Friday, October 25, 2013

Pretty Ghoul

10/24/13 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Sailor pen, mixed-media paper (20-minute pose)
After the Dr. Sketchy debacle last February, during which the model apparently didn’t get the memo that modeling for artists requires holding still, and the venue was cramped, I had given up on finding non-traditional life-drawing opportunities. Not that I have anything against drawing traditional nudes in a studio – I still enjoy doing that at Gage and will continue to go there for that experience – but I thought it would be fun to practice sketching from models costumed in interesting outfits. (Besides, in the urban landscape, people are generally clothed, and while bare skin is difficult to draw, folds of fabric offer their own challenges.)

10/24/13 mixed inks (15-minute pose)
A few weeks ago when I was shopping at Artist & Craftsman Supply in the U-District, I picked up a flier for a new series of life drawing open studio sessions called “Pinup Figure.” Independently operated by Nell Rousseau, a model herself, the studio is in Artist & Craftsman’s classroom. The series offers models in themed costumes, and just in time for Halloween, October’s theme was “Pretty Ghoul.” Irresistible! I went.

Although it wasn’t exactly Dr. Sketchy in ambiance – the beverages available were coffee and tea, not beer, and no whooping, hollering and door prizes – it was an ideal cross between traditional Gage-style life drawing and fun costumes. The studio was well-lighted, and we had plenty of easels, horses and chairs to use. Most important, our model, Fox, was excellent. Shadows in her partially black clothing were difficult, at times impossible, to see, but I loved sketching her bright blue Mohawk.

For the price of a couple of beers, I got much better life-drawing practice than at Dr. Sketchy’s. I’ll be back for more. (Next month’s theme: Steampunk!) 

10/24/13 Nero pencil (5-minute pose)

10/24/13 Nero pencil (20-minute pose)

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