3S7 Experimental figure

December 2022. Learning from the course with Martin Campos (a figurative artist from Philadelphia) 4 days at Raw Umber Studios. Mostly focused on thinking through composition.


  • 3-point drawing (pubis bone midpoint – triangulated top and bottom) using straight lines so as not to get caught in the curve.
  • series of 10×1 min gesture drawings, 2 x 5 min drawings, 2 x 10 mins (break then a 20mins); always start new session with 5 x 2 mins. Have a game plan for a session with a model. Time yourself.
  • Feeling for the model – search for inner truth; positioning in space; held by spaces and lines (tension, pressure, and space). Line Weight to describe form.
  • Pose as design – focus away from the model/observation to establish design; get design right and colour more likely to work; model’s pose serves the design; use a box (ie a frame) to aid composition/design. See Fechin for weight and tension as exemplar. Dumb down shadow mass and make part of the design. Colour test your design. Connect figure to the sides of the page/box. Decide on focal point. Edge management (fuzzy contra defined)
  • Remember Envelopes When doing gesture drawings. Describe energy/dynamic of the form. Practice minimal drawings.
  • Simplify – keep to 20 mins to stick to a simple form and design. Find good design forms in the gesture drawings.
  • Pastels – graze/glaze lightly, go over edges. use charcoal to redefine form. hold charcoal very close to tip for good lines. Roller over and rub back. Use whole pastel as much as possible.
  • Keep edges to a minimum, use space well and position figure in hat space well- nested in space. Commit to the box if you use it.
  • Haemahlle paper key or Ingres ‘bright’ pastel paper for colour.
  • Campos suggested that I have a flare for line and abstraction and should pursue that while still keeping a more realist practice.
  • Need to think further about how I can make this work support my exploration of theme; the more abstracted work seems to chime with it more fully – a kind of updated Symbolist method (Stuck as well as the Viennese) secessionists.
  • very supportive of developing mark making and visual language, as well as design/composition.

Here’s a record of the work in three blocks mixing durations of studies. Green abstracted figure saw a tangible and more ‘felt’ shift in what I was doing (I got very annoyed with the ‘pretty’ image approach and poses that seemed to me right out of playboy and that created a far more imaginative but truly felt engagement than was previously going on).

Black lines, line generally, and abstraction working best across all this work and can take that to the follow-on when I next get in the life room – black line looks best when on one side.

Categorized as TankrzyBlog

By tanyakrzywinskablog

After working in the computer industry and spending some years conducting research into cinema and digital media, I became convinced that the innovative qualities of videogames as participatory media required closer academic attention. As such I have spent most of my career championing the inclusion of games within the academy, and arguing for games as an art form, a role I continue as a Professor at Falmouth University. Alongside this, and my scholarly work on the Gothic, I also maintain, in various forms, a visual art practice. This blog comes out of enrolling on the MA Fine Art degree programme at Central Sr Martins. It is mainly a record of my reflections on the work that I have undertaken for the degree. After having written about folk horror in games and cinema as an academic, this blog will focus on folk horror as a focus for my art practice.

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