My favourite life drawing books

My favourite life drawing books are the following: 

One is called, Henry Yan’s figure drawing techniques and tips. The other book is titled, The Natural Way to Paint, by Charles Reid. Henry Yan’s is based on pencil and charcoal techniques and Charles Reid focuses on pencil and watercolour techniques. I find both very inspiring and I have improved as an artist by studying them.

Henry Yan’s website
Charles Reid’s website

Charles Reid and Henry Yan

Watercoloured two minute sketch

This was originally a two minute pencil sketch (20121204) on 200 gram watercolour paper. I painted it last Friday, 20130125. I was really happy with it when I did the first wash, then it became muddy as I put on further layers. I want to create a three dimensional quality without losing the vibrancy of a single wash. Live and learn!

First life drawing 2013

At last, I found time to go to life drawing. I’ve been very busy since Christmas so it was a great pleasure to sketch tonight. The session was a two hour pose, the model was a real pro, stood still as a statue. The venue was, The Swedish Academy of Realistic Art in Stockholm.

I’m happy enough with the painting, I have to get used to spending two hours on a figure, for the last two years I’ve been drawing quick poses. Now I want to slow down and capture more detail, the biggest problem I have is the stiffness of the pose, I need to relax. I can see from my 5 and 10 minute poses from two years ago that they were also stiff. All I need to do is lots of these two hour sessions and I should eventually find a fluid line to my art.

Click on the image if you would like to see it in a larger format.

Watercolour Nude 2013.01.24 by David Meldrum
Watercolour Nude 2013.01.24

Watercolour nude

I am not 100% happy with this effort, I got the model’s back all muddy, too many strokes! The leg should also have softer edges to suggest depth. Another learning experience that caused frustration but at the same time satifaction. Nothing is straight forward and simple for long when one watercolours.



Watercolour nude study from photograph by David Meldrum
Watercolour nude study from photograph