2016 UQAM Life Drawing Intensive

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Sorry for long hiatus since posting! I’ve been very busy with sketching outdoors and digital art, and have been neglecting the figure painting side of things.

Now that winter of 2016 is approaching fast, I expect I’ll be getting back to figurative work.

So, what do we have here?

Twice a year (Spring and Fall) Local artist Lyne Paquette organizes a 5 day event at the Université du Québec à Montréal called the Atelier Intensifwhere you are offered the chance to draw or paint all day for five days straight.

I’ve done it twice before: 2014, and when we first came to town in 2010.  It’s such a great opportunity. I always regret if I can’t go. Besides the fact it’s very reasonably priced (yay, Montreal!) it’s just tremendous to get that much continuous time to paint.

You can do things on the fifth day that you can’t do on day one. Your instincts are honed by that steady practice.

I suppose that is exactly what I said about the Urban Sketchers symposium. But it’s really true. If you can carve yourself out a week to paint all day, every day – I think you’ll feel the difference it makes.

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I don’t mean to be discouraging to people who are only able to do an hour or two here and there. (Like myself on most weeks!) It *is* the only way to fit art into our busy lifestyles.

But maybe, if you think of it like taking a holiday, or going on a spiritual retreat, or some kind of luxury spa vacation, you’ll be able to justify that time.

I honestly think doing something like this can jump you months ahead in your artistic development.

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Looking back at this darker skinned male model – I realize now, this was exactly what I did when faced with the somber brick architecture in Manchester. Of course I had not thought of this sketch at that time – but this very solid, deeply saturated first wash, followed by shadow over top – it’s the same approach.

I’ve been taking about Tea, Milk and Honey layers for a long time. But I’m still learning my own tricks! The mantra: More Pigment Less Water keeps sounding better and better.

So there you go – evidence of what I always say. Figure drawing can teach you everything you need to know about painting.

(Well, ok, not perspective – but my stance is you don’t *really* need to know perspective).

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Take a minute to look at that pose. Look at that pose!

The alignment of weight bearing points on chin, elbow, and foot? and the repeating shapes of bent arm and knee? All that with a mood of melancholy – you are looking at one great model there.

That is not me inventing things – that is her putting it into the pose for us.

This class is ‘in the round’ (360 around the model stand) – I feel like I won the lottery being in the exactly right spot for this one.

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So I want you to click to enlarge this final image.

I think I had some good stuff this season. But the entire week really came down to this last sketch. It’s the one out of this set that I really think is a painting, rather than a tinted drawing.

There was a lot going on right about the time I took this course. I really wasn’t ‘up for it’ in some ways. (Just overworked for the last few months). In fact – I think I went backwards between 2014 and this year.

Actually I can tell you exactly the reason I think that. In 2014 I went with my friend Emily Leong, and she pursuaded me to leave my pencil behind. I’m addicted to drawing. If I have the damned thing, I’m going to draw with it. I can’t resist going for the sharp edged line. But then, after the fact I wish I’d been more subtle.

Regardless – it finally came together for me in this one. Which was the point really! Even though I didn’t have the time to take a workshop, I knew I needed this week as a break  – and a refresher course.

It might have taken five days, but this last sketch was worth the investment!

3 thoughts on “2016 UQAM Life Drawing Intensive

  1. Do these recent posts mean you’re back in the game here and we’re going to be seeing more from you? Please please please please?!

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