then another thirty seconds to capture the next . . .
it was all going so fast and it was all I could do to keep up! I had to start strategizing — find an anchoring line and work outwards from there; instead of focusing on anatomy, notice the geometry and proportions and turn it into a foot later; don’t get too bogged down in making any one thing too perfect.
But no rest for the wicked, right? Just as I felt like I was starting to get the hang of it, the model
busted out this pose. Seriously.
|Frankly, I’m surprised it looks like a woman and not a jellyfish|
But after that we got into much longer poses — fifteen twenty minutes without interruption. Probably the longest I’ve stared with such concentration at another person.
|Twenty minutes was long enough for me
to run out of things to draw, so I went
back over the lines and made them too dark.
Between the longer poses we’d break for a few minutes to let the model rest. During those breaks, Joe and I compared our sketches and chatted with the people next to us. Some were very good; others more middling; a few were able to capture certain things beautifully (say, the turn of a foot) while failing to get other things quite right. I also realized that some people were drawing things that had never occurred to me to draw — for example, I fixated on line and shape; others were clearly more interested in shadows and light or capturing the nuances of face. I admired most the drawings that were bold and a little bit wild in their effect — they seemed to capture both the stillness of the model and the movement of the drawing hand.
By the time the model broke this last pose, we’d been in the room for over two hours — only it felt so much shorter! I found drawing a live person in a short period of time to be an incredibly focusing, almost meditative exercise — less physical than yoga but similar in its ability to drive out all other thoughts. And the hushed energy of the room — full of similarly focused people — reminded of the great reading rooms of the New York Public Library where everyone sits so silently intent on their pursuit of knowledge or art or escape from whatever.