12" x 16" Vine Charcoal
One of my fellow artists asked her friend Linda, an encaustic artist, to sit for our class. It's been a while since we've had a live model and we were a bit weary of our still life sessions. Linda was delighted to accept and used her fee to buy art materials. Each session was one half hour and we focused on a portrait rather than full-body view.
On the first piece, I used my traditional approach of noting the top and bottom of Linda's head on the paper and then measuring using the dowel stick to find the width to height and position her features. Pretty much in this view, the features followed the convention of the eyes being half way between the top of the head and the chin and the end of the nose half way between the eyes and the chin. I like working with vine charcoal as it's easy to smudge out and erase, and it works well to shade form. Bob said I did a good job on this one, and one of the store managers complimented me on this piece as he used the vending machine nearby.
Bob took time to do a demo for us on how he approaches a portrait, and then we had our second half hour session. Linda brought several hats and we chose this lovely thrift store piece from the twenties. This time Bob made us take the first five minutes and draw without doing any measuring. In that time I was able to draw the head and hat and start the features. Then we could check ourselves after that. Surprisingly, I was pretty accurate. I'm sure that Bob had us try this approach to show us that we were becoming more accurate through practice.
This session was especially enjoyable and we have promises from Linda that she will return another time. I would like to develop a couple paintings from these pieces.