Sophie, an acrobat, modelled at life drawing this week and held some unusual poses! I also did some sketching as she warmed up.

Way back in August, after finishing on Klaus (I’m hoping to post more about my work on that soon), I took a day to visit Edinburgh Zoo. Thankfully the weather was pretty good and I was able to see, and draw, a lot of animals.

Pelicans – slightly pinker than they were in real life!
The penguins – always a treat to watch.
I definitely focused on birds, but I drew a huge variety of animals. I liked the Lowland Nyalas and Koalas a lot. Sadly the only big cat I saw was this very sleepy Sumatran Tiger …
Rainbow Lorikeets – Edinburgh Zoo has an aviary room of them. It was wonderful!
Chilean Flamingoes – my final visit of the day.

I’ve got behind with uploading my sketches from life drawing again … I’ll upload them soon! These drawings are from late October, modelled by Lydia.

Maxime was the model on Tuesday. It was great to be at life drawing again; it’s been a long time.

For the last month and a half on my job in Edinburgh (I should be able to reveal what I was working on soon) I stayed in a flat near Arthur’s Seat. One evening I took advantage of the sunshine and spent a while drawing in the park. Here are a couple of my sketches!

St Anthony’s Chapel Ruins
Radical Road

For the third year running I’ve taught animation workshops at a creative arts holiday (ages 12-18) over the summer. The last two years I’ve focused on morphing workshops, but I decided to try something a little different this time. I introduced the idea of emotions in characters and how to translate that clearly to an audience. To to this, everyone animated a character changing from one emotion to another.

The children grasped the concept and ran with it, creating funny and inventive pieces.

Monday Expression Workshop
Tuesday Expression Workshop

I also ran a specialism, which gave participants free rein to do whatever they liked. After going into a bit more detail about weight, timing, and movement (I even introduce charting!) the children storyboard an idea. Over about five hours they then draw their entire animation. With my help it’s photographed and edited, ready to play to the rest of the group that evening.

Joe’s specialism, Marshmallow
Roan’s specialism, Cake and Petrol

You can see more videos from workshops I’ve run on my Workshops page.

I’m back in Edinburgh for a few months, working as a Clean Up Artist (if you don’t know what that is, here’s an example) on a feature film I can’t talk about yet. It’s a really exciting project and I’m looking forward to sharing more about that, hopefully soon. One of the tricky things with working in animation is that a lot of what I do can’t be shown for one reason or another, so this is a glimpse at some of my personal drawings!

This afternoon I spent some time in one of my favourite places, the National Museum of Scotland. I went down into the early Scottish history section and sketches a few objects that caught my interest. Here are a couple of them.

Elaborate Viking sword hilt, Eigg

Pony cap and horns (which were added at a later date), Torrs

I missed a session because of work, but was back at life drawing last week where Imogen modelled.

It’s been a while since I uploaded any sketches from life drawing … here are some from sessions modelled by Maxime, Lena, Evie, and Susan.

Sketches of Bea from last week. Even after a relatively short break from life drawing I struggled to get back into it! There are an awful lot of drawings that won’t see the light of day again. However here are a few sketches I am happy with. I particularly enjoyed drawing the study of Bea’s back – the lighting was just right to see all the details.

Susannah modelled at the final January session. Lots of nice poses, but my drawings were a bit hit and miss.

Katrina modelled at this special ‘animation’ life drawing session with short poses. Normally there are poses from 2 minutes up, but we had several 1 minute poses and (after I begged) some 30 second ones too.

We began with a sequence of 1 minute poses.

1min

There were several longer poses dotted about through the session. The hand studies were drawn during a 15 minute pose, and the others were 10 minute poses.

It was fantastic to do some live 30 second drawings again. It’s such a good way to learn gesture and storytelling, and to train to speed up in longer poses.

Near the end of the session we had some more 1 minute poses. By this point I was able to get details down more quickly.

It was great to have more quick poses at life drawing. Hopefully this will become a regular thing, and, who knows, perhaps I’ll manage to convince everyone to do 10 second poses next time …

There were three models at this session, because Bill stepped in for the first few minutes as Francesca and Pete were delayed!

I tested out a new 10B pencil which was lovely to draw with. I liked being able to easily switch between a soft and sharp line (something I can’t seem to get the hang of with conte). It was also great for shading.

This was the last session before Christmas, so I’ve been looking forward to a special one next week with shorter poses.

Morna modelled for our first December session. I was struggling with the conte pastel so did most of the drawings in pencil.

I have been snowed under with a job, Christmas, and a new niece (all very exciting but quite hard work) and that’s meant my life drawing from last year has been put aside until now.

First up are drawings of model Gina, from back in November!

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