Gate-crashing the life class

Ok so last week I was left at the door and didn’t get in but this week yay! I got in, though being on the B-list I take the last seat, in this case right behind the model. Which was OK, but there was very little nuance of light and shadow, she was essentially all shadow. Two identical poses of 25 minutes – I’ve put the better of the two here.


Charcoal on A2

What I learnt:

  • the back was in one tone of shadow – I could barely make out a spine, let alone shoulder blades – and without them I found it difficult to ‘feel’ my way around the shoulder attachment. It took a great deal of time to get this in place.
  • the area viewed under the arm is a tangle of thigh, knee and arm. I think I should have simplified and suggested rather than trying to depict what was going on
  • the hand! It’s not great, but at least it’s there – I’ve learn that it’s best to put down the blocks of the hand, almost like the hand is wearing a mitten – rather than going straight in with fingers.
  • i have a tendency to go too small with hands, feet and head, but I think I am finally all in proportion here.

This drawing lacks interest and expression, but I went in determined to get it ‘right’. I was also quite anxious  – I’m the English woman who stands at the door with a stupid grin on her face hoping to get in – I need to get over this.

Next week I know I have a place while someone is on holiday, it’s the same model in the same pose (there are oil painters in the class). Now I know I can pretty much get an accurate body on the page, I am determined to loosen up. Determined is probably the wrong approach – maybe ready? I am ready to loosen up.





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