Arrrgh! Another two month break between monthly life drawing sessions - this time, it was all the fault of a dreadful lurgee, afflicting myself and the wife the weekend I'd planned to go. Still, better late than never, I rumbled across the Forth on a ferociously windy Sunday, Haymarket-bound.
As usual, it was the 3 hour untutored session run by Jill at Look & Draw, ideally situated in a large open space in the basement of Wasps Dalry (a supremely confusing building once inside, like an Escheresque warren, as usual I wistfully daydreamed of an alternate universe where I have a studio there).
Kicking off with 2 minute poses, ignited by music (see below), I damn near threw myself at the easel, XL charcoal in hand. The joy of working large (A1 paper) and quickly is how physical it makes the act of drawing. Perhaps unconsciously aping the superbly energetic poses, I gripped the board, slashed at the paper with charcoal, legs taut. I'm sure this is reflected in these drawings, as I rushed to try and capture the figure in front of me.
The model was one of the best I've seen there, clearly aware of what a joy a good extreme pose can be to work from, especially when you're only holding it for 120 seconds (though even that must have felt like an eternity for some of those poses). As a result, I produced some of my best short-pose work in quite a while, another step or two on the long long path to discovering my inner Yan.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the quality of these poses, the model is an artist herself (here she is) and runs the All The Young Nudes life drawing sessions at Cabaret Voltaire during the week. I've heard good things about these sessions (the Glasgow sessions were featured in this month's ImagineFX) and I'd love to go along despite probably being the oldest sod there, but Bagl's bathtime & bedtime still take priority for all my evenings. I even sometimes imagine that my years - nay, decades - of life drawing would make me a good model, at least in terms of poses... then I catch sight of myself in the mirror. Best not, eh?
The poses got a bit longer - 5 mins - so I switched to ink on A3 paper. Flawed, but I kinda like how they turned out. Worth exploring further next time?
10 minutes next, so I broke out the oil paints with varying levels of success. Each one of these could've done with a lot more time, but there's still things to like - particularly this last one, which has a certain energy to it even if the proportions fall apart if you study it long enough.
For the longest pose I stuck with the oil paints but worked on a small (less than A4) box canvas. In retrospect, a whopping mistake. I'd rather not post the result, but figure I should admit my errors as well as whoop my successes. The core problem was that I was working so damn small... and I still didn't use the entirety of the canvas, leaving space on the left and bottom. When will I learn that painting a full figure at such a small size with a certain level of detail always goes to pot? When? In striking contrast to those first drawings, I worked timidly, holding the canvas in one hand and barely moving. Never again!
As usual, all of the (non-binned) artwork from the session is up on my Flickr page.
Soundtrack? Those first poses were driven by excellent poses and Torche's exhilarating new album, Restarter. Worked a goddamn treat.
Next up, Viet Cong's debut, particularly the thunderous climax of Death, one of the tracks of 2015 already.
Last of all, for that last painting, one of the albums of last year, YOB's immense Clearing The Path To Ascend. If the artwork had managed to capture even a nanofraction of the power and energy present in the music, it would've been far better, though it might've left me with a shredded canvas.