Thursday, February 26, 2009

Life Drawing 4

Another life drawing session. We've missed several weeks - it was good to get back to it.

We had an unusually lithe and slender model this evening, with a full head of auburn hair, safety pins in her ears, and a big square tattoo on her beautiful abdomen. I was sorry about the tattoo. She did a number of challenging poses - hard to hold, and hard to draw. She was exceptional, and it was a fascinating evening. She reached and twisted and stood in ways that really set off her tiny waist, long thighs, and thin arms. I wasn't happy with more than two or three of the drawings, but I deeply enjoyed it. This was a five minute pose. 18 x 24 - click for a larger view. It's a lot to get done in five minutes. This was a gorgeous pose, and I'm happy with the drawing.

This pose, though, had me shaking my head. I wasn't sure I should post it, but I decided it's not really that detailed. I was determined to draw exactly what I had before me. While drawing I'm only aware of shapes and contrasting areas of light and dark. It's all about angles and curves and proportions. That's what makes a drawing work, especially if there is any foreshortening in it. But once in a while, usually when the model is moving between poses, and I'm not looking through the artist's lense, I realize that I am gazing upon a nude female - a total stranger except for her first name. Then the pose is taken and I'm instantly back to seeing contours and shapes, not a girl at all. This was a ten minute pose. I was especially fascinated with the tendons in the thighs right before the backs of the knees. They were so sharp and well lit, especially on her left leg.

Tonight I was a bit nervous because I brought one of my watercolor boards. I didn't intend to paint there - I can't paint with other people around (except Oldest - we do art together, so that's OK - but even then we have an understanding that we don't look at each other while we're working). But I did intend to draw on the page while there, then refine the drawing at home, then paint on it after that. And I wasn't sure I could pull of it together on the spot there with so many other people around. So I was edgy.

But it worked out OK, and now I have this to look forward to painting. I captured four poses on this page (19 x 19). One was a reclined pose, with a profile which I captured pretty well - best face I've done in these sessions (I don't usually concentrate on faces - I can get someone to pose for a face, but nudes are harder to come by). But it didn't work in the composition and I erased it completely. That felt weird, and absolutely prodigally free.

11 comments:

June Saville said...

That model really inspired you Steve - wonderful work on both counts. Yours and hers.

Genie Sea said...

Ohhh! I really really love the third drawing! It looks like it's carved out of marshmallow. I love the shading and the soft contours! Very inspiring! :)

linda said...

steve, your work with this model is gorgeous and the one on the board is extraordinary, it's beautiful....she was a wonderful muse! I would have loved to have a peak at the poses you erased from this....

I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this, it's inspiring and fun for me to watch...thanks for sharing!

Adamgv said...
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Steve Emery said...

June - she was very different. On further reflection today I realize how distressingly thin she really was, though she seemed healthy and young and fit. The lines and poses were beautiful.

Genie - LOL - the marshmallow comment makes sense, and it made me laugh. I'll be experimenting with color on this - reacting to the piece after the fact, without the model. I plan to treat it like a much more detailed pre-painting drawing, nothing more. I have work to do on the face, in particular. Nor sure how that will end up, but it's key to this piece working.

Linda - Thank you so much - I wish I could have saved the drawing I erased, too. But it was a pleasure to erase it to improve the piece - it may me feel like a big spender.

Phoenix Berries said...

I look forward to seeing the last drawing in paint.

Are any of the models ever pregnant or male? I am eager to see what you could make of more roundness or more pronounced musculature.

Steve Emery said...

Summer - They do have male models (about one time in three, I was told) but we've never been there on one of those nights. And the first time we went we had a much curvier model. But the last three have all been quite slender, especially this last one. I wasn't so interested in drawing a male when we started, but now I'm increasingly curious to see how it's different. In school I think we had a male model only once my whole first year, and I don't remember it.

Lisa said...

I was wondering the same thing Summer was wondering. That first pose did give you much to work with and I can't imagine holding it for more than a couple of minutes without thinking that my hands would be forever drained of blood and feeling.

Steve Emery said...

Lisa - the artists in the room were pretty vocal about how impressed they were with her poses. She had trouble holding some of them (trembling a bit towards the end) but they were a pleasure to draw. I haven't done this enough yet to have much context.

originalbliss said...

Amazing work! So natural, sensual and radiant. Thank you for being "brave" and posting them.

Steve Emery said...

Originalbliss - Thanks! Only the second one required bravery. It's not such an artistic pose...