A Bit of A Nightmare in Life Class

This is going to be a long process.  The climax to this term of drawing classes is that we will be working for three weeks on the same drawing.  This is a daunting prospect no matter what the subject matter: the idea that I have to work on something for that long , that there will be no excuse that the thing looks that way because it’s not finished yet, that each week I will have to look at the mistakes from before and make some sense of it.  But for me, it is particularly trying that the subject is a life model.

I’ve not yet got to the bottom of why I have such a dislike of drawing people.  As everyone tells me, it’s just a collection of shapes and tones, in the same way as any other subject, but the fact is, I’d much sooner try something, almost anything, else.  It’s not even that it’s difficult, which it is; but I find everything difficult.  There have been a number of debates about what makes this or that interesting to each of us.  But while others are clearly fascinated by the model’s head and torso, or the angle of his feet, my eye is drawn to the back corner of the room.  And that is not without its difficulties, as I’m not very good at capturing perspective.

I suppose the best that I can say is that I did stay all day, and I overcame the awful disaffection that almost made me leave after the morning coffee break.  I forgot to take a picture of the sketch at the end of the day, but this is what it looked like at the afternoon tea break.  Like last week’s efforts in the British Museum, it clearly shows the evolution of looking, and it looks precious little for the amount of effort expended on it, but at least the left knee is now placed correctly in line with the pillar on the wall, the elbow bisects the easel behind him, and the feet are nearly pointing in the right directions.

I did put my little masking tape marks on the floor around the feet of my chair so that can sit in the same place next week, and have the same view to do more to it next week, but this one is going to be a right old test, and I am learning some techniques about dealing with perspective.

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