Here are eleven charcoal drawings done from life; done a few years back. The first eight below are studies, made during figure drawing sessions with my students. The final three were drawn in my own studio, as explorations of themes that I would develop further: a figure in an interior, a magnolia branch, and a self-portrait.
This drawing was a preliminary idea for a painting. You can just see, behind the figure, the outlines of the fireplace mantel that is in my studio. The theme–a figure in an interior–was new to me then, and I finally pursued it wholeheartedly three years later in the painting Solitaire.
This branch came from a neighbor’s tree. The study led me to a more polished composition, Study for Magnolia Grandiflora, and then to a painting, Magnolia Grandiflora. That painting is now on exhibit at the Delaware College of Art and Design, in the Zeuxis exhbition, The Unstilllife. The show will be there until January 14, 2017. It travels to New York City after that, to open at the Painting Center on February 28.
This self-portrait was done thirteen years ago. Depicting my own image, from life, staring into a mirror, is an endeavor that I mostly pursue in drawing, and only rarely in painting. It’s a great way to practice my portraiture skills without having to schedule a model, or worry that I might offend a sitter. I was aiming to capture expressive movement in this drawing, as if I was turning to speak to the viewer. Looking at it years later, I realized that the sweater was so voluminous, that I found it comical–thus the title.