Doing any kind of drawing from life is tricky for me. I struggle when it never looks like I’ve planned it in my head and mostly it doesn’t even resemble the thing I am actually drawing. I over think the method and reasoning of why I’m doing it. I don’t seem to engage with it as a free flowing form of play in the same way I do when I work with ink and lots of colour in an abstracted and relaxed fashion. When I just follow the path to see where I end up . There is something that makes me freeze and become so contrived when I use pencil, biro and charcoal. It becomes MASSSIVE. Like ‘proper drawing’ (what on earth is that when it is at home?!) not just me being me. Does that even make any sense? It does in my head, but, putting it out there, I wonder if it just makes me sound utterly neurotic? When I look at something in front of me and try to capture it, I end up being almost paralysed with the weight of what it should be rather than just letting it have its own voice. I spend my entire time critiquing it rather than looking for the joy of the line…. as I say, I over think!
Most of my drawings are about shapes and marks before painting on a larger scale. I am generally trying to think through a composition or just playing around with colour and texture that I then take sections of, or, I might (read usually) be faffing and experimenting with new paints, inks, pens, bushes or a new technique I have just come across. I don’t generally think of drawing as a way of producing work on its own. I think I see it as a process to the final painting but I am trying to re-engage with it as a process all of its own. If I am working from life then mostly it is a quick scribble to get a more fixed idea of where I want things to sit on the canvas or I just work straight on the painting and think and look as I am working. But every now and then I like to see how bad my drawing is, and to see if I can try to make it a little bit better….. very often with laughable consequences, but, I think to myself, at least I’ve tried to silence the big noisy criticizing voice that is oh so very loud in my head.
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