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Bridge House, London, 28 October 2019

4 Nov 2019

A chance encounter with Tatiana Moressoni on a Brockley street corner… the next day I’m kindly invited to model on Monday and Wednesday the following week at her south London life drawing groups… but I can’t do Wednesday as I have a Halloween booking that evening… so we confirm Monday… and say: “We’ll do Halloween too!

I arrived at Bridge House fully one hour early so I could get a glass of wine and settle down with body paints to give my face, neck and ribcage a skeleton make-over. It was the first time I’d self-applied a skull face, so thanks go out to Art Macabre – London’s original purveyors of death drawing – for showing me the way all those years ago.

Artwork by Matthew Taylor.

Artwork by Curtis Holder.


Artwork by Curtis Holder.

For my first three poses – all standing, two of 5-minutes, one of 10-minutes – I wore a long white wig and a cape of blingy cobwebs. Just about on-theme, but perhaps more 70s glam rock than vintage Halloween, so thereafter it was just my bare painted body. After all, artists had come to draw the human figure. Costume is not everyone’s thing.

Artwork by Matthew Taylor.

Artwork by Matthew Taylor.

I’d neglected to have a warm-up stretch before diving excitedly into the first pose, so I ended up over-exerting my leg muscles. Once the cape came off I sat for 10-minutes, taking it easier with arms and claw-like hands resting across my legs. Next I stood for another 10-minutes, holding a long strip of black material diagonally behind my back.

Artwork by Daisy Hayden.

For the 15-minute pose before our break I sat gazing into the lifeless eyes of a plastic skull – my final prop. By now I was feeling in good shape and having fun. Our second half would have poses of 10, 15 and 20 minutes. To start these, I stood with the black material draped across my shoulders and held outwards in both hands at waist level.

Artwork by Matthew Taylor.

Next I flicked the material off my right shoulder, spiralled it round my left arm, then lay flat on my back with the entwined limb extended vertically upwards. In truth, this pose and the previous one were merely recent favourites rather than seasonal specials but my props, paint and naturally skeletal physique seemed to take care of business.

Artwork by Matthew Taylor.

I saw out the evening by sitting upright on the floor, black material over one shoulder, my other hand resting on the skull. There was a lovely show of appreciation from the artists when Tatiana called time, and not only in the tips jar – but thank you! Rather, I think everyone got into it, and what started as a novelty actually elevated their work.

Artwork by Tatiana Moressoni.

Drawings were spread across the floor and received much admiration. Artists finished their drinks and consumed the remaining trick-or-treat sweets that Tatiana had placed on every table, while I scrubbed away my body paint in the pub’s bathroom. Normality was restored. It had been a very good night at Anerley and Penge Life Drawing.

From → Art

  1. Thank you Steve. I always love drawing you. Come back soon.

  2. Awww, thank you, Daisy, so kind of you to say.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the session!

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