Last night I had a model session with Julia. Sometimes you come across a woman you immediately fall in love with. She is a great model and warm personality. Besides that, she is an artist herself and graphic designer. We held the session at her home. Our mutual interests, her beauty and my keen artist’s eye were premonitions of a wonderful session and so it was. On a picture I already saw she had this enormous round chair and immediately saw the potential. Yesterday was the momentum to have her pose in it and that was love at first sight. What struck me were the angular body structures counterbalanced by breasts, her round face and the circular foreshortened chair. Last but not least she happened to have a special lamp, adjustable through Siri. That was a new thing for a middle-aged guy like me. So, also great lighting.
Not Too Grainy
At the start I had no real plan what my approach would be. I had been busy last month and so I just grabbed some drawing materials. Mostly the usual suspects like some toned paper and pastel sticks. Those always come in handy. The paper is Strathmore Toned Gray, not too grainy and perfect for live sessions with conté and charcoal. The chiaroscuro play on and around her body was smashing but consequently the lighting on the pastel sheet was poor. I got the bulk of the depiction right but closer inspection after the session learnt I went wrong somehow. Some proportions clearly were off such as the facial expression. It is almost impossible to get a clear ressemblance on such a small scale with fairly big sticks. Some corrections today so she actually looks like the fine lady herself.
Rugged and Nice
Last pastel drawing I made was Reclining Nude – 19-09-21. That one I smoothed out to soft gradients only. In this one I kept a rougher edge. Normally during these live drawing sessions the stress is put on anatomical proportions. There simply is not enough time to tackle every aspect such as blending and fine detailing. That is just very fine, surpressing my natural fixation on details, leaving me as pray for the abstract beasts. The necessity for abstraction spawns spontaneity and ingenuity though. I had to come up with a solution for the rugged blanket she was sitting on. Soon enough I discovered using the side of my black conté gave me that speckled look. It represents the rugged look of the hairy structures quite well, I think. Such an invention is like the sun breaking through the clouds.
Pastel drawing on Strathmore Toned Gray paper (27.9 x 35,6 x 0.1 cm)
Artist: Corné Akkers