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Life drawing online, 22 April 2021

30 Apr 2021

One of the more exciting aspects of providing poses for gesture drawing – poses that last mere seconds rather than minutes, hours, days – is that neither artists nor model have any idea what their next pose will be till the moment it manifests. In this session, for example, I was asked to start with twelve poses lasting just 10 seconds each. Not the kind of routine that can be planned in advance.

This online life drawing class was one of a series organised by artist Jo McCormick. She had invited me to model for this particular session as my physique lends itself to variety and the observation of clear lines within the form. Whilst the intention was not that students should draw ‘stick men’, it didn’t harm their practice to have a stick man for their subject. Next the poses lengthened: four of 30 seconds each.

After the half-minute poses came five of 1-minute. I know several life drawing groups where 1-minute poses are a warm-up; here, however, I had already barrelled through sixteen poses just to reach this point. The two 5-minute poses that followed felt like a sedate luxury, and the subsequent 20-minute pose might have been an eternity. How to proceed from there? With a portrait study, of course.

For 35 minutes I sat with my phone positioned a few inches from my face so persons unseen could study it and all its flaws in unflinching detail. Psychologically, it’s not for the faint-hearted, but in practice the artists have more than enough lines, shapes and shades to grapple with through their computer screens. Hopefully soon we can return to these challenges in-person, face to maskless face. Surely it’s coming.

From → Art

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