Andrew is fit, runs a lot, and as a result is able to hold very challenging poses up in the ropes at Paul Fowler's 'extreme poses' life drawing classes at Pegasus Art in Stroud. It is Thursday, October 11th, and we have the usual five 30 minute poses. I am very relaxed, not having any pre-thoughts, except that my return to graphite pencils during the last week or two has been enjoyable. There has been a new 'boldness' in my mark-making and a feeling for the anatomy, but not 'ecorche'. In other words I am not removing the skin to reveal muscles and vessels of the body.
I am sitting at my easel with a metre or so of distance between myself and the model, although he is way above my eye level. So for most poses I am looking up at Andrew hovering over me. I am uncertain as to how much I consciously respond to the spatial relationship of the overhead body to my viewpoint (unlike in the Sistene Chapel).
In the first pose I was, in fact, very aware of how his arms came towards me and how they framed his head which was set back from this frame. I guess I did try quite hard to engage with the perspective in the pose.
In the second drawing the foot went in first and I brought it forward as much as I could. The diagonal of the arms I saw as an important contrast to the leg and foot in the overall composition. And I simply did not incude any of the rest of the body, his buttocks and his torso, which I recall being well within my view, but their omission ensured a focus on the two elements I did include.
The third drawing is one of my morphing playtimes. Seeing what is created by juxtaposing two or more parts of the body.
The coloured drawing is a strange departure from the path I had been taking with the first three drawings. Probably necessary to take a break. I don't like what came out. I see no value in it other than reminding me of that which I am currently fascinated with.
Drawing number five is a type which comes up occasionally. There was an identical one last week: quick, bold, searching lines.