Successful short drawings
“Over-modeling destroys the effectiveness of the picture.” - Max Doerner in The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting.
In the spirit of this quote, especially during figure drawing sessions, I try to walk away with at least one drawing that can stand on its own as a finished piece. By finished I mean a complete statement that when viewed can be taken on its own and where the eye does not need any more information to process the image and expression as a whole. The character of each drawing can be quite different from works that take many, long sessions to complete. This pose was 45 minutes so quick, decisive first strokes that communicate immediacy and freshness are key. I try to put aside any conscious academic steps and simply go for it. Of course, this is when all the tedious exercises spent rendering hopefully kick in: where instinct and practice work together. Given days to work on a single pose, an artist can afford to spend much time in each phase of drawing from initial block-in, gestural considerations, comparative measuring, rendering tone and refinement.
My studio work involves paintings that I work on over long stretches of time where I continually return session after session and refine and rework whatever needs attention at that moment. Figure drawing sessions are a refreshing break from this on-going rhythm of work and walking away with a piece that is complete in and of itself is most gratifying.