Just got back from another open figure drawing night at the Museum Of Contemporary Art (MOCA) here in Washington. Tonight I think I produced one of the ugliest drawings of the human form I’ve ever shown publicly, but one that I think finally is starting to feel a lot more like art than the studies I’ve done in the past. Drawn in conte crayon (like pastels, if you don’t know), this piece was approached in a very free form manner. I wanted to just draw something (anything!) in color tonight – model and reality be damned. It worked (well, more than usually). This was probably because a little more sure of myself and spent less energy on getting it “right”. The confidence has come, in part, from the MOCA session, but it also has to do with why you haven’t seen much art from me up here lately. Since Christmas, I’ve almost exclusively been doing quick, 1 to 5 minute sketchs of random people and things (the most recent of which were done at the National Zoo). These vignettes weren’t just idle doodles, though. They were specific attemps to practice getting form and proportion down correctly and quickly. If I can stop spending so much time and effort on making things look like they should, I can spend more effort making them look like I’d -like them to-. The exercises and practice seems to be paying off.
[Followup Edit: Ive read this a few times and despite the fact that it’s definitely not one of my better posts, it still gets a lot of traffic. Maybe it’s the title, heh.
To add to what I did say, though, I like how -expressive- it is. That’s a word that seems to fit what I do and it’s also something that I can’t help doing to some extent. I get so much out of the act of making art that, even when I want to be very clean and literal, I have a hard time of it.
What I like in particular about this one is her face. Usually, since Im so familiar with drawing portraits, I tend to skimp on the faces at the figure drawing sessions. I’d rather spend the little bit of time I have there practicing what I’m not as good at than rehashing what I can do in my sleep. But it takes both to make a good drawing…as you can see here. ]