Friday, October 30, 2015

Gesture drawing on paper bags

Two minute gesture drawing

My dear Rifaat cuts up grocery bags for me to draw on. I like the neutral tone, and besides, gesture drawings are only two minutes--nothing fancy. No fancy paper, no big expectations, no time to do a "finished" piece! My work is freer; it's easier for me to get out of my own way.

20 minute pose: ink and wash, pre-painted paper

As a result, my life drawings are getting better. Doing the gestures with a pen and brush is giving me confidence and developing my skill, with good results that carry over into the longer poses. I've started doing the longer, 20 minute poses with pen and watercolor paint, sometimes pre-painting the whole paper in a neutral tone and letting it dry before the pose starts.

Drawing and painting anything everyday helps. Rifaat tells about a famous ballet dancer who practiced every day. He said if he skipped one day, he could feel the drop in his performance; if he skipped two days, his fellow dancers noticed. If he skipped three days, his audience could tell the difference. I think painting works on the same principle.

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