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A fruitful line of enquiry for artists

Continuous line drawing

Continuous line drawings by students from last Thursday

Last week, on our Introduction to Life Drawing Course, we practised continuous line drawing. Our instructions for this exercise are to become aware of how the eye darts around the object of observation and to record the motion on a piece of paper with charcoal. The eye tends to move in straightish lines and then dwells, so when we notice it has jumped from left knee to right nipple the movement is recorded with a straight line. By not drawing the object but just recording the movements of the eye as it explores it, an image is built up.

The exercise draws upon work done by Alfred Yarbus back in the last century where he tracked the movements of the eye as it regarded a motif. By plotting exactly where we look, an image is built up which has nothing to do with our understanding of what we are seeing and yet still begins to explain the object. (When we draw our understanding of something rather than what we see, we get different results.)

Volga Girl – tracked eye movements by Alfred Yarbus

Now, how scientifically one follows this experiment is not really important, the value comes from describing what is seen in a new way. Plotting the activity of looking springs us out from the strictures of conventional representation and like blind contour drawing supplies us with a fresh line and some delicious visual surprises. Being aware of where the eye goes can also reveal important information about our relationship with what we see. How we use this in our work is up to us.

Continuous line drawing by Nicholas Shaw.

Tuesday Afternoon Short Pose Drop-in Life Drawing

Adrian is the Tuesday model this week. Well defined and highly professional.
This one of him is by Sean Cunningham:

Whilst the session runs for three hours it is possible to attend one, two or three hours, as works for you. Joining or leaving the group happens promptly on the hour. There is a tutor available although the group is officially untutored.

Cost £5 for one hour, £10 for two hours or £15 for three.
Tea and cake £1

Wednesday Drop-in long pose untutored

The last week with Suzon in a seated pose, here is Sarah Meredith‘s

Cost £15 no need to book, just turn up. £1 for coffee and biscuits at 11.30am
Read more here

Wednesday Afternoon Drop-in Portraiture
2.00pm -5.00pm

Andrew is a big and characterful chap who we are looking forward to painting this Wednesday afternoon and next.

Cost £20 no need to book, just turn up. Tea and cake £1

This is a drop-in group for those wanting to work on their portraiture. If you haven’t been for a while would you fill in the form and read more here so that we can keep the numbers manageable.

Friday Drop-in Long pose untutored

Maria has a cool elegance about her which we will have a go at painting this Friday and the following two.

Cost £15, no need to book, just turn up. £1 for tea and cake at 3.30pm
More info here

Saturday Drop-in Long Pose Untutored Life Drawing and Painting

Freya is in a reclining pose on green satin which complements her fiery hair and fair skin. You might need some cadmium orange. Colour study below.

Cost £15 – no need to book, just turn up. £1 for coffee and biscuits at 11.30am


Alison and Simon