Yea, yea, went sketching, but not to my normal place. This session was at a functioning gallery, and the model said she was fairly new to it. She didn’t go for extreme poses, and she seemed a little shy, which is understandable, but she was a living statue. She didn’t drift at all, and she was aware of what poses she could, and couldn’t, hold, so that was smart on her part. I’m sure it’s a balance, to push the pose for your audience, but not attempt something you know you can’t pull off. If she sticks with it,  I bet she’ll push the open stances more, but I was impressed with her.

The lighting in the room wasn’t the best, as they set things up in a corner of a gallery space which has work on the walls. All the lights are adjusted for those rather than the model, which made for some weird shadows. When she faced the wall, these old eyes had a bit of a time trying to figure out the backside edges. It did force one to really look at the figure, and the contour of things, and ultimately that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. This place is much more regimented with the poses, starting with short 2-5 min. at first, then a few at 10 and 25, then a last pose of 50.

Here’s the 5 (left side) and a 10 (right side)–

Sketches_apr_2013_10

Here are a couple 25—

Sketches_apr_2013_13

Sketches_apr_2013_12

And the last that at 50. I spent more time blending in my highlights and tweaking my darks since I had extra time, but I’m not sure that’s apparent at this image size. That little spot on her hip was actually a tattoo, and this was the only drawing I included it in— the prerogative of the artist I guess.

Sketches_apr_2013_11

One of the most important exercises an artist can do is life drawing. I’ve been trying my best to get to a local studio session once a week to practice drawing from a model. It’s so easy to slip into bad habits, to become repetitive with your poses, or to use shortcuts when working, simply to save time and to meet deadlines. Doing any of those things is also the easiest way to stagnate yourself artistically. Constant challenge, be it self imposed, or by the pose before you, keeps you fresh and alert. For me, the challenges are more self imposed, as I’m trying to get a better understanding of how shadows form. Not so much to build high contrast images in the manner of Mike Mignola (Hellboy) or Frank Miller (Sin City). Rather to understand their nature, how they’re slaves of light and form, and how the smallest shift of the body can drastically alter their shape. (whoah, deeeeeep) Within all that there’s also the daily challenge of capturing the likeness, the correct proportions, and general look of the subject. Below are some recent efforts.

Sometimes it seems to work…

When it does, you get a little more adventurous with your blacks…

But, sometimes you run out of time…

 

 

 

Often you fail…

Worst yet, there are those nights when you’ve had too much of the free boxed wine someone brought…

C’est la vie.