Drawn from Life

I consider life drawing to be the best discipline and training ground an artist can have.

I also love it, which helps!

 A 30 minute drawing - pencil on paper.

A 30 minute drawing - pencil on paper.

The action of stilling your mind so that the heart and the head and the hand and the eye can communicate effectively, is very important - essential, in fact, to all an artist's other work.

 1 hour drawing - pencil on paper

1 hour drawing - pencil on paper

In a way, I use drawing from life like a regular exercise class for that drawing machinery of heart/head/hands/eyes. The heart is the most important aspect, I'd say. You can't draw something that speaks unless your heart is involved. 

 I'm fortunate to have had a teacher who will not categorically tell you what to do, not ever. He says, if you don't like what I say, chuck it in the rubbish. What helpful advice, and I have indeed chucked some of his tips in the rubbish over the years, preferring my own way, which means that my drawing style has evolved freely and naturally, completely without strict rule or hectoring regulation, into a recognisable and strong expression of me.

 10 minute drawing - charcoal on sugar paper. The words are from a song that was playing at the time.

10 minute drawing - charcoal on sugar paper. The words are from a song that was playing at the time.

The practice helps, for sure, but the freedom is the thing.

 20 minute drawing - pencil on paper

20 minute drawing - pencil on paper

 

It's also good to have models who become part of the expression; bringing something of their own to the exercise. I love that, and I'm always delighted to find myself working with a model, rather than just from their physical form.

 30 minute drawing - pencil on paper

30 minute drawing - pencil on paper

Every week, I take lots of materials - paint, inks, brushes. Most weeks, I end up just using pencils and charcoal, and the most important - an eraser. Not for erasing mistakes, for nothing is a mistake, but for subtracting marks in a positive manner. There's a massive, and liberating, difference!

 My usual drawing kit, from left to right: Polychromos coloured pencils, Daler Rowney pastel drawing pencils, Conte a Paris smudging sticks, Conte a Paris Pierre noire pencils, random selection of every worn out dark pencils (4B - 9B, usually nothing lighter), charcoal pencil, eraser. Charcoal. A knife for sharpening.

My usual drawing kit, from left to right: Polychromos coloured pencils, Daler Rowney pastel drawing pencils, Conte a Paris smudging sticks, Conte a Paris Pierre noire pencils, random selection of every worn out dark pencils (4B - 9B, usually nothing lighter), charcoal pencil, eraser. Charcoal. A knife for sharpening.

 I like this paper - Daler Rowney fine grain drawing paper. A3 so you can work big enough. Even bigger is even better!

I like this paper - Daler Rowney fine grain drawing paper. A3 so you can work big enough. Even bigger is even better!

Have you ever tried life drawing? I highly recommend it!

 

Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog! I'm going to use this blog to share a little of the behind the scenes life of illustration and art.

I'll be showing you sketches...

greece sketch by trudi Murray.jpg

...talking about my love of drawing from life, and why it's so important to me...

trudi_murray_female_face.jpg

...showing you what I'm working on at the moment (if i can!)...

trudi_murray_family_tree.JPG

...and answering questions on illustrative practices, tips and tricks of the trade. If I know it, I'll share! It's so helpful when we form a pool of collective thought. It helps everyone make their very best work, and that's what I'm about.

I love a generous heart, and try to be one.

And there'll be the inevitable studio shots of this dear little friend of mine, who's always by my side.

Trudi Murray - Juliet Mckee Photography-51.jpg

It's going to be fun, and I hope you'll follow along, and find it useful.

My previous blog, where I write poems, talk a lot of nonsensical waffle and generally have lots of fun, will still be available at www.trudimurray.wordpress.com.

 

Trudi Murray - Juliet Mckee Photography-9.jpg

Any questions, on anything - how I do stuff, what materials I like, coffee or tea? Type them in the comments below, and let's get cracking.