Friday, October 13, 2006

20 Minute Figure Drawing

This semester I thought I'd keep myself sharp by taking a figure drawing class at the Richmond Art Center, which is very close to where I live. I really wanted to bring my watercolors and acrylics, but wasn't sure what kind of class it would be. I didn't need to worry, as instructor Laura Paulini was very accepting of anything which furthers self-expression and a search for knowledge. So after the first couple of classes, I began using ink, and later, watercolors.

The longest poses are twenty minutes! That's a short time... If you're using watercolor, consider that sometimes you may want paint to dry before you add a transparent layer. All cannot be done wet-on-wet. In the first few I was using a Velasquez palette, but soon abandoned this approach in favor of something a bit more restricted (two colors), which takes less time. I spend about 7 of those first twenty minutes measuring and drawing with a pencil. I could work without the pencil drawing too, but it takes longer.

So in these quick pieces I have been dealing with the problem of how to interpret the human body in a very short time frame, using a liquid medium. This context makes the work wonderfully loose and unpredictable, even with cheap paper.

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