Friday; Profiles and prophecies.
We’ll start with my weekly life drawing sessions.
Deep within the central business district of Sydney, Australia, there is a sanctuary for the artistically inclined such as myself, where there is readily available space for exhibiting and sales, drawing and drinking, eating and celebrating artistic endeavours. Every Monday there is a life drawing session, where a large space is reserved for a multitude of people with two nude models available for the pursue of drawing, painting, inking and sketching to one’s heart content.
I love it there. It’s a relaxed place I can happily draw nude people without worrying about oddness, because life drawing is something that an artist of any profession must encounter, and participate in. It improves the hand, the mind and the heart.
I regularly fall in love with the shapes of the models, but more so than anything else, I fall in love with the faces of the fellow artists around me, who produce amazing pieces of work with materials ranging from inks and watercolours to charcoals to ball point pens stolen from work and Ikea pencils and Bamboo Styluses.
So, armed with this new found love of profiles and shapes of noses, chins and faces, I draw them while they don’t look my way. Sometimes I get lucky and produce pieces that I’m happy enough to leave after finishing, knowing that I have drawn my best of the day, but most of the time they end up being unfinished doodles, because my unknowing model either moves or becomes blocked from my view by someone else, or someone else catches my eye.
I began this weekly life drawing session attendance on the 7th of May, 2012 and I regret to inform you that I have not attended every single week’s session as I would have liked to have done, but I have gone to a ridiculous amount of them and I am drawing whenever I can get my hands on materials, so I would like to think that I’ve improved.
There are regulars at these life drawing therapy sessions, just like I, drawing the others at our sessions. I have been drawn a few times, here. It feels wonderfully satisfying to know like someone likes my profile as much as I like theirs.
I haven’t spoken to any of the individuals whose faces I have posted today, which is a shame because sometimes I find myself giving the faces a story or a history.
There have been times when the histories and conjured realities that I give others have become so elaborate that I don’t want to initiate a friendship with them, because I don’t want to be disappointed. What would I do if they were to be much less interesting than the lives that I had granted them? It is a selfish, but peacekeeping manner of treating such a situation.
The man on the right is extremely good at pencil renditions of portraits of regulars, as well as a fine life drawing artist. I am, perhaps, not the right judge for this skill, considering how lacking I am in the department, but I admire his pieces of art constantly, and once caught his eye while I was drawing him drawing me.
It was a fantastic realisation. I have made it a habit to draw him every time I see him there. It could be the unspoken beginnings of a friendship, I don’t know.
He has one of the most beautiful noses to ever grace a human face. It speaks stories and it’s lines and spots tell of the places he’s been, the people he’s seen, the things he’s smelled.
Every person I draw from Monday nights seems to be looking down and away because I try very hard to sit in a position that allows me the access to seeing as many faces and profiles as possible. As a direct result of that and the fact that the model that they are focusing on should definitely not be me, their gazes are never in my line of sight.
People also look down to draw for a lot longer and more regularly than they are looking up into one direction, for an extended period of time.
I would like to start blocking colours at some point again, but for now I have been sticking with inky ball point pens and felt tip markers, mainly of the under 0.4 variety because thin tips make me very, very happy.
I’d also like to learn how to be patient and steady-handed enough to produce a bunch of patterns to fill in the lines that create these spaces on the page, but it’s a little too early for that as of yet because there’s much more about linework that I feel like I need to learn before tackling anything else.
Lines seem to easy to produce but they are so difficult to master. A drawing is just a line that is organised in a certain manner, but I wish there were a formula for it.
Learning to master it wouldn’t take all my life. But I guess that’s half the fun.
Sometimes I think that my sole purpose in life should be to draw the elderly. The lines on their faces and the stories that they tell would make a fantastic kind of series of work, I should think. Maybe I’ll put that in the back on my mind until I have the skill level to produce something half decent.
All of the scans in this post as raw scans because I do not have the patience to edit anything I scan in. The quality of the drawings themselves are already dismal enough, trying to edit them to make them better will only be me trotting on my own self esteem, and who needs that?
I wish I could post something festive, but I didn’t draw anything serious for the holidays at all, and all the stupid sketches go on my sketchblog, not here. If you need more incentive to click on that link, there are actual sketches of the live drawing models from the same sketch book as these drawings have come from.
In related news, I have started on my quest to knowing as much as I can about John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s world as I can possibly fit into my life right now, and everything is fine and dandy.
I have watched The Hobbits and Les Misérables in the past two days, got emotional over Rise of the Guardians pretty much all week and will proceed to watch Wreck-It Ralph as soon as I can and be emotional over Paper Man because feelings.
My Christmas gifts have been distributed and my New Years Eve and Day has been planned. All I must do now is to get through the next two days in a wholesome manner and my year will end fabulously.
I bid you a fantastic finish to a fruitful year,