Head first!

I have so many drawings where I didn’t get time to do the head that I’m going to add a gallery of Headless Drawings to my website. Last Tuesday I was working on the first two hours of a pose with Tamara which is to continue tomorrow.

Tamara after the first day

Rather than run the risk of producing another headless drawing, I decided to take a leaf from Lucien Freud’s book and get the head largely finished before I started the body. I’m pleased with the result so far: even if I had to stop here, it’s an attractive image.

Close-up on the worked part






The question is: will I ruin it tomorrow? Watch this space!

Whatever happens, maybe there’s a lesson for me here?





Life model Tamara sitting

On the whole, I think things went well on the second day!




Second Day

After the first part of this post I’d left a hostage to fortune: what if I ruined the picture on the second day?

We were able to reconstruct the pose and I had made a careful note of where I was sitting, but I had to stand up for the same light as we had had the previous week. We were using a spotlight and the light was quite strong, even harsh, (as you can see from the first day’s drawing above) but the point was to get back to where we had been, not start afresh.

Life model Tamara: head and shoulders

Tamara’s close-up after the second day

I could have done with even more time on the pose, but the fact that the head was already well established meant that the drawing would be reasonably satisfying whenever I had to stop. In the closing minutes I decided to give an indication of where Tamara’s left foot would go, so she could occupy the whole page, as I had originally planned. Life drawing is almost always limited in time and I only very rarely work on the picture after the session, so a certain amount of time management is called for. And among time management strategies, the Head First approach certainly has much to recommend it!

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