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Open Studio Figure Drawing at Studio b.

Top half of standing pose pictured below

This week we had a new model and open studio figure drawing.  Creativity was a-buzzing!

There are many decisions to be made when starting a new drawing, and having a new unfamiliar model adds to the mix.  After looking at the model and deciding whether the pose is good for me or whether I need to move to a different vantage point, then I have to decide what medium I am going to use, which then helps me decide what paper to use for that medium.  I take a big art-box with me to the drawing sessions, and a board with several different papers clipped to it, and sometimes I bring a watercolor pad as well.  I don’t necessarily have a favorite medium that I work with all the time.  Most certainly, I prefer graphite , but it’s fun to use different media.  My art-box also contains black and brown permanent pens, water soluble blue and black pens, charcoal, tinted charcoal, washable graphtint (tinted graphite) pencils, conte, wax crayons, watercolor pencils, and nupastels.

After I pick my media, next I face the choice of approach.  Here’s where I usually just jump in and start working the gesture, without thought for whether my initial marks are going to contribute to or detract from the end result.  Since every pose is timed, the immediacy of working from a live model requires some quick decision-making and the guts to just go for it, not worrying too much about whether I am going to turn out a masterpiece or not.  In the end, there is usually something about every drawing that I like, even if there are proportional inaccuracies or places where I got something completely wrong.  That is why I keep coming back to Studio b. for Wednesday night Figure Drawing.

Some of our group’s drawings will be on display at Studio b. this-coming Thursday, November 4, 2010, for the b+b@b event to announce  Studio b.’s partnering with the Brogan Museum of Art and Science to celebrate the exhibition of 50 Baroque Italian masterpieces, which will be debuting in Tallahassee in March of 2011.

Some of our group’s drawings will be on display at Studio b. for the b+b@b event this-coming Thursday, November 4, 2010, for the celebration of Studio b.’s partnering with the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science promoting Food, Art, Film, and Fashion.
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Practicing with Horizontal Contours to Show Bulk

This week the instructor of Studio b.‘s figure drawing session, Heather Clements, drew horizontal contours around the model’s arms, legs, and waist, to help us see the the bulk of those parts of the figure.  We had some fun making drawings a la Sergio Poddighe, with portions of the figure sliced out and missing.  Then we did some longer poses, and I very much enjoyed drawing contours of the figure without a lot of shading, letting my lines express the volumes instead of light and shadow.  The practice with contours earlier in the session helped me to see the shapes better.

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Returning to Drawing After Time Away

Last week the model at Studio b. was lit with a close floodlight, heightening the light-dark contrast.  I warmed up with red crayon and then changed to charcoal pencil.

I had been on vacation and away from figure drawing for several weeks.  It seems like I am always tighter and more controlled, when I haven’t drawn for a while, trying to be more exact, trying to get it “right”.  Warming up with crayon and charcoal pencil kept me from being too careful.  But I became more controlled in my final drawing, and consequently I didn’t get very much of it finished during the drawing session.  I had focused on the near hand while the model was there, and to retain that focus, I silhouetted much of the remainder of the figure when I finished it later.

I have so much appreciation for the models, who often find that after 5 minutes into what they thought was a comfortable pose, the pose becomes distinctly uncomfortable, and then there they are, stuck for another 25 minutes or however long the pose is.  When the model was given a break midway through this final pose, his right leg had gone to sleep, and it was a few minutes before he could walk.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to sit for a painting, posing for days!

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