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Props and Themes in Figure Drawing

Our model for Figure Drawing at Studio b. this week brought a black hat that I just loved.  She used it in almost all of the warm-up poses, but then for the longer poses,  she switched to a sequence without the hat.  Fist she posed just standing in the pool, then wetting her hair under one of the pool fountains, and then she posed seated and fixing her hair.

After our break, a few raindrops speckled the courtyard so we moved indoors to one of the galleries for the final poses.

I asked the model to put the hat on for one of the last poses.  It is more interesting to me if there is an element of the drawing that contrasts with the figure.  That element might be an added compositional effect such as the actual setting or environment, or just background shapes, but it could simply be the texture of the model’s hair, or a shadow pattern, or a necklace, or a hairband, or some other inconsequential accessory.  In this case, the hat the model brought was solid black, with a shiny band, and it became a dominant force, giving the pose some pizzazz.

It’s always interesting to see who shows up at Studio b.’s figure drawing sessions.  This week, model and designer India Hicks drew with us.

Studio b. owner Colleen Duffley regularly schedules interesting people to discuss and show their work to the community, and that is how India happened to be in town and to come to figure drawing.  She fussed at her drawings just like the rest of us did, but  I am always amazed at people like her who say they haven’t done any figure drawing in 20 years, and then proceed to whip off some drawings like they never stopped!

I’m going to keep an eye out for her son’s art too.  Though still in junior high, his drawings show great promise.

Most of my images are available for purchase.  Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot

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