Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Skulls and Portraits

Monday afternoon in room 400, the life drawing studio in Jack Arends Hall. Time to pose. Time to draw. Time to be drawn.

I arrived early with my water bottle and egg timer in hand. I went to the model's corner, changed into my robe and flip flops, and headed to the posing platform to stretch a bit. The instructor arrived and explained that we were going to start with some warm-ups and then move on to some portrait work today. I was actually going to get to pose draped today... just in my robe but it was a bit of a change. Until today every time I had modeled at the state U it had been nude modeling...

We started with the some the usual warm ups- blind contour drawing, a bit of scribble, and then some line gestures. We followed it with a 10 minute seated pose. Then the instructor took the class out into the hall to look at some portrait drawings done by one of the other, upper-level classes. I took the opportunity to grab a few pics of the student's work with my digital camera:

Quite a wide range of style here...

I don't think I'm quite this beefy...

Photos by exbrun2@yahoo.com

I spent a few more minutes scrutinizing the student's work before they returned, the instructor following with some cast, plastic human skulls in her hands. She told me to take a 15 minute break while the students worked on drawing the skulls. I spent the break watching them work, something I don't often get to do. Some of them were quite good- it was fascinating to watch their drawings go from a toned canvas with some charcoal smears on it to some quite interesting views of skulls.

After drawing the plastic skulls, it was time for the students to draw my skull. I took the posing platform (still robed!), took a seated pose, and spent the last 50 minutes of class having my visage put to paper by the class. The instructor left the skulls flanking me on either side of the posing platform on draped stools to remind the student about the structure under my flesh. I had a brief chuckle before we began- I felt like I was part of some odd, voodoo ritual, seated like a shaman between the (reproduction) skulls of the dead.

At the end of class the instructor announced we would probably repeat the same class format on Wednesday- warm ups (minus skull drawings) followed by more portrait drawing. I'll let you know how it goes.

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