Mixed Media Life Drawing

This afternoon, we had a 3 hour life drawing session using a range of mixed media, and although it was incredibly exhausting, I have learnt so much about drawing garments live, body proportions, layering of mediums and the lively, textural effect it delivers.

We took turns between us and modelled for 15 minutes each


These are the first three collages I produced. We took large pieces of coloured papers, tissue paper, and magazine pages and roughly tore out our shapes in response to what we saw- such as a large angular shape of the jacket, or the roundness of shoulders. Then, we drew the figure with oil pastels, making sure to work swiftly and quickly, but also paying utmost attention to body proportions. I found that my weakest point were the legs, as they seemed awkward in my drawings, but I will fix this afterwards, along with touching up on blocks of colour or more layers of collage too. The middle collage needs retouching most- the colours aren’t quite distinguished as I rushed and did not clean my brush, so it is a faint, murky brown colour, when it should be a darker green and purple. The last collage is nearly there- perhaps a bolder green and more patterned paper will complete it. I also want to highlight more of Charlotte’s skirt folds, and layering a more textural medium as others captured this aspect very well.


Even though this was my first drawing, I loved the movement captured in it and the folds of the jacket underneath the arm. I like my colour choices too, and how the collage papers (the lilac one here in particular) in the background really emphasise the angular elements of the suit jacket. I used a very large flat brush to paint for the first time, and the large expressive strokes depict the heavy feeling of the jacket as it dominates the upper body.

Using watercolours and ink on wet paper, a bit of pastels too
My wet media drawing

The next half of the 3 hour session was experimenting on wet paper. I have used ink on wet paper before, as I explored Marlene Dumas in a project in the past. However I loved the dripping of the watercolour, and how unpredictable it is, but I enjoyed “controlling” it by using the drips to portray fringes of the scarf around the neck and head. Perhaps I will work into this more by making the drips more dramatic, with a bolder, darker purple.

Karin’s pieces

I absolutely loved Karin’s use of colours, as they are so confidently executed, and they all compliment each other. This is also why I enjoyed the drawing session- I could immediately see everybody’s work, and I would be encouraged to refine my line drawings a bit more, or try similar colours that seemed successful in theirs.

Overall, I will definitely use both the collage and wet media for my A1 studies of my suit jackets, as I’m more comfortable in how to translate the sculptural aspect of the jacket onto paper too, using layers of colours and textures.


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