Figure drawing with a live model requires me to be in the moment. There is an immediacy, an urgency, a compulsion. Nothing else exists but the model, my paper, and expression. Time stops. I lose awareness of tired feet or hunger. Sometimes feelings remain, but it goes better if I empty my mind. That is when I am most likely to turn out a piece that interests me, one that I might even be surprised by. The final result may not be beautiful in the classic sense, it may not be polished, it may not follow the rules, whatever the rules are, but I will have a joy afterward. And if I show the piece to others, then my hope is that it will at least be interesting to them.
It is such a luxury to work from a live model. I enjoy drawing, and a live model forces me to draw quickly, trusting my judgment. Poses are usually short, and the model, even the best of models, might move during the pose, adding to the challenge and the sense of urgency. Sometimes it takes most of the length of the pose just to get the angles and proportions drawn, and the last few minutes are spent rushing to develop the drawing. Hurried shading is coarse and textured.
Usually Studio b’s instructor, Heather Clements, directs us toward a particular emphasis, but this week we just drew. We drew very quickly — our longest poses were only 15 minutes.