Writing as someone who has done occasional life modelling (often when the booked model doesn’t turn up!), my sympathy went out to Joanne on Thursday when she took up her pose for the evening. Standing with all one’s weight bearing down on one leg for 2 hours is a feat of endurance no one who has not done it can possibly understand. (Think – you never see the Queen watching a 2 hour march past whilst standing on one leg do you?!) For those in the class who concentrate mainly on head and shoulders they may not even be aware of that telltale tremor in the lower leg or the twitching tension in that thigh muscle. But I am acutely aware as one who has ‘been there’ and can almost feel my own muscles twitching in empathy!However, speaking now as an artist and regardless of the pose the model adopts, my frequent dilemma is at what stage in the evening to tackle the hand(s) – pre or post tea break? Almost inevitably, after the break the feet return to their exact, chalked up position and the arms approximately so and the head as well (the model can usually remember in which direction and what they have been staring at for the last hour!). But the hands are trickier – so many digits to control! And so, rarely, do they resume the exact same position. After our last session I am coming to the conclusion that drawing the hands at an early stage is preferable, even though it feels like getting into too much detail too early. On Thursday night I made the mistake of tackling the hands after the break. Consequently I spent as long after tea re-positioning and drawing the hands as it had taken me to draw the entire torso before tea! Any hints and tips on this topic would be gratefully received....?I should perhaps have taken a leaf out of Patrick’s book in his cunning treatment of that most tricky of joints, the elbow – shadows! And it works brilliantly! Other things that I think clearly worked well from the cream of Thursday night’s crop were: the graphic quality and clever contextuality of Chris’s drawing; an excellent and bold portrait from Dick; the wonderful definition and creamy colouring of the flesh in Hadyn’s piece; the chiaroscuro in Patrick’s work; the strong Victorian quality of Roger H’s striking portrait and another one of Sandra’s excellently textured pieces.Oh, and just to return to my opening theme – well done Joanne for a superhuman effort in the noble cause of art!
Paintings and drawings by Barry, Catherine, Chris, David, Dick, Haydn, Ian, Jane, Janet, Lou, Patrick, Roger H, Roger S, Sandra, Steven, Tom and Tony.