DRAWING LIFE by fred hatt


Movement Multiples

Space Between (Anna), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

In the late 1990’s, an important focus of my drawing practice was capturing the energy of moving figures through expressive line.  This week’s post is a selection of drawings from 1997 through 1999.  All of these feature multiple renderings of the same pose in different positions.  It was my attempt to introduce the dimension of time into the two-dimensional world of the sketch.

Nested (Ignacio), c.1998, by Fred Hatt

In the drawing above, the transition of the figure from upright to fetal forms a natural nested composition, with different colored lines used to keep the phases of the movement separate.  The drawing below is more like a stroboscopic sequence moving across the frame, reminiscent of this kind of photograph I remembered seeing as a kid.

Stage Cross (Arthur), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

Here’s a beautifully simple study of the movement of the spine:

Spinal Movement (Francisca), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

In drawing from a model in motion, it is often impossible to capture the entire figure.  The composition below arises from the bony contours of ribs and arms, shoulderblades and collarbones:

Bony (Francisco), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

A model who is an expressive dancer can convey feeling even in quick movement sketches:

Emotion (Anna), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

Here are two figures, with two phases each:

Turns (Heather), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

Here, the arm of the forward bending figure becomes the leg of the standing figure:

Unfolding (Caitlin), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

Ink drawing with a brush has the spontaneity of dance:

Motion 4, c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

Here, the soft colors seem to be separating from the hard colors:

Stepping Out of Oneself (Miha), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

There are five fragmentary figures here, two drawn softly, in white, using the edge of the crayon, and three drawn crisply, in dark blue, using the point.  The differing techniques make the white and the blue drawings appear to be on different planes:

Circularity (Corinna), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

The cool softness above is contrasted by the hot energy below:

Lunge (Claudia), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

At times, the overlapping lines of the figures cease being figures and become abstract patterns:

Grass (Anna), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

In drawing from moving models, I often focused on one part of the body.  Here, it is the movement of the legs:

Legwork (Joe), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

The simplicity of the ink drawing below makes it possible to see many forms, not just figures, suggested in the flowing brushstrokes.

Motion 3, c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

When the models movements suggest power and vigor, those qualities come through in the drawing:

Explode (Toby), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

A softer style of movement makes a softer drawing:

Shimmy (Nyonnoweh), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

The model for the next two drawings was a dancer whose movements all seemed to flow from a supple spine:

Spinal Flexure (Donna), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

Leap & Turn (Donna), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

In the one below, the model must have been holding the poses for at least a minute, as there are relatively complete figures, kept mostly separated on the page:

Angst (Joe), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

Here two phases of the model’s changing states find expression in the drawing.  The face, like a placid moon, looks down upon the thrusting figures below it:

Serene Vigor (Julie), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

I believe the drawing below arose from a model moving very slowly.  As the upper body gradually changed position, I kept sketching the contours.  In this case slow movement produced a sketch with a lot of energy:

Twist and Reach (Lea), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

Many of these drawings look like they should be painted on the walls of a cave.  They have the roughness and vitality of stone age painting.

Stone (Claudia), c. 1998, by Fred Hatt

All of these drawings were done between the years, 1997 and 1999, mostly at the movement drawing sessions I used to run at Spring Studio in New York.  The color drawings are done with aquarelle crayons and sometimes ink, and are about 18″ x 24″.  Some of the ink drawings here may be as small as 10″ x 10″.  The digital images used in this post were made in the same era as the drawings, by photographing the drawings on 35mm film and scanning the prints, so they’re not quite up to the artwork photography standards I try to maintain today.

Note:  The “Claudia” that is credited as the model in two of the drawings in this post is not the same Claudia that many of my readers know as the blogger of Museworthy.

My portfolio site from this era is still online, and features a selection of movement drawings.

This week I’ll be teaching workshops and doing body painting and other fun things at the Brushwood Folklore Center in Sherman, NY.  I won’t have access to a computer, so forgive me if I don’t reply to your comments right away, or if the next post takes a little more than a week to appear here.

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