||Lea Colie Wight drawing of a seated female.
I am sure I have said this before, but it's true and deserves repeating. Watching
great artists at work can be so instructive, especially if they follow a
general process of work. Lea Colie
Wight does exactly that; she draws in a
way that organizes the development of her figure drawing and while observing I am not lost trying to
understand what is right before my
eyes. Watching her drawing figures, I see the figure sketch emerge from construction
lines at about the same time.
She makes several passes layering the chalk,
starting with shadow, and going into the lights. Towards the middle to end of the drawing, she put in crosshatching across the form, not just
for highlights but for lights as well.
don't have her as an instructor, I have had the opportunity to watch Lea draw several
times in the last months, and each time I am awed by her ability to capture the
model in both an accurate and intuitive, sincere way. Even when the sessions I
watched were done in charcoal, as opposed to pastel, I felt like I could reach
out and touch the model's skin. And I could see the strength of her anatomical structure
without pausing to think about it. The drawings were just all there. That's not to say there weren't subtleties
that became more apparent as I looked at the drawings. There were, lots of
them, and they added to my appreciation.
|Lea Colie Wight drawing of a seated female.
Note that the drawings are cropped. Obviously that decision
is made at the very beginning of the block-in of the drawing. Lea did not do
any studies or small figure sketches to determine where the cropping would be done or
how the figures would be placed on the paper. She prefers to draw directly
while recognizing that doing the studies is likely beneficial.
For me, in addition to doing sketches, I
find that my good old viewfinder, bought to use outdoors in nature, is equally
useful for me in the studio with a model, and just as essential. Not only does it help with seeing
the pose, it allows you to see the negative space as well.
In some drawings Lea has been doing recently, including
these, she has been experimenting with the relationship between black and white
chalk, how they work together and, of course, how the media relates to the paper she is using, trying
different things to get different effects. While the details of her experiments will have to wait, I
hope you can see how powerfully she makes her statement.