Project 4 Structure

Exhibition visited- Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art – National Gallery, London.

This exhibition showed the pervasive influence that Delacroix had on the generation of European artists that followed him.  Works by Courbet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne and many others were on display and provided fascinating comparisons.  Also it was shown how Delacroix copied Rubens and how this influenced his work.

Analysis of (1834) The Women of Algiers in the Apartment , (oil on canvas)in the exhibition.

women of Algiers

This ‘sublime’ painting expresses the sensual atmosphere of a harem – a subject that is depicted through traditional western colonial ideas about the orient.  It is the rendering of colour and light that makes it so ‘modern’ for its day.  The colour scheme is based on red and green with violet, yellow, orange and blue.  There are no defined edges which adds to the exotic  atmosphere of the work. The light from the top hand left side of the picture is important revealing the colour which expresses both smell and touch. So Delacroix creates emotional sensation through colour and tone, something that Bonnington,Bonnard, amd many impressionists, among others, were to develop.

A stimulating exhibition which I will re-visit.

(Ref: (1997) /Acton, Mary, Learning to Look at Paintings, Routledge).



STRUCTURE– I drew a skeleton that is in the art room of the Mary Ward centre and then from this drawing made some prints.  Drawing the skeleton was valuable in making me more aware of the Project 4 Print of a skeleton drawn from a modelbone structure of the figure.


Ex 1 Drawing parts of my body.

Project 4 hands -Structure of body

Project 4 Ex 1 parts of own body

Quite difficult drawing separate parts of the body but had a go at hands, feet, arms , elbows and necks- mostly in my sketchbook.  It helped to think of the overall shape of hands and feet and the spaces inbetween. I have always found hands very difficult to draw so was pleased I got a sense of them as above.

Ex 2 Three figure drawings.

Standing figure – an hours pose. Standing model - stance

I felt I had got the weight of the model standing but the arm was not good.  I also had difficulty with the models hand.


2. Sitting pose.Project 4 Seated figure

Felt I had captured a certain mood but found the hand very difficult and disappointed that I didn’t get the figure completely in the picture – would have done better to have started more to the right.

3. Lounging figure.  I used watercolour pencils and added water.  I liked drawing this very large and fat model as it reminded me of a landscape.  I was interested in the way she had her neck ,( rather uncomfortably) extended, and the expression on her face. I included another member of the class drawing her as I think this added to the focus on the main figure.


Project 4 Ex 3 Lounging figure - watercolour pencils

Project 3 Energy

Quick gestural marks seemed to be the best way to capture movement. By chance the texture of the board came through on one of these studies of moving figures which seemed to enhance them.



Later exercise on drawing the same model in three different sitting positions also suggested movement. Project 4 Sitting in 3 different positionsmoving figures

Project 3 Form

Ex. 2 Essential elements.

A sequence of 6 different poses lasting ten minutes.

I think the kneeling figure gives the best sense of proportion – all needed to be adjusted but no time for detail.sitting and kneeling poses

Ex. 3 Stance. Line indicating the central axis was helpful – relating one part of the body to another also useful. It was important to try and get a sense of weight of the figure when standing pose of fat modelstanding.


standing poses - two more copy

Project 3 Form

Ex 1 Basic shapes -there was a slight twist in the body and a turn of the head that seemed to characterise this pose . Model looked quite different from different viewpoints.


I found drawing the environment around the model extremely helpful in establishing the form- as in this drawing below.

Project 4 another sitting figure

Slight twist in the body and head as shown below.

Sitting model

Project 2 : Proportion

Ex 1  Quick studies.  A friend of mine kindly agreed to sit for me, she is quite diminutive in stature just being around 5 feet in height but she has a strong personality which I tried to capture.  I first did some quick studies, two of which are in my submitted sketchbook of this section -I also did a quick charcoal drawing on larger paper a bit of which , by chance, appears in the corner of the photo of Lois below. I very much liked the shadows in the room.



PART 4 Project 1

Fabric and form.

Research point: Titian – Portrait of a man.

Mary Acton  (1997, Learning to look at Paintings, Routledge) draws the reader’s attention to how the form is defined by the clothes.  As she says: Titian looks for the structure of the body within and the way it affects the shape of the sleeve and expresses the sensual quality of the material.


DSC_0210 (1)

Fabric and Form.

Ex 1 Drawing fabric using line and tone.

Volume was easier to create in tone rather than line because the darker areas helped define the form.

drawing fabric using lineFabric and form -Ex 1 drawing fabric using line and tone

Ex. 2. Emphasising form with cloth.

A seated figure in baggy clothes.

Chris - Part 4 ex 2 emphasising form with cloth

Chris has very long legs and didn’t manage to get the feet in.

His baggy jersey clung round his form so that in drawing it helped to define what was underneath.  He uses his hands a lot to speak and I would like to capture this in the future as it is a marked characteristic.

I went onto to do a pen and ink drawing.  A little disappointed in both as I didn’t manage to get a likeness but felt I had captured something of a presence. pen and ink of Chris


Ex 1 drawing fabric and tone

Part 4: The figure and the face.

Research Point – Honore Daumier. Honoré_Daumier_-_The_Third_Class_Carriage_-_Walters_371226.jpg

It is the way the figures are sitting that makes them so convincing – one can imagine how they would move if they got up.  Darks and lights are important also and just the right amount of detail.  The focus is first on the  foreground figures but the large background group are equally compelling as each one rendered an individual by the turn of their heads and expressions.

I found an article about the pubs that Ardizzone frequently drew in in a back copy of the Illustration magazine that I subscribe to.  Tried a transcription of one of the drawings to try and learn how Ardizzone perfectly captures the stance and character of each figure. Lots of cross hatching but an important aspect of his work is the way the figures stand, move and sit plus facial expression, nothing too detailed.

copy of the stairs at the Shirland



Reflections on tutor’s comments

March  17th – weather good and decided to have another go at Assignment 3 ‘An Outdoor Scene’ as feedback had suggested this.

I used watercolour pencils both dry and wet and a limited palette as I thought  there was too much  colour in my original piece. I left out the bus shelter which I had rendered  inaccurately in my original piece.  The tree looks too bright in the photo, it is actually a  more subdued red  in my drawing.

Assignment 3 revised: ‘An Outdoor Scene’.   Project 3 Final assignment-second go

Original piece for Assignment 3 with a bus shelter.

Assignment 3- An outdoor scene of my choice


Tutor report –  I was disappointed that I’d mistakenly marked my blog private so my tutor was not able to comment. This was entirely my fault but I would have benefited from feedback.

Feedback to think about:

The perspective in my final assignment was wrong so a bus shelter was initially interpreted as a table top. I will work on this again and leave out the bus shelter in both pictures.

Pointers for next block is to be more careful with my drawing of figures- ‘slow down and look more carefully’. Edward Ardizzone and Honore Daumier are two artists suggested to look at – I love both these artists  – saw the Daumier exhibition at the RA a few years ago.

Also a suggestion to visit the  Nickolai Astrup exhibition at Dulwich – I have already planned to go  as the paintings look interesting.I lived for a time in this area and used to regularly visit Dulwich gallery.