Jane keeps a good learning blog. Not only are her drawings a delight, but she has a chatty honest style, and is disarmingly self-critical. She knows how to motivate herself: at the end of a section, she’s stopped and reflected on what she has learned: for example:
So, key learning points:
1. My positioning is vital
2. A simpler composition works better to capture shadow and tone
3. The sketching approach (ie. hatching/shading/squiggles) is really important to the final image and sometimes intuition is not always right!!
4. Lighting is vital to create the necessary shadow and tone
5. The subject matter is important – I need to be interested otherwise the picture is not interesting!
6. Need to practice hatching more
7. Small is good (big is not necessarily better!).
Really fantastic learning!
Although Jane doesn’t reference other artists a lot (I think she could do this more often and in more detail) it strikes me that when she does she really does find something pertinent to focus upon. She went to Nottingham Contemporary and discovered some drawing using ‘type’, at a time when she was exploring mark making in her drawing course. This is what she says: ‘Meantime I have visited the Nottingham Contemporary – exploring the exhibition by the twins Gert and Uwe Tobias and was particularly struck by their ‘drawings’ created by the use of a type writer. Using simple, marks to create a striking image of delicacy and interest. It really got me thinking about you could use the most mundane of marks to create something really imaginative – which then led to more extravagant and challenging pieces of art. I shall remember that as I move one, as I so want to develop my art work.’
For a closer look at Jane’s work click on this link.
Interestingly, Jane has been watching the Channel 4 Life Drawing series and her blog contains the outputs from studying these programmes.. I’d missed the series but have noticed that its still available online. They are wonderful. Catch the series before they vanish: you’ll find Maggie Hambling is a tutor on the first episode, John Berger on another, Judy Perbeck, Humphrey Ocean and Gary Hume, all with incredibly diverse approaches to tutoring drawing skills. Of course drawing from the models on screen is not the best way to observe and draw life figures, but if you lack people to draw this is a great second best. And just listening to the tutors will give you excellent advice. Click here to watch the episodes. And finally here is a Guardian review of the series.