Life Drawing, Oil Pastel, Watercolor Pencil, Colored Pencil on Bristol
Our model this week is Jim, and he is our only male model for this session, so kudos to Jim for modelling. We need males; they are 50% of the population, and how else are we to learn to draw them. Jim is a retired gentleman, and his entry into the world of modelling for artists is an interesting story.
It begins with Alzheimers’ disease, his mothers. He was her caregiver and he found himself in need of getting away from the situation both physically and mentally. He also was aware of the genetic component of the disease and wanted to do something for himself that could be therapeutic. Keeping active, mentally, physically, and socially is one of the best ways to minimize the effects of an aging brain…so he joined an life drawing group, as an artist—an interesting step for a man that had never before put hand to pencil. It certainly was a way to step outside the comfort zone and train the brain to accept new experiences. It also gave a welcome weekly distraction during a tough time of his life.
Now he also models, and as an artist, he knows what we want. Age is a factor, and for long poses, he can’t give us torsion and twist, but his short poses are stunning, full of action and emotion. This mixed media is worked up from a 2 minute pose that I’d sketched on A4 paper. In studio, I transferred it to Strathmore Bristol, and used a combination of oil pastel, coloured pencil and watercolor pencil to work up to the finished piece.
We don’t like to contemplate age and aging, and this piece certainly deals with both the physical and emotional aspects. It’s not what I call marketable, not pretty, happy, svelt, decorative, but I’m posting it on Etsy anyway, as part of my life drawing portfolio.
Here’s the long pose, this was done entirely on site/live. This one I have mixed feelings about. The technical aspects are off (proportions), but I really like the push pull of the heavy reds vs the light cool blues. So I’m showing it off for better or worse. Part of the advantage of life drawing is having scheduled time to experiment and take risks. Some experiments can be repeated later in another time and place, style gets developed here.