After a lengthy hiatus I recently returned to The Art League in Alexandria, Virginia. On Wednesdays they host an uninstructed five hour session. When the model was settled in her pose I selected a piece of paper that fit my mood and expectations. I made deliberate decisions regarding page placement of the figure. I started at the top and worked my way down. When I got to the feet later in the session I realized I was out of room. The bottom foot just fit but with no border. OK, so I miscalculated the scale - it's not the first time and won't be the last - no big deal.
|Female Nude, oil pastel, 10" X 11 1/2", 2014|
It wasn't until I got back to my studio and taped the drawing on the wall that I realized my oversight. The piece of paper I had chosen was a rectangle. I placed it on my drawing board horizontally. The pose obviously called for a vertical composition. Had I simply rotated the paper 90 degrees there would have been plenty of room. (Thinking back I felt "off" the entire session. I suspect my wrong way paper contributed to this sense of unease).
So now at the age of 62 I'm starting a preflight checklist. My list will consist of a series of questions: #1. What direction does the paper go?