Between traveling and being sick, I missed three drawing sessions. I was still pretty worn-out from illness yesterday but just had to go draw. It pretty much wiped me out for the day, physically, but my spirit got a burst of energy. The music was marvelous: Gillian Welch, something violin-y mixing classical and Arabic sounds that I couldn’t identify but that was lovely, Amy Winehouse, Talking Heads Remain in Light (an album I used to listen to a lot in my high school / college years, now languishing with the rest of the vinyl). I love when the models pick Talking Heads, not only because I like them but because the strong up-tempo beats keep my hand moving fast. And Gillian Welch isn’t exactly beat-driven or up-tempo, but couldn’t you draw all day to “Look at Miss Ohio”? I could. Here are the day’s drawings in the order they were done.

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The above works well in terms of the overall gesture, and just enough of the face to give a sense of her mood. Also, I had fun drawing the cloth.

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The above is most interesting for its feet. Who knew? I thought I was focusing on the light and shadow.  The left foot is a perfect example of something I thought was disastrous as I drew it (“does it really look like that?”), but that worked pretty well. Yes, it really looks like that. Don’t think. Just draw.

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On the above, I used a harder charcoal and went lighter, following instinct. Messy and mis-proportioned, but the light works fairly well, so I’m glad I did.

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I wanted the above pose to be really long, instead of ten minutes. So much interesting light and shadow, her upper body contrasting with the deep shadows cast by her legs.

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I just had to jump in bravely and try her face on the above; she was standing quite close to me, really looming, and her attitude, hands on hips, looking up over my head, was irresistible. I tried to bring the same roughness and focus on dark shadows to her features as to her torso. It’s so hard not to get fiddly with eyes and noses.

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Sweated over the right hand in the above. Couldn’t get it to work right. Still, it came out better than I thought it was doing as I worked. The pinky, though! Very happy with the pinky. Fingernails tend to do me in. I go into too much detail and kill them because really, the edges of fingernails and the delineation between the pink and the white of the nail are quite subtle. This time I managed to stay subtle.

It’s comical to take such happiness from a well-rendered pinky fingernail, but such is drawing.

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This was a 30-minute pose–I messed up the proportions so badly in the first 15 minutes that I tossed it and started over with this. The proportions aren’t quite right here either (in reality, her right breast is not noticeably larger than her left) and the left arm is a disaster–I just wasn’t looking, or something–but the sweat and tears over the left hand paid off pretty well. Foreshortening creates more of those “does it really look like that?” moments. It’s so hard to turn off analysis and just draw what I see. But I tried, especially on the shading, and it’s the best part of the drawing.

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