Thursday, February 24, 2011


We finish up the section of the book, Expressive Figure Drawing (by Bill Buchman) with another exercise on Mass.  He called his exercise/example
Mass and Line Drawing with Acrylic Gouache and Water Soluble Crayon

(I don't even know what acrylic gouache is - I thought gouache was a watercolor that was opaque.)

Anyway, I used my white gouache with a touch of Verditer Blue from Daniel Smith (it has white in it and is very opaque.

First, using the gouache and water, paint the figure, thinking about the muscle masses.  The trick is to leave out as much as you put in (something that is not easy for me to do).

While the gouache is still wet, go back with the water soluble crayon and mark in lines.  Again, you are supposed to use the lines ONLY where it's necessary to show the figure - not all over like I did :(

Oh, well.  I WILL get this one day.  I feel like the little train that keeps saying, "I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can."  I'm hoping I'm on the uphill climb right now and the peak isn't that far away.

After this one, I got a bit carried away and just played with the next one.

Both of these were done on brownish kraft paper, 15" x 22".

(Again, this one should have the kraft paper color showing through in areas where I wanted the darks, and instead I covered everything.)

Before we move on to LINE, I wanted to try my hand again at the "less is more" type of painting and drawing.  Sometimes the best way to "see" is to try to copy what's there from someone who knows how - so these are direct copies of some of the figures in the book.  Painting first and then putting in the lines, I realize how hard it is for my hand to stop! ha ha

And if you really want to see some beautiful examples of this style, go here:

and look at the beautiful figures done in watercolor by Wendy Artin.  She is amazing!!!  She says she's been doing figures for 25 years (she must have begun when she was 10 because she can't be more than 35, if that).


Teresa Palomar Lois said...

I'm enjoying a lot all your exercises Rhonda, it's really really interesting.
Acrylic gouache, first time for mee too, maybe it's what you get when you mix gouache with an acrylic medium or paint? hahaha! talk about simple thinking :P

hw (hallie) farber said...

Now I'm thinking I need gouache and water soluble crayons. I actually like your two figures.

Ann Buckner said...

I like that you are getting expression in your gestures. Keep it up!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Teresa! I'm hoping someone knows what this is - haven't heard anyone tell me yet.

Hallie, I do like the water soluble crayons - drawing and painting in one item :)

Thanks, Ann :)

Tim Robinson said...

The watercolor figures are incredible!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Tim :)

Irina said...

Which gives us 25 years of everyday practice to reach the goal. We will be OK in figure drawing by then, I am sure.
I like your last attempts, which prove the power of "warm-ups".

RH Carpenter said...

Irina, after meeting with my new cardiologist and having him tell me all my leakages and things were "mild" on a scale of "mild" then "moderate" then "severe", I feel that maybe I do have 25 years to get it right!