I'm back from my trip to cottage country with my father and his lovely girlfriend. I spent four odd days by the water, watching the rain come and go, attempting to canoe when it was far too windy, being stung by wasps as I attempted and failed to retrieve a kayak from beneath the cottage, and drawing.
Mostly I was working on designs for the leather working I intend to do, but I also worked a painting concept that has been floating around my head for a while. While I think the concept is solid, the drawing itself is not terrific. I'm not especially happy with it. For that reason, I'm unsure whether or not I'll be offering this as art prints. We'll see.
It did, however teach me a great deal about myself, my skills and my needs. First, here is the piece:
First, it is painfully clear that drawing people is most definitely not my strong suit. The proportions are all wrong. Also, the eyes are not correct. In fact, if we're just looking at the composition, the whole woman looks like a child drew her. I'm not happy with that at all.
That said, there's a lot that went right here, and a few lessons I've learnt about myself that I can bring forward into my creative life from here on out.
Firstly, I thing the shading went well. I think I managed to create a fairly convincing sense of depth from the shading. I think I could have done a better job with the fall of fabric, but otherwise, I'm not upset at my effort in that regard. I'm feeling much more confident about creating depth and definition when it comes to painting in colour, so I'm not so worried about translating this onto canvas.
One point of pride of this piece is the spearhead.
I had wanted it to look like knapped stone, and I think I achieved that well enough. I'm also particularly proud that I drew it pretty much as I imagined it, rather than with a reference image. Not that I think that there's anything wrong with using references, as I'll discuss in a bit, I also want to be the kind of artist that can imagine an image and then draw it from my mind's eye.
In any case, it's my favourite thing about this piece.
I think the wolf shadow also turned out relatively well. It would have been better if I had charcoal on hand, but the darkest I had on hand was a 6B pencil. Still, I think it looks like a wolf. The thing is, of course, is that I had tried for ages to draw the wolf without a reference (as I did the less than stellar wolf pelt hooded cloak). It wasn't working.
I finally relented and grabbed a reference image of a wolf and drew it from that. It went much smoother and went much faster than when I struggled without. Granted, as it was a shadow, I didn't have to fuss much with the details, but the reference really helped.
It seems that I have an alright eye for copying references, but not so much when drawing independent of them.
Looking now at the woman I attempted to draw, it's clear that I could use a reference in order to get the proportions right. I'm thinking that it might be worth my while to invest in a couple of posable artist models. I could pose them and use that to draw from.
So, my next purchases for my painting and drawing endeavours will be those posable models. Something very posable like these figures.
Until then, I will continue to practice drawing figures, particularly in profile, and in the meantime I'll buy the canvas I want to paint the final thing on. Probably something of a medium height and relatively long.