November's activity night was all about Celtic Art with our own Mary Kennedy. Debbie Kavanagh shares her experience of the night in the below write up taken from the December edition of the Pelican's Palette. It sounds like a great night was had by all!
Two of our members Kristina Love and Kathryn Price have provided a write up of this wonderful workshop - please enjoy their pieces below and some photos of the work produced in the workshops by Kristina Love, Kathryn Price, Judith Jones and Gaye Pereira-Jackson. There is also a screen shot of Hans work showing his use of anatomy as described in both pieces.
Online Life Drawing Workshop with Hans Van Weerd (Friday 22 October) - By Kristina Love:
Once again, HBAS managed to provide a scheduled workshop to its members during Covid lockdown by successfully using Zoom to run a (not quite) weekend workshop. Managing the complexities of online technologies, Hans Van Weerd (known to some of us from his inaugural ‘Dynamic Drawing in Mixed Media’ classes on Wednesdays) guided us through a series of nicely structured and well-paced life drawing exercises. His very professional model Tijana had set up a beautifully lit backdrop and maintained some challenging poses for us over the course of a full day.
With each pose, Hans firstly demonstrated key structural features of the human form, giving us just enough anatomical information to help us map out our shapes. Using charcoal, ink and a range of other mediums, he sketched each pose and we followed suit, being given 5 minutes for earlier poses, building up to 10 and later 15 minutes as the poses became more complex. We learnt to be speedy, embrace our ‘mistakes’ and see our drawings as ‘pentimento’, works which preserve the traces of all our marks. The time limits freed us up to be loose and avoid overworking our sketches. We certainly all felt comfortable and trusting of each other to show our work, have it critiqued, and learn from each others’ presentations. We were encouraged by comments such as “Nice line work”, “Great volume in the form”, even “Nice clavicles”!. And we were extended by advice such as “Check your proportions” and “Work more on the facial features when you have more time”. With Hans’ guidance, we all managed to produce more or less convincing representations in charcoal, pencil, ink or other preferred media. It was fascinating to see the variety of interpretations of each pose, as we each brought our unique observations, experiences and styles to our renderings.
Our final task was to put together a series of short poses into an animated sequence, challenging our capacity to represent each form authentically, arrange these into a coherent composition and infuse the whole with energy and dynamism. It was terrific to see what we could all do under pressure, after such nicely scaffolded tuition.
The pace kept us on our toes, and by 3.30, having concentrated since 10 that morning, we were proudly exhausted by a day of great learning. Despite not being able to work face to face, we benefited from some unexpected advantages of using the Zoom technology, well handled by Hans and Tijana. We could all see the model clearly online and simultaneously watch Hans’ demonstrations in close up. We also didn’t need to lug our equipment into and out of cars, conveniently being able to access our preferred materials in our own studios. We did of course miss seeing each other in person, but very much appreciated the opportunity to learn in such an engaging and personable way online. Thanks Hans for making this such a terrific learning experience for us all!
Check out Hans’ web site and Instagram:
Hans Van Weerd Life Drawing Workshop - By Kathryn Price
It was on, then off, then on again, then moved to online but finally on Friday the 22nd of October Hans Life Drawing Workshop went ahead! I have been to a couple of life drawing classes before but always felt a bit unsure as to what to do and was never too happy with my results so I was looking forward to this tutored session and it didn't disappoint.
Due to the session being online the life model Tijana wore nude coloured briefs and one shouldered crop. She did a wonderful job with lighting and props offering great contrast and ability to put our work into context.
Hans structured the workshop with him demonstrating how he would approach the pose with wonderful explanation on the underlying anatomy and how this helps us with the positioning of figure in our work. We then were given the opportunity to sketch the same pose. After each pose we each took turns holding up our work so Hans could give us his thoughts and some ideas on how to further progress with the work.
A wide range of poses were covered including standing facing forward, back, side, seated and reclining. For our last exercise Tijana held a series of four dynamic poses for 3 minutes each and we sketched these out on the same piece of paper. Hans showed us how you could expand on that process and create an interesting piece of work by adding shading around his figures with different tones for the background and the foreground. He encouraged us all to continue with our pieces after the workshop building on them and perhaps adding colour using pastels, watercolour or ink.
After this workshop I now feel I could attend a life drawing session and get so much more out of it. I am looking forward to the covid rules easing more so I can put my new skills to the test!
The inaugural Seeing Our Home event kicked off on the 18th of September with the Altona Laverton Historical Society. A big thanks to Brendan for putting this all together and managing to pivot the experience to online so successfully when Covid restrictions made on site sketching impossible. Please enjoy the below write up by Judith Jones taken from the October edition of the Pelicans Palette.
The following write up and photos have been supplied by Kristina Love, it sounds like the Hans Van Weerd class on Wednesdays has been great and it certainly looks like everyone is really enjoying it:
Wednesday Drawing Classes with Hans Van Weerd
Hans Van Weerd, an experienced artist who has recently joined HBAS, has offered a new class which runs from 12.30-2.30 on Wednesdays at Louis Joel. The 10 - week program, entitled ‘Dynamic Drawing in Mixed Media’, was certainly dynamic as participants enthusiastically explored how to make fluid, unselfconscious marks with implements we never thought ourselves capable of using. We found out that ink can be applied with sticks, feathers, and cotton buds to capture the essence of ordinary household objects; we learnt to be speedy as we passed our painting subjects on after 5 minute sketches; and we learnt to embrace our ‘mistakes’ and see our drawings as ‘pentimento’, works which preserve the traces of all our marks. And that was just Week 1!
In week 2, our focus shifted to the human figure and face. Hans demonstrated how to sketch in the proportions of the human body, using ink and his favourite stick. He modelled how to ‘embrace mistakes’ and we followed suit, unconcerned about approximations as we worked towards accurate proportions and perspectives. Hans drew on selections from an impressive collection of photos of character-filled male and female models, allowing us to capture something of the essence of old and young faces and bodies in interesting (and sometimes challenging) poses.
Sadly, Covid lockdown meant that our scheduled class for week 2 was postponed and numbers were restricted to 10 for subsequent classes, though Hans will plan for make-up classes later on. In our third week, we experienced the enormous value of drawing images upside down. This was thoroughly counterintuitive for many of us, but we all agreed that this disciplined us to focus on the bigger shapes of a composition and concentrate on what we actually perceive, rather than what we think we see. Putting aside our visual preconceptions was harder for some than for others as we grappled with foreshortening in some wonderfully selected images: a young man looking imperiously down at the viewer and a woman bungee jumping towards us! This really was dynamism in action!
Hans’ class is now fully subscribed for term 3 but watch this space for the Term 4 program! In the meantime, check out Hans’ web site and Instagram:
PS. An addendum from Hans: “All participants rose to the challenge and clearly demonstrated their willingness to explore new avenues. very rewarding; the best that can happen to any tutor! “
Our July Activity night was a wonderful colour mixing presentation by Brendan Lovelock - he very kindly adapted his presentation to be done as a on line meeting after we entered yet another lockdown. The write up below was taken from the August edition of the Pelican's Palette and written by Debbie Kavanagh.
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