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Morley College, London, 12 July 2016

3 Aug 2016

Twice so far this year I’ve modelled on consecutive Wednesdays for the life drawing courses at Morley College – 9 and 16 March, then 15 and 22 June. In the interests of variety, my final booking there before the summer holidays was for a portrait class. There was some doubt in the preceding weeks whether take-up by students would be sufficient for it to go ahead, but ultimately we had a good size class of five.


As with the life drawing classes, the tutor was Gillian Melling. We were in a different part of the college building, so I was lucky to meet her randomly at the main entrance so she could lead me through the warren of corridors to our art room. First poses were simple short studies, with my back to a wall and neutral backdrop: 10-minutes staring forward, 17-minutes turned to the right, 15-minutes turned to the left.


The next exercise lasted 25-minutes up to our break. Once more I was facing forward but now the artists, lined up before me, were encouraged to focus solely on individual features. After the interval a single 50-minute full portrait took us to the end. Without my glasses, I just stared blankly forward at an unfocused gaze point on the blur of a far wall, and allowed my mind to wander its own paths.


I tend not to enjoy posing for portrait work as much as life modelling and went through an inevitably sleepy phase, but I was alert in the second half and quite appreciated it. After the session, artists fixed their drawings to a wall and took feedback from Gillian. Apparently I have, “very arresting eyes, perfect for portraiture“, which is nice to know! Hope I’ll be back next term.

From → Art

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