Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Life Drawing at Gas Works Returns

6/16/22 Amelia at Gas Work Park

One of my biggest post-vaccine joys last year was being able to participate in life drawing again – and at Gas Works Park! (Even without COVID concerns, I’d enjoy life drawing outdoors more than inside any studio.) After a long winter and wet spring hiatus, life drawing at the park is back on again, and it couldn’t have come soon enough, nor on a more beautiful morning.

As before, the group is primarily made up of portrait painters, so a single pose is set for the full three hours. Since the model didn’t move, I moved myself around during Amelia’s breaks to get different views. Each of these sketches was about 20 minutes.

As I always do when I return to life drawing after a long pause, I felt super-rusty. I didn’t do too badly in capturing Amelia’s resemblance in the portrait, but the figure proportions are way off, and the drawings did not feel like they flowed. I hope getting back into a weekly routine will put me back in the groove.

I didn’t stay for the full three hours because I got tired of the pose, but I made use of being at Gas Works to do a few composition studies for the 30-Day Challenge (you saw a couple of them in last Sunday’s post).

It’s funny – because I have never enjoyed drawing from photo references, I am not at all in the habit of taking photos for that purpose, especially when I’d rather be sketching. But this composition challenge has (begrudgingly) shown me that using photo references can be instructive, so I’m trying to make it more of a regular practice to build up my photo reference bank. Gas Works Park has endless potential for intriguing compositions; I took lots of photos with the intention of possibly using some for future studies.


  1. I love the idea of figure drawing out in the park. I know some of the sketchers in NYC are able to do that, but out here on Long Island there is nothing like that. Your sketches of the model don't look rusty to me at all.

    1. It's a very short time that we can do life drawing outdoors, so I appreciate it for however long it lasts!


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