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The Star by Hackney Downs, 7 November 2017

13 Nov 2017

Most people, it seems, prefer to draw female models. This sweeping generalisation is based solely on informal conversations, and appears to be irrespective of each artist’s gender or sexual orientation. The question came up at The Star by Hackney Downs, where a late female cancellation and stand-in male replacement the previous Tuesday meant I would be the third male model in succession for Drawing the Star – despite the best efforts of organiser Catherine Hall to alternate the sexes…

I pondered the extent to which a run of maleness might have contributed to us getting a surprisingly low turn-out of artists this evening. Being a member of the least popular traditional binary gender doesn’t disconcert me, however. I can only be myself, giving the best of myself at each booking, and know that dedicated life drawing artists value diversity and the fresh challenges it brings. We opened with poses of 5-minutes, 4, 3, 2-minutes, three of 1-minute, three of 30-seconds, and two of 10-minutes.

As is always the case with this group, irrespective of numbers, the mood was positive and appreciative of the shapes I created. I offer straight lines and angles, with unusual proportions and contortions; not soft curves or hard muscles. I like to think that artists who haven’t drawn me before will see afresh and think anew the human figure, not just regurgitate from previous practice. At some time or another, everybody goes through a stage of not fitting me on the page – they laugh and learn and try again and improve.

After a break, it was thrown open for artists to decide the kind of pose they would like to draw in the last half-hour. One requested something similar to a crouching pose I’d held earlier, with folded body and angled limbs, whilst another didn’t mind but wanted to start with a couple of 2-minute poses so they could warm-up with a new technique. That all sounded okay to Catherine and me, so I went 2-minutes inverted, followed by 2-minutes reaching upwards, then 25-minutes sitting arched and crooked.

I’m pretty sure a good time was had by all, with some great drawings produced during the course of the session. Thank you to Jorijn, Kimberley and Catherine for permitting me to photograph your works and share them here. The run of maleness comes to an abrupt halt next week, yet the challenging poses will continue assuredly when Esther returns to model. I shall return too as an artist – trying and doubtless failing to capture her magnificence. Hopefully many of Hackney’s regular artists will be back to join us.

From → Art

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