Nudes in Line

A sense of immediacy sets these drawings apart from the rest of my output. They are ends in themselves and have no role as studies for paintings. That function is served by my tonal drawings in which the figures are an integral part of a design. The earlier drawings in this selection are in the tradition of the Art School Life Class where the model tends to take up poses that can easily be held for long periods.

Because of my fascination with movement I asked my model to go through the motions of dressing and undressing but to do it in slow motion so as to give me a chance to record some of the wonderful shapes he was making. The tentative drawings of July 1974 show that he was still moving too fast for me. The August drawings, however, revert to the procedures I had used for the tonal drawings and my camera simply selected the shapes that interested me. To maintain a sense of momentum and keep my line lively I drew swiftly from the resulting photographs.

Freed from my usual slow and deliberate working methods, I was now able to indulge in the exhilarating sensation of ‘taking a line for a walk’.