooner the better.
We did a series of short exercises - drawing with our eyes on the
model only, not looking down at the paper, looking at short poses and then closing our eyes to draw them quickly and succinctly, drawing to music, trying to put the music into the marks and then drawing the model dancing to the music - a huge amount of concentration and being in the moment. The afternoon session saw us all exhausted, and returning to our old tried and tired drawing styles...