Saturday, January 14, 2012
Fun with the Figure
After a long period of ignoring the opportunities and discipline of figure work, I've started attending a weekly long pose group on Tuesday evenings. The pose is 3 hours. I forget how much fun it is to work with others in a studio environment. In some ways it is much more contemplative than working outdoors. Music is playing, the lighting is stable, you can see how others are handling the pose, which can be inspiring and instructive. The figure presents a wonderful set of challenges to explore... edges, temperature, subtle value shifts, clothing patterns, hair... really a laundry list of things to observe and use as a 'recipe' of sorts in your own work. I'm also learning how much my drawing needed this. I am really out of practice on proportion, and end up re-working a fair amount to get various body parts to all fit together. When I'm painting a tree or shrub, you can move a lot of elements around to suit the composition, but it doesn't work that way with the figure, at least for me. I dive in, then I find around the end of the second pose, I'm doing a lot of repair work.
This is one week of a 2 week pose. It was actually a 3 week pose, but I started over the second week to make the figure larger by cropping in, so I could get a better chance to work on the head with my chunky pastels. This is where I miss the paint brushes, but I'm still having fun. Both pieces are on Canson paper around 18 x 24.