50.5 cm (w) x 37.5 cm (h), conté on cartridge paper.
Date produced: 1989
This was drawn directly from a life drawing model, during my degree (B.Ed. - Secondary Art Teaching). I am very happy with this result. Highlight areas for me (shown in the following detail images), were the forms around the shoulder region, the lighting across her lower back and buttocks, and the soft flesh behind her knee.
Because I usually work directly (on-site) from natural environments, much of my work could be considered to be life drawing.
In my early twenties, I would regularly travel to an organised life drawing studio for drawing sessions. I enjoyed the discipline aspect of this type of drawing - the human figure needs to be drawn extremely accurately, or it will look/feel malformed. We all judge human forms constantly in our daily lives, and so are highly critical of such images. As part of the activity of striving to achieve accurate representations of human forms, I found that I became more interested in concentrating on smaller sections of the body, that I felt showed highlights of beautiful form and light in the overall scene.
After drawing many human models, I discovered that most tree trunks have a similar beauty within their organic forms. Tree trunks would also keep their poses for years, and not require payment for being models - quite an important consideration for someone such as myself, who likes to spend a lot of time studying the subtleties of the forms. The environment for drawing trees is much more open, honest, dynamic, and personal than for drawing a human model within a group situation in a closed room. Drawing trees, I could choose the views I really wanted to draw, without having to worry about interfering with anybody elses view, etc. I have now thus changed from drawing the human figure to drawing tree trunk forms.
This drawing was produced quite a few years after switching to mainly drawing trees.