Personal Work | Commission: Rosa

Following a request from my great uncle to create a surprise present for his former student, I spent the last week drawing onto a 12.20 mm (1.22 meters) [W] x 6.10mm (0.61 metres) [H] wooden board, with pencil and ink. The subject was their 2 year old daughter Rosa, whom my first impression of, was an incredibly energetic and curious girl. This became a major part of the piece, as I tried to translate this movement across onto the board. This year I've definitely been tackling with the balance between finalising my work, and retaining the movement evident in the original pencil lines. Something I've certainly struggled with, and have been working on during my previous life drawing sessions. 
Another aspect of drawing I've been working on is character, instead of a static looking subject.

Upon reflecting on the work, Paul and Silvana Talbot offered feedback; the movement they felt was retained well, (the general arc was dynamic), and the hands they thought were very touching. 
Rosa recognised herself also.
I feel personally that more work needs to be done on the characterful aspect of the work. However, I definitely tried to keep the mannerisms I noticed her exhibiting the day we met with the family, which is a first for these panel drawings.

This piece is of Rosa walking around Roy's garden, with her mum helping as she explores. 
I was worried that I might draw the mum as a restraining presence instead of a helping one, and if I was to revisit the piece again I would try out differing the look of the mum against the child (perhaps using more solid blocks around Rosa, while the mum disappears more into the environment). 

I found myself falling back on the lessons I've learnt in life drawing year 2, (using solid blocks and negative space to help with proportion and the solidity of the final image; considering the environments role in drawing out the figure; and using an existing colour -i.e. the wood of the board- to add also to the final look). 
The wood has an existing pattern, and lovely swirls of contours that helped dictate where Rosa would be on the board (I tried drawing her into and from particularly strong contours present in the wood). Thus there's an element of automatism in the piece, wherein the wood dictates the layout of the piece. Incidentally it was challenging to do, but incredibly fun also.


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