Friday, March 02, 2007

Meet Martha

This is Martha in her last pose of the day. She was sitting in a chair with her legs crossed and one hand in her lap. Every now and then, she would comment on something, another class or the coldness of the room. She has beautiful eyes, and I wanted to try to capture "her look," but she kept looking at different things. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Honestly, I don't mind. It adds to the excitement of drawing from life. Finally I caught Martha with her eyes closed.

This sketch does not do justice to Martha's natural beauty. Looking at it, I can see some "mistakes" and where I should have added more detail. To be fair, it is only a sketch and is not meant to be a finished drawing. Hopefully my brain will start processing all aspects of life drawing, so that I can quickly and effectively communicate what I want to say---on paper or canvas.

Paul Cezanne once said to Ambroise Vollard, who was posing for him,

"You must sit like an apple. Whoever saw an apple fidget?"

And later to the same man,

"You wretch! You've spoiled the pose. Do I have to tell you again you must sit like an apple? Does an apple move?"

All of our models wiggle a bit. Sometimes they cough or have an itch. Sometimes the pose is harder to hold than they thought and they drop it temporarily. I can't tell you how many times that I've looked at the model, drawn a line or curve, and looked back and the pose is slightly different. Or maybe I'm not standing in the same place as before and my view has changed. If all of our models "sat" like an apple, then it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

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