During the last few years it’s been great to see that life painting/drawing is back in vogue.
Some of the images in this post are from a life session I tutored in Chester, UK.
To warm up I painted this rapid watercolour/gouache portrait of David, the model. I like to get to know my models a little this way before beginning the days work. There have been periods during my career when I was fortunate enough to begin each day with a two hour life session. I can’t think of a better way to get the creative juices flowing.
Twenty minute – full sheet watercolour and felt tip pen study –
I love short poses – preferably five to 20 minutes max. This enables me to capture the energy, movement and gesture of my subject….
five minute watercolour study – male dancerI was fortunate to go to art school in the early sixties when the first year was dedicated to life drawing. Observation, observation, observation……
Twenty minute watercolour study on full sheet…(all the white is dry white paper). the negative space shapes are vital in the overall composition. I believe that a strong foundation frees an artist to explore their work with confidence.
Regular life drawing sessions help to build self confidence and most importantly build a strong foundation.
Ten minute full sheet study of Scarlett, one of my favourite models Along with nude models I also enjoy working with ‘costume models’ learning how to capture the human form beneath the drapes of fabric – again it’s all about honing observational skills.
This man modelled for me in Paris….a beautiful dancer. I often do quick portraits of my subjects in a life painting session.
In this instance one of my favourite models arrived with her new born baby….It was a magical session. In the warmth of the quiet studio both mother and baby completely relaxed…..Focusing on the loving and gentle hands of the mother. A few years ago I gave a weekend residential workshop in Herefordshire where we only painted the hands and feet of our models. An excellent exercise. Capturing the gesture and seeking out the abstraction of the shapes produced. – ten minute full sheet study.