2012-3 Large Line Drawings, Stokes Croft

These ‘from life’ line drawings were all began as part of a plan to do some more finished works, Acrylics, Pastels, Watercolours or Oils. In each case, by the time I had completed the drawing I had run out of time. Most of the drawings were carefully measured using a Cartesian co-ordinate scaled sight-size system I was taught by Dave Ferguson. This is a slow method but is does help to get proportions right, especially in situations of extreme foreshortening, providing you stick to it diligently and do lots of cross checking. My biggest practical problem is that by the time I come to transfer my measurement to the drawing, having done the metal arithmatic of the scaling, I have often forgotten exactly what it was I measured.

A few of these drawings are on imperial size paper 22” x 30”, but most are on waterleaf roll paper cut to around 30” x 42”. The triple figure ‘engineering North, East, South elevation’ drawings are life size and drawn by taking direct measurements on the model’s bodies, using calipers specially made for the job, onto paper 66” by 72”. I had hired five new models at this time, each coming for 3 hours a week, and I wanted to start by learning their individual proportions so that their bodies would quickly become familiar to me, hoping the drawing process would thereby become speedier and more precise at the same time. Most are drawn using Koh-i-nor 5.6mm clutch pencil black waxy crayons. These do not erase so it is difficult to make any corrections and I often start with a light graphite drawing until I am sure thet everything is in the right place. This waterleaf (i.e. unsized) paper is nice to draw on, but it does not take watercolour well and I did many experiments to try and find a way of sizing it, either before or after the drawing, but they were all unsuccessful. Some of these drawings may still end up as pastels, acrylics or oil paintings on acrylic underpaintings.