15 one minute poses and various others

we had a male model today

I'd guess he was about fifty, he had skinny arms and legs, a floppy paunch and was totally hairless (waxed or shaven? I couldn't tell!); after my inevitable struggle with the difficultl and some manky pieces of masking tape (I still haven't purchased my own tape, so I used that left behind on the board of the difficultl from a previous student) that kept unsticking - thus my paper kept coming off the board and skidding to the floor and floating to the other side of the room - I managed to listen to and follow the tutor's instructions. . .
  • we were told to follow the contours of the outline of body
  • we were told to imagine our pencil-line was a bandage wrapping around and around the volume of the shape before us, and spiral around and around going in and out of every nook and cranny of the man's shape
  • we were told to draw what we saw without looking at the paper
  • we were told to look at the vertical and follow this thru, to see how the body moved away from the vertical (you know, that thing you see artists do when they hold a pencil vertically up in the air in front of them? it's to check the vertical, the imaginary plumb-line) (apparently)
using these various techniques, we spent 45 minutes each on two different poses, 15 minutes on three different poses and then the model posed for a minute in each of fifteen different poses and we had to draw really really really really quick sketches of each pose. . . I found those super-quick poses by far the most interesting, as he made the most fascinating shapes with his body - far more interesting than a simple standing pose or a seated one

I still get the proportions of the body all wrong: the forearms in one sketch were too long, the belly in another too wide, the neck too short; I'm learning how to manage and convey on paper "foreshortening" (when the main part of a limb comes straight towards one, and thus is virtually hidden by the knee or elbow); sometimes I didn't get the head at the right angle - it often compensated for the weight of the rest of the body in a pose, you see, how he held his head; I didn't ever quite get to grips with the angle of thrust in the legs, nor were the angles of the various curves of the back quite accurate (strangely the tutor never commented on my interpretation of the model's penis and scrotal sack! perhaps artistic licence is only allowed in respect of a model's nether regions. . .)
however, since I'm there to learn, I followed the tutor's instructions, and wasn't worried about creating a "nice drawing" as she put it; at one stage she complimented my work and pulled one sketch of mine out to use as an illustration for the group on what one achieves when one does what one is told (I'm not good with compliments, as you know, and don't like public recognition particularly - which is odd for someone who writes in this manner, altho I don't think of you lovely lot as "public", more as dearly loved friends) (yes, you too vicus)

overall, I found myself not only looking at the model's body, but becoming sidetracked the shapes of the spaces between his limbs (sometimes it's what's not present that is the most interesting: a little like the HOLES concept in the Hepworth from earlier this spring, if you remember that far back) and it was sometimes tricky to think purely about the line and the volume and the contours; I also became obsessed with drawing his back and shoulders, as I've decided that in the longer run I want to draw angels and I'm going to need to understand where wings might come on a torso in relationship to the shoulder blades and the spine and how an angel would carry the weight of those wings. . .
time flew by
I was distracted for a whole three hours and also had a nice chat with someone more bonkers than I am over a piece of flapjack in the coffee break

this afternoon I think I'm going to try and nap - something I rarely do during the day, but I'm listening to my body and it's crying "I'm tired" at me. . .
I hope you have some moments
of R&R
in your day


Sorrow said...

Love the idea of the missing space, or the space inbetween...
So happy you are resting!

Rimshot said...


katherine. said...

people who can draw amaze me.

I think it would be fun to sit in the corner and watch everyone sketch...especially the fast ones.

Dave said...

Don't fall into the usual trap and draw angels with just one set of wings, as though they were birds. They have three pairs (see Isaiah 6: 2).

Mig said...

The pencil thing is also to make an estimate of proportions* I . You hold it up at arm's length, shut one eye and put the point of the pencil at, say, the shoulder and the tip of your thumb at the elbow. Then you remember that distance and then you put the pencil point at the shoulder and the thumb tip at the other shoulder and you think "good heavens, how can the upper arm be so much longer/shorter than the distance between the two shoulders".
And if you were me, you ignored all that and did it wrong anyway :)

You know I think Angels would have to do like birds (Isiah notwithstanding) and have wings instead of arms. Could make for an interesting variation on Hans Anderson's Little Mermaid.

OH LOOK! I'm now playing - Oh I love that!

*I expect this doesn't make sense but it's quite hard to explain - for a bear of little brain.

Rimshot said...

I thought only a particular order of angels had three sets of wings (seraphim?)

I, like the view said...

trap or no trap, dave and shot, my angels will only have one pair of wings. . . but they will have arms too

have you ever read "The Vintner's Luck"? it's about an angel who visits a vineyard - the descriptions of the angel arriving and leaving are stunning (not to ruin for you, but in the end the angel's wings are removed and line a barrel)

mig I did do it all wrong - but I don't care, cos at the moment just being able to draw something that looks fairly recognisable as a human being is a feat in itself!

katherine the way the easels are set up means it's actually quite difficult to watch what the other students draw, altho I do sometimes look up and watch them looking at the model

there's one woman who seems not to be able to breathe thru her nose, as she has her mouth open the whole time - very odd!

shot again it's very weird - the whole thing is weird, but it's art, so I guess weird is ok!

sorrow I didn't get to rest, it turns out that Mini-Teen was let out of school early and so she came over to see me in The Tower and we did homeworks and ate supper and watched Father Ted together


I think I needed to be wanted and loved tho, probably as important as rest

Mig said...

I forgot to say, I do love the idea of the pencil line bandage. So clever.
I hope you get some rest soon as well as seeing the lovely mini teen.
(((((((((( I )))))))))))

Mel said...

You followed instructions!

k.....you draw AND you follow instructions.


And a visit wrapped in love counts as a different kinda rest--which is just AS required.
(the rules according to Mel....LOL)

About that scanner/cable for the camera deal.......