Three Statues of Senwosret III,

BM Boot Camp

I mentioned in my last post that I had tried to “loosen up” in my approach to life drawing. But loosen up from what?

These drawings may provide some sense of how I used to gravitate to detail.

After I finished art college in 1983, I started to go to the British Museum to make very detailed drawings on the spot. It was a sort of “boot camp” for getting past the discomfort of people looking over my shoulder while I was working. The more a drawing neared completion, the more they looked. And I discovered that crass generalizations about particular nationalities have a grain of truth. Americans wanted to talk, Italians sat next to me (sometimes a very welcome distraction…) and English people – well they frequently pretended they hadn’t been looking in the first place.

The single portrait here is of a friend, Marie Thérèse, known as MT. That was genuinely her daily styling at the time. I worked from photographs of her, but Ramesses was drawn directly in the Egyptian Galleries – from life as it were!

 

9 Comments

  1. These drawings are extraordinary. Michael, you have brought to your work an exceptional capacity to look closely and to capture the object before you but also something brilliant and ineffable that makes the image all your own. I love these images. Thanks for sharing. Dan Weiss

  2. These are so good, they make me hate you a tiny little bit. Also, I just want to keep looking at them, and marvel not just at your skill as a draughtsman but also at how sensitively you formulate your compositions.

  3. “Thank heavens Michael stopped gravitating to detail” is not the very first thought that comes to mind. You created exquisite surfaces and brought these objects to life.

  4. These are exquisite! Your attention to detail serves them magnificently. What a treat to see the range of your artistic gifts. Last week and this offer two different but complimentary windows into your creative vision. In each case the approach you chose brought the subjects to life!

  5. Really fantastic, all of them. I especially love how the quiet power and stillness of the objects comes through.

Please let me know what you think!