Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Trust Me It'll Look Better When It's Yellow

My first ever experience of life drawing was on my foundation diploma five years ago. For the year of Foundation I really liked, and enjoyed life drawing, a slightly crazy tutor who wrapped the life model in sheets and got her to twist her body into some of the strangest poses imaginable helped, as did the world bestest life model Trish [who could hold those crazy poses without moving or complaining] even the worst sessions were fun, like when we had to draw the trumpet, aeroplane or music stand [those who where there will remember me trying my damn hardest to convince Trish to go home and burn that f-ing aeroplane!!]. Each Friday I'd stroll into the session find a corner, get on my donkey, put my headphones on and start drawing [usually I'd be listening to R.E.M's 'In Time' or Ryan Adams' 'Gold' - I'd sometimes freak Trish out by miming along to my music, but in fact I'd be whispering without realizing - thus sounding like a chanting demon in the corner. Or Amanda would be giving instructions spot me not listening and rip the headphones out of my ears - ouch] sometimes I'd draw in Biro and tippex, but normally in oil pastels, which I'd make quite a mess with. My drawings would either end up monochrome or technicolour depending on what kind of day it felt like, some days it would be a blue day so Trish would be blue, a couple of times she was green like the Hulk.
When I finished Foundation and had my two "gap years" I missed drawing naked people, so when I started my Degree I was chuffed to find we had a life drawing module, I was less chuffed when the focus shifted from me colouring in and having fun to poses that lasted weeks and constant measured drawings. It sounds cocky to say I can do a measured drawing, but I can, but even when I proved to my tutor I could do it, I was still forced to do more, theres only so long a pose can hold my interest or I can be shown how to measure. I draw quick and scratchy so I found my First years life drawing a bit of a drag. My Second year life drawing got worse. A different tutor, who I didn't really see eye to eye with [a common theme in my art school education] he was good at teaching [I can say that in hindsight] again I think I can draw [arrogant I know] I had no desire to produce a 'tonal drawing of the knee', or be "taught" how to draw, so I let my imagination take over. Which resulted in the above picture, drawn during probably my most infamous tutor run-ins.
In my defence we had a model who could not stay still, at all, if you started to draw her arm she'd move and the arm would end up in a completely different position, so after a whole afternoon of trying to draw her in proportion I gave up correcting my drawing, I wasn't even going to attempt drawing her face, so I drew a big smiley face, it was at this point that my tutor peered around my easel. His face was the reason God invented camera's but unfortunately I didn't have mine. He looked proper shocked and calmly asked if I planned to leave her with a smiley face, my answer was of course, He told me I was wasting a perfectly good opportunity to draw her, so I quietly told him she couldn't stay still so I couldn't possibly draw her face as she'd be facing the other way in 5 minutes. He wasn't impressed by that answer, or the one I gave him when he told me that 'I wouldn't solve any of the worlds problems by not drawing her face', No I can't see how drawing it would of solved them either? After him humming and haring a bit more, I eventually turned to him, completely straight faced [I swear to this day I was not taking the piss at any point during this conversation] and said "trust me it'll look better when it's yellow", and produced the yellow felt pen I was going to colour her face with. It was at this point that I realized the people around me had stopped drawing, started giggling to themselves, and that the tutor had stormed out. But I was right it does look better yellow.

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