Capturing a Moving Target

Life drawing is not something I have done much of in the past, even though it has happened at the gallery on a regular basis. So it was with much trepidation that I signed up to the Old Masters course, which is half life drawing/painting, and half portrait work.
We set up every morning and work on the same pose usually for one or two weeks.
I say the same, however I have been surprised at how little attention is paid to whether the model gets back into the exact previous position.
It seems that my tutor Nick uses this approach in order to teach us how to deal with it.
There are various techniques that we use, and although I was totally stumped initially when the image in front of me seemed to bear little resemblance to what I had just drawn, this is something I am gradually starting to get used to – there is much talk of finding ‘the gesture’ or feel of the pose.
Although the lighting is excellent and well controlled, the shadows still tend to move around a lot throughout each session.
Photos don’t have a habit of moving, which is why I have found them so much easier to work from in the past, but I am finding the life drawing both challenging and enjoyable in equal measures.
My knowledge of anatomy is starting to improve too.
The image here has been done on Ingres paper with Nitrile charcoal sharpened to a point.
It looks a bit fluffy and grey because of the paper.
I have since progressed to using his preferred Roma paper, the charcoal goes on really dark on Roma making for more dramatic images, I am glad the poses are long as it is £11 a sheet!

The model showed considerable professionalism during the pose as the Wren Hall is huge and not the warmest, especially when there was frost most days, and even several inches of snow one morning. Oh and the heating broke down, brrrrr.

Here is a photo of the life drawing. I drew the loin cloth in afterwards to protect his modesty in the gallery window, it was that or a fig leaf!!

Below is a photo of one of the snowy days we had taken last month from the steps of Wren Hall where I study. I’ll add some more on Faceebook later including some strange spiky ice. I’ve never seen anything like it!

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