A few things from Walker Art Gallery Liverpool

Slightly less sought-after than the Tate, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool’s Cultural Quarter has a small-but-gorgeous sculpture collection in its sun-warmed front room.  Having been on my sister’s hen do the night before (what else was I doing on my first trip to Liverpool?), I was t’rificly hungover, and so my sweat production levels were up, my drawing quality way down.  Still, this Greek helmet was lovely to gaze upon – I felt maybe Moebius had been stealing the beautiful curves and slick curls from these old Greek boys.

Walker

This Adam and Eve from Arthur G Walker (gallery namesake) himself made me laugh so much.  Adam’s bunched fist and strong back; Eve’s quivering, cowed posture and desperate gesture of flapping her hair round him – ayah!  Lucky it covered up his penis too – that would have been embarrassing.

The next drawing is of a sculpture I fell in love with in passing, then felt the resentment of silly convention bubbling up inside, so the drawing got progressively dopey-looking.  I liked their gay dancing poses though:

Walker2

 

detail

detail

And this plate from Piero Fornasetti finished it all off quite nicely:

PLate

 

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Jean Giraud/Gir/Moebius documentary

You know when someone’s talents move you so much that the very pit of your stomach tightens and comes too close to your diaphragm, paralysing you with nausea; making profanities spill from your lips and tears form in your ducts?  The work of Jean Giraud does this to me.  He talks in this documentary about putting all his energy into his drawings, making them ‘vibrate’, and talks about being a human.

He says:

‘The only way to allow the reader to identify is to create a character who resists.  Who doesn’t understand and who doesn’t want to understand.  Who is in total denial.  That’s the only way to attract a modern audience.’

Impersonators

I have been given a great opportunity to exhibit some drawing at a student-led exhibition here in Leeds at the start of December.  The theme being ‘Impersonators’, I couldn’t see a better subject matter than a full party of the world’s favourite breed of impersonator: The Elvis Impersonator.

Research sketchin’ – Google image referencing due to the distinct lack of Elvis in my real life:

Elvis2

Elvis3

As I have never really exhibited any drawing before, I have been feeling nervous about the quality of my pictures, and unsure that the standard is ever good enough to actually call them finished.  Reading Taiyo Matsumoto‘s Blue Spring, and having some Moebius art round my bedroom walls has been stirring up jealousy in me for their crisp but crunchy linework.  The detailing on the Elvis suits is something I really want to include too – this pointillist-y technique with the 0.1 pen pleases me to some extent, but I think I’d need to make my other lines much more delicate for them to sit well together.Elvis5

I’ve been fairly engrossed in the much freer, curvier inking of Wesley Allsbrook too, and would like to keep practicing with the ink-and-brush techniques until my hand/wrist muscles feel strong enough to control a smoother line.

Elvis4

So I fell to sketching out the Elvis party, figuring I could decide the best course of action to take as I went along:

Elvis

Luckily, while I was drawing, Tutor Graham came into the studio, informing me that I had a tutorial with him just then.  With all the festival-going of the past two-three weeks, I suppose I lost sight of the course and my responsibilities as a Visual Communication student.  Time to get back on track.

This surprise tutorial was immensely helpful.  Graham was able to point out the fact that the ink tests I had done (above) lacked the animation of my pencil sketches, which I could not argue with, and asked why I didn’t just submit a pencil drawing for the exhibition, but I don’t think I could do this.  I feel as though I need to finish this with ink to feel satisfied with it – and now I’ve had a second go at the overall sketch, I feel more confident with the image as a whole.  The composition seems better, the characters are more varied, and I have found a place for the kissing Elvises.  It still needs some work around the edges and between the heads and on many badly-proportioned body parts, but I think this could turn out to be a good piece of work.

ElvisI’ve been dwelling more on the Ralph Steadman exhibition I visited during the summer too, and the punches his work delivers on my brain.  I’d like to get that punchy, so I must work on my ink drawing.  I should really get a new nib for my dip pen too, but the finest ones are so difficult to find!