Friday, 9 January 2009

From Cutlers to Architects to Naked Ladies

As I said last time, I've not done any life drawing for years, but started with a new group last night.

It took a while to find the place. We had free use of the back room in an architect's offices, which were housed in a converted old cutlers workshop, down a dark, largely derelict street, hidden round the back of the city centre. I rang the bell and a friendly voice buzzed me in. Phew!

We were right at the top, up steep stone stairs, heavily sculpted by many feet over many years. When everyone had arrived, we were about ten. We were all crammed into a small room, already struggling to accommodate a large table, a three-seater sofa, about six chairs and a bookcase, but somehow everyone found a spot.

We did an hour of ten minute poses first. The model was very good and kept really still. It was great fun, though hard work, especially with short poses, as you can't waste a second.

I worked in an A3 sketchbook on my lap. I was worried I might be embarrassingly rusty, as the rest of the group have been going regularly, but I think all the travel sketchbook work has helped to keep my eye in, as it went ok.

I got a bit frustrated with myself now and then, especially with the legs of these sitting poses, but when I got home and looked at the drawings later, I was pleasantly surprised that they were much better than I'd thought at the time.

We had a tea break half way through and I got to chat to people, then it was back again for a single 1 hour pose. People got out pastels, watercolours, all sorts. I used slightly larger paper and experimented with some fat watercolour pencils I'd found at the back of a cupboard. I put a little pot of water on the floor, and every so often, dipped my finger in, to 'paint' with the colour on the paper.

I liked the technique: the imprecision of fingers stops things getting too prissy. I was struggling a bit though, as I sat cross-legged on the floor for the whole hour, holding a heavy drawing board in front of me.

Isn't it interesting, how the longer poses are often not as good, less fresh and spontaneous? Even the draughtsmanship here is less true - possibly because with short ones, like with my train portraits, there's no time to think about what goes where, so you just rely on instinct.


Anonymous said...

By christ you are quick of the mark! I bet your drawings were still warm and they are halfway around the world. Your drawings look very good, I dont think there is much rust to brush off.

I was glad you could join us last night, it is not normally that busy... beginning of term and all that. We are normally about 5/6.

Do keep coming. Next week is Katie again then probably a male model next.


Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

I agree with that last thing you said. The longer poses are never as successful as the shorter ones for me either. I think too much when I have more time.

memi said...

Hello Lynne!

I have been down with the flu- so happy New Year-
and what a way to start!
You are such a strong draftsman- whatever you draw is a delight to look at-
couldn't agree with you more about the length of the pose- most people just don't get it!
These are lovely and inspirational!

Pedro said...

Hey Lynne
Great model drawings. Very clear and with personality.
The Lisbon sketchcrawl was quite good, tough not very sucessful as to publishing on the forum.
I think 2/3 of the sketchers were known to each other. Everybody knew at least one of the other sketchers.

cassia said...

I'm so envious. I love lifedrawing... I'm too chicken to go on my own though, which is completely daft cos it's against all the rules in the world to talk at one of these things, isn't it?

I do keep loitering about the park in the hopes I'll attract a flasher. I bet I could whip out my sketch book faster than he could whip out his- er... well, anyway...
Gorgeous work as per usual. I particularly love the raw-ness of the one at the top of your previous post- has a very breathy Frances Bacon-typed feel that I like.

I too don't do as well at long poses. I start thinking about what I want for dinner, whether I've missed the first five minutes of some tv show, and why the (male) model has less toe hair than I do!

Can't wait to see your next offerings. You haven't said if you're coming to scbwi next weekend, missus. cxxx

CATI said...

Those sketches are so good! And very well done as the classical great painters! great!