Getting back into life drawing after the holiday hiatus was difficult for all of us. Feeling rusty, we unanimously called for short poses, but that really didn't help. As one fellow artist declared, while staring at the thing that appeared on his easel, "Tonight I feel like I'm back in kindergarten!" and I felt the same. I usually enjoy short poses, for their energy and brevity, but this time everything was such a chore, and I yawned, a lot (never a good sign). By the last pose (30 minutes) I grabbed a mechanical pencil out of sheer frustration, and here's what happened (just for fun, I digitally reversed the values). Mechanical pencils are an unwritten taboo for the artist, considered too precise for expressive art and best reserved for drafting and geometry, but it certainly worked out for me and in fact, lent a certain sense of freedom to the line (although I don’t quite know why).
And here’s the sketch as is, without any digital fun. This time I’m not sure which I like better, but mostly I’m relieved that I didn’t leave the session with nothing to show. (the remainder of the evening are getting recycled)