As always, I started with a quick brush pen gesture sketch to warm up and acquaint myself with her proportions (at left). As I was making this one, it occurred to me that it’s sort of the life-drawing equivalent of making a compositional thumbnail: A fast way to learn about the subject before I sink my teeth into a more detailed drawing. With the time remaining in the pose, I made a small portrait on the same page that captures her resemblance better than the larger one that I spent more time on later.
Watching the other artists, I’ve been surprised that none seem to begin with quick gestures; they all jump right onto their canvases with the paintings they will work on that morning. Maybe it’s because of all the years I practiced regular short-pose life drawing at Gage, but I find it hard to begin without first making at least one gesture sketch.
When I got tired of the single pose, I moved to the back and sketched some of the other artists with a backdrop of the towering Gas Works.