Should I do Life Drawing?

Life drawing is drawing (or sometimes painting) of the human figure from a live model.  Sometimes the model is clothed or semi-clothed but the idea is that you can observe the human form in its ‘life’ or natural form.

 Drawing clothed models is very useful of course because you can get to observe the folds and creases of the clothing.  Life drawing  has the advantage of seeing the anatomy as it is and sometimes to understand how clothing behaves in the way it falls and creases we have to understand what is underneath, the anatomy.

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Ultramarine Blue or French Ultramarine Blue?

I got asked just this week by a learner what was the difference between Ultramarine Blue paint and French Ultramarine Blue?

The short answers is not a great deal.  In the early 19th century the cost of ultramarine made from lapis lazuli was much higher than any of the other pigments, so much so that some artists did not use much blue in their work if any. 

French Ultramarine Blue
French Ultramarine Blue

Two French chemists discovered some blue residue in a soda furnace one day and wondered if this could be developed into a blue paint to replace the costly ultramarine pigment.  After lots of development work an alternative was developed which was cheaper and soon came into production.  In order to differentiate it from the lapis lazuli it was called ‘French’ Ultramarine.

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