The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Warm Ups

Nearly all model sessions I attend do some warm up or gesture poses. I would define these as any pose under five minutes but probably 30 seconds to two minuets are true gestures. I do a version of these in private sessions. They are intended to loosen up your arm and get you mentally engaged. At a recent group session the model requested gesture poses as a means of getting into the session. A good model doesn't just walk in, take their clothes off, strike a pose and hold it. They, as much as the artists, need to "get into it" to do good work.

One minute gesture

Five minute poses

Ones and fives

At a recent open session when gesture poses were announced I heard an artist mumble "I hate gestures". Viewing his work a couple of hours later I would say it was a bit stiff. I like long poses but am very aware of the necessity of warm ups. One shouldn't run a race without some stretching. At the risk of overgeneralizing I think all my best drawings and paintings have started as gestures. If you capture an energy early it can form the essence of a successful work.  It's virtually impossible to inject that energy later.

15 minute oil pastel

I start all drawings like this. Even drawings I spend hours or days on started this way. Often I like these quicker studies better than the "finished" product. Luckily time ran out on this pose. I really like it just like this! (Especially the tucked top foot).

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