My drawing instructor urged us all at our last class to drop in to the life drawing class, where there are real, live, nude models posing. We had come to enough classes that she felt comfortable inviting us, as we should be able to comport ourselves with dignity as non-perverts who truly enjoy the art of sketching. I'd known for years about the life drawing classes; the hallway always displays pictures from the latest class. The girls and I normally take a moment to check that art out when we're at the art studio (Lola always enjoys a good butt picture in particular).
Yesterday I did drop in. I decided to slip in and perch at the far back for the end of the class, which overlapped with Lola's art class (which is devoted to drawing cute things, such as mermaids and kittens. Lola tends to work on the same idea each week, a princess riding a unicorn near a castle, a frustratingly difficult subject which drives her to tears but yet a compelling one which cannot be abandoned).
As I tried to settle myself quietly at the back, the instructor pointed out a bench closer by I could use. This bench had bags of every type around it, on either side, and it was difficult to settle myself in, but I did. I was directly behind the model, so I worked with the view I had. "Lola will be so pleased that I've drawn a naked stranger's butt," I reflected.
The model ended her pose and took a brief break. The owner of all the bags came back; she'd moved to get a more pleasing view. I took the spot she'd been squatting in, which turned out to be directly behind the model for the next pose, and then the class was over.
My two pictures were better than I had expected. I can't draw from my mind; I can't imagine something and draw it at all well, but if I can see something, I can put a recognizable (and often pleasing) rendition of it down on paper. The instructor was very encouraging and urged me to come back next week. She suggested that I could come by for an hour, leave my drawing things there, go pick up the children, and then return for the last two poses. A man from my class had also tried the life drawing course.
I felt oddly grown-up as I left. As a homeowner, parent, and former attorney, I should feel adult all the time, but it felt exceptionally grown-up to have moved into the realm of sketching a naked stranger without snickering. Maturity points should be deducted, however, for my getting a laugh out of Lola by informing her that while she made an orange kitten out of foam, I was drawing a stranger's naked old butt.
the best is when you get an overweight model. they're actually much more interesting to draw. of course i was a teenager in college when i first drew models, so i'd have a panic attack if we had a cute well-built male. i'd get nervous and treat them like rock stars after class.
our model was overweight, and I admired her lack of embarrassment. She had a lot of attitude up on the posing stand.
What a great experience! I would have issues drawing even an apple right now.
I will tell you in Sharon's class at City College, one time each semester as a special treat, Sharon would have this incredibly old woman who was probably in her 80's and who weighed well over 300 pounds, come down and pose for us. One time she got on her hands and knees and there was this gawd-awful wad of shredded tissue which her ancient cooch and ass fat had half-eaten. There was nothing at all perverse about the nudity, but for some reason that big wad of shredded dangling blooming mystery tissue, started a ripple of barely suppressible giggles and wide eyed horror around the room.
Yes an overweight or older model CAN add a new wrinkle to the experience.
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