Those stylish French

Tonight we watched a great movie which I just obtained via the magic of eBay (I only popped my eBay cherry surprisingly recently). The film was Vidocq.

It's a French production and as far as I know it's never had distribution in UK (apparently it was called Dark Portals in the US) so is kind of hard to get hold of. It's a supernatural detective story set in 1830's Paris and is startlingly beautiful to look at, perhaps one of the best looking films I have seen. Shot entirely digitally it can feel like a TV movie at times, but usually each scene is as good as a promotional still. I'm a bit of a style>content geek so I was blown away by the use of limited colour palettes and astounding cinematography. That aside, it's a well told mystery too with a creepy cloaked and mirrormasked baddie and wonderful sets.

Comparisons to From Hell and Sleepy Hollow are justfied I'd say.

Just more beautiful.

Final Life Drawing Class

Last night was the end of my second term at my Life Drawing class in Southwark. It was the conclusion of a 2 session drawing where the model returned to the same pose as last week. This meant I got to focus on really properly rendering the image to my satisfaction without rushing. Also, as it was the last drawing I figured I would use fancy brown paper and highlight up with a white sketching pencil instead of sticking with traditional black&white charcoal or pencil.

Another new trick for me was to use a blending stick (called a Tortillon apparently) which I was really happy with. It allowed the smoothing out of the sepia sketching pencil but was more precise than using nature's own smudging implement - the finger.

Blending Sticks

Overall I am really pleased with my final drawing, though as you can see I didn't have time to finish the background. Not sure whether I should. Anyway, here it is (click to enlarge):


Unfortunately the photographs don't really do the actual work justice. I should spend more effort setting up the camera/lighting. Also on this piece I think the pose is a bit flat, maybe I should have been stood a little to one side to get a bit of a three-quarter view. Now the question is, do I go back in the new term or just ensure I am practising on my own. We'll see.

Figure drawing without the model

This term's Life Drawing class is turning out to be somewhat interesting, and this week it was rather challenging.

First up we were told to draw two poses on the one page, so:


Then there was stunned silence when the teacher said we were to imagine the dynamic pose mid way between the two. So it was figure drawing but from imagination (and referencing the two previous drawings) instead of copying from life. He did actually set up the model anyway but said that was just for checking. While very tough, this challenge was exactly what I needed and I embraced it, I didn't look at the model once:


While the finished product is not to the standard of those with a model, I'm actually pretty happy with it. Gleb was very encouraging about the result and admitted that I was the only pupil who hadn't cheated!
  • Current Mood
    mellow mellow

Circles for boobs

Last week's life drawing:

Term 2

Still unsure about the teacher but I've been fairly happy with my results from the past couple of weeks so maybe I'm responding. In this class he encouraged us to use pencil and focus on a particular area, in my case the abdomen. He seemed to like my drawing and, with the model having fairly clear musculature, he encouraged me to put in those anatomical construction lines such as the shoulders and circles for boobs!
  • Current Music
    Dead Can Dance - The Serpent's Egg
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Back at life drawing

I've been back at my Life Drawing class for the second term for a few weeks now but with the house move I've not had all the equipment to hand to post any drawings.

Until now that is. So here's a selection of pieces from the last few weeks:

Term 2

Term 2

Sadly our teacher, Chloe, has had to take the rest of the term off to prepare for a show which means a new teacher, Gleb, has stepped in. We just had our first class with him on Thursday and his teaching style is quite different. Not sure how things will work out but we'll see.

Ears bleeding and grinning ear-to-ear

New Soman album (Mask) landed on my desk today.

Soman - Mask

OMG this stuff rocks. Judging by how brilliant they were at Slimelight recently and how well Feindflug went down at last year's festival they're going to frickin' blow us away at Leipzig.
  • Current Music
    Soman - Mask (F*ck Yeah!)

Life Drawing week 10 - end of term

Last Thursday was the final week of my life drawing class for the spring term. I actually missed week 9 as I was seeing my sister off travelling at the airport (she's apparently kayaking with turtles and sharks, climbing gorges and sandboarding on dunes in Western Australia right now - lucky cow!)

Weeks 9 & 10 were a combined single pose session - i.e. the model resumes the same pose in the second session. So while I'd have liked to have really finished up a drawing nicely I didn't have that luxury and had to rush it a bit. Still, I'm pretty happy with where I got to in the time:

Week 10

I have found the classes to be so rewarding that I've booked onto another term starting at the end of April.

The lack of dancing

Last night I joined my parents in seeing off my sister at the airport. She suddenly (well just before Christmas) decided to up and go travelling in Oz for a few months. Good on yer Sis. Totally unexpected as she's always been a bit of a homebird but fantastic stuff - she'll see such wonderful things. Jealous!

The folks have stayed up for the weekend and are using my Ealing flat as a base to do some Londony things. I was going to meet them in town for dinner tonight but we've decided instead to have a quiet night in (take away, movie, etc) as they're exhausted and sadly gigib is unwell. Get better quickly missus! Ideally we'd like to go out tomorrow night to Invocation and/or Slimelight but we'll have to see how things pan out.

It feels like an age since I was out clubbing. My legs will seize up for the lack of dancing.
  • Current Music
    Celldweller - Celldweller

Life Drawing - Week 8

Before I forget here's my latest batch of drawings from last week's life drawing class. It was an interesting session where the scheduled model was a no-show. So instead Chloe - the teacher - decided to model for us (though fully clothed of course).

We did a series of short sketches and this seemed to work better for me. I've come to the realisation that I prefer to work more freely and instinctively than the direction I had been going the past few weeks.

Anyway, here goes with the first set of quick sketches:

Week 8 - Clothes 1

We finished with a slightly longer pose and I opted to do a close-up of the face:

Week 8 - Clothes 2

Compared to the single drawings of the past few weeks, in week 8 I was positively prolific!
  • Current Mood
    tired tired

Captain America, RIP

Steve Rogers - aka Captain America - is dead.

Steve Rogers, Captain America, R.I.P.

This morning I passed a kid who was going to school in a Spiderman outfit. I expect he must have been in mourning for the passing of a comic book legend.
  • Current Mood
    sad sombre