roller derby 15 + the tate britain

Three months in to the day and hello, halftime! For some reason my reference photo for today only had two girls, so that’s a bit of a break, I guess.

I think I did well with the poses here, but . . . ahahaha proportions.

And the last of my London drawing– an installation at the Tate Britain, Harrier and Jaguar, consisting of a Harrier fighter jet hung upside down in the museum lobby and a Jaguar fighter lying on the lobby floor, belly-up. The Jaguar was kind of overwhelming, because it was huge and all up in your face, and thus very difficult to draw coherently; the Harrier, however, I loved drawing an awful lot.

Plus I bought a postcard of the Harrier, so for once I actually have a photograph to go with my drawings! It was really well integrated into the architecture of the building– my friend Susie, when I showed her this photo, found it outright creepy– and neither my drawing nor the postcard really conveys how lovely the light was.


roller derby 14 + the british museum

On day 13 I was going to start doodling in faces, but I forgot! Remembered today, though.

Crouching and kneeling figures are hard, for me at least; they aren’t moving much, but you have to get the outlines of the calf and thigh just right so they contact each other even though the lines defining each are at an angle. Luckily, the first picture was at such an angle that that wasn’t much of an issue; what was an issue was the hair, which I have not yet had to draw since I’ve been doing that, since most of these girls were wearing helmets. I think I did all right on her pose– not so much on her hair.

All I can say about the second picture is: someday, someday, I will consistently remember to leave room for people’s heads. And about the third: wow, that girl’s arm is huge.

Today’s London sketches, such as they are, are from the British Museum. I was having a completely terrible day when I did these– as terrible as a day involving the British Museum could be– so I made these few sad efforts and then gave up for a few days. The only one I’m really pleased with is the burial mask from Sutton Hoo; the others are just tragic in comparison to what I posted yesterday.

roller derby 13 + camden market

Getting better again! I stopped worrying about shading today, and lucked in on some not very dramatic poses, and I don’t think these three turned out all that badly at all. Thank God.

And today’s London drawings are– not from Camden Market, exactly, but inspired by the endless stalls of pseudo-vintage dresses. You know how when you play Tetris all afternoon you close your eyes at night and keep playing Tetris in your head? I was seeing weird dresses behind my eyelids for days. So I drew a few of my favorites.

roller derby 12 + the V&A

Shockingly, I am not dead! I am not even a little bit dead, just slacking terribly, and seeing as I start school September 7 it’s time I got over that right quick.

There’s no way I’m going to get to Alon Bement this summer, sadly, and probably not during the semester either– his lessons are each pretty time-consuming. But I will damn well do 30 sets of derby girls. I am determined.

I am so mad I fell so far out of the habit of this. So mad. Because whatever shred of improvement I made during the first ten days is just, bip, gone. I’m drawing girls who look like they have one shoulder again, for God’s sake. Self. 😡

However, I do find it kind of neat– and have for a while– how, when I really look at just the outline of a figure as a flat silhouette, the limbs curve in all kinds of weird ways that look like they should be horrendously painful. And then I add more lines and shade a bit, and with derby girls I can cheat and add in a knee or elbow pad to place the joint, and bam, it looks just like an arm! Like, look at that first girl’s left arm (her left). That’s two smooth curves, tapering together a bit, with a chunk shaded together in the middle. You wouldn’t think that’s how an arm works! But apparently it does.

The third girl’s left leg would be an example of this too, except that she may actually be the single worst drawing of the 36-and-change I have posted to this blog so far. I usually start drawing with the curve of the shoulders and arms, or along the side and down over one hip, but with her I wanted to try starting from the legs, and, well. You hit a point some days where absolutely nothing is going right and you just desperately keep doing things in the hopes of eventually redeeming yourself but you really no longer care. I hit that point in my day today about half an hour after I got out of bed, and in this drawing sometime during her right leg. You get a good night’s sleep and move on.

ANYWAY. Much more awesomely, my sketching from my visit to the Victoria & Albert! I was going to explore more, but then I found the Fashion gallery and drew four pages of dresses, and no one was surprised. I was in there so long that I actually got visibly better at drawing drapery.

roller derby 11 + an airplane

After a few weeks I am back on the roller derby drawing hog! Such as it is. My “thirty-day” challenge to myself is now on its 70th calendar day and only 11th day of actually accomplishing something :/ But at least I’m still chugging along!

As you can see, however, the break has done my results few favors.

. . . I said I wasn’t going to be uselessly self-deprecating, so I just don’t even want to talk about the first one. Dear God. The second is better, at least. It started out really well; I guess I should’ve left it half-done.

I have no idea in retrospect why I chose to use the third photograph; the girl is such an awful tangle of limbs (just look at that excuse for a diagram) that I really can’t figure out what her legs are doing, which isn’t terribly helpful to me. But I chose all my references ahead of time, so I plugged bravely ahead. (That is the theme of this post, I guess; Plugging Bravely Ahead In The Face Of One’s Own Incompetence.

Strangely, though, I like that one best.

And here: the first day of my London trip. It barely even counts, because thanks to the magic of time zones we took off at 8AM and reached the hotel at 9PM. So really all there was to draw was airplane, and as it turns out airplanes are deeply annoying things to draw. (There will be more and better airplanes later, thanks to an installation I liked at the Tate.)