Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life Drawing

I've been away from life drawing for nearly two months. Work, other events, and stress have kept me from going. This week Dearest plainly arranged things with the hope that I could go, and Oldest and I did. I had a good time and it went well from the first time my chalk hit the paper. At one point in the last drawing it seemed to just go by itself, and I just watched the lines and shadows showing up. That was incredible, and I'd like to have that happen again.

These are displayed in the order we did them. All are on 18 x 24 inch newsprint. The first was a two minute drawing, the next several were five minutes, and the more complete ones, with some setting (chair, drapery, etc.), were tens and fifteens.

We had an older model (late fifties, early sixties, I believe) whom we've drawn before. I like the way the bones are implied in her body, especially her shoulders. Her hip bones are less visible than in some of the younger models - it's all fascinating and interesting to capture on paper.

10 comments:

Michelle said...

It's hard when you have a set time isn't it. Great drawings, I would have needed much longer for that much drawing :)

Genie Sea said...

You've captured the loose and tender beauty of this model so stunningly well :)

Lisa said...

Were your ears burning this morning? Doug mentioned to me as we drove to work that you had a new post up with life drawings.

These are really a delight to look at. I'm fascinated with how you get the chalk and paper to work together to reflect the form in front of you.

susan said...

The drawings are very fluid yet show a strong internal cohesion and accuracy in the weight and gesture of the model. There's nothing like drawing from life to make you gather your skill to reflect the moment.

I especially like the first chair drawing where the torso is out of proportion but feels natural to the design.

Steve Emery said...

Mihelle - it's the rapid pace that makes the left brain get out of the way. No time for words... It's great.

Genie - I particularly like this model - she is feminine and lovely and older, and comfortable with herself. We all tend to ignore the wrinkles, being more fascinated with the different shapes and the beautiful way her bones are visible.

Lisa - Thanks, and I'm tickled that Doug noticed and thought it worth mentioning. Drawing figures is like magic, when it's working. It's a struggle when it's not. Last night was magic.

Susan - Yes, I debated posting that drawing because it is so out of proportion - but it captured the model's "feel" and I liked it as a drawing. So I'm pleased with it anyway. The lengthening and different sizes of the torso remind me a little of Ingres, who sometimes approached Mannerism in the way he distorted his figures for the design. I'm thinking of his famous Odalisque in particular.

linda said...

as i looked at this older feminine body, i miss the boniness i prefer, the feel of the body can only be seen in the sinew and bones, don't you think? i am judging her, your drawings are always as they should be....me? i would find a model with a body who's structure you can really enhance and dance with on the page....is that making sense? i am having a .... i am not sure but no, you cannot dance with the pride in this body- as it is getting in the way, don't you think? she is not languid but you draw what is there and it is brilliant in that you did it so beautifully...i must stop.

Steve Emery said...

Linda - I think I know what you mean. Perhaps that's the reason I had the best session with the slenderest model so far. The lines of the bones, the connections, and the young taughtness of her gestures inspired me artistically. The funny thing is how little that body type attracts me as a male. But to draw...

We don't choose the models, of course - they're found by the Carrboro art center, and we get a variety. Still no male model on any of the evening's I've been able to participate. I'm itching to try male figures - I'm pretty sure I would use the chalk differently, achieving something with more movement and more energy. I feel so differently about the two genders.

I didn't find the model "proud" - she's actually pretty sweet, but her poses and her face have a kind of stateliness or dignity that doesn't invite "dancing" or movement. The poses had an emotional stillness to them. That's lovely, too, but I (like you) would probably prefer to draw someone with more gesture, more motion and active emotion.

Leah said...

beautiful work, Steve!! I love the last two especially.

Isn't it wonderful when a drawing session just seems to flow right from the start?

Steve Emery said...

Leah - that's the addictive part of this... Flow.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Wonderful work.

I used to work as a model but haven't done any figure drawing at all for many years.

These are lovely and so well-formed.