My marathon life class was last night and we had a very energetic model. I always find it a little amusing how male models nearly always use poles and ropes in creating poses to show movement, while female models, for the most part tend to adopt more natural poses. I found an interesting article Reviewing the Nude, Art Journal, Spring, 1999 by Leslie Bostrom, Marlene Malik that examines the role of models.
To be naked is to be deprived of our clothes, and the word implies some of the embarrassment most of us feel in that condition. The word 'nude,' on the other hand, carries, in educated usage, no uncomfortable overtone. The vague image it projects into the mind is not of a huddled and defenseless body, but of a balanced, prosperous, and confident body: the body re-formed.
- Kenneth Clark, The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form
As usual, we started off with one minute poses....I'm beginning to hate those. Well not, not beginning. I've always hated one minute poses. It takes me more time to detach my paper from the easel than it does to do the one minute sketch. While they are useful as warm ups, too many one, two or three minute poses become tedious to me and I want to get on with the 'meat' of the class - longer poses. In this class we don't have anything longer than 20 minutes. Perhaps it was my mood or the huge chunk of compressed charcoal I was encouraged to draw with, but I struggled with these sketches and didn't do any of them much justice I'm afraid.
I've been reviewing the process of how I draw in my head and believe that I am well stuck in a detail rut where I love precise, small scale drawings full of control and realism. In twenty minutes I can only begin to scratch the surface in terms of my comfort level in getting down realistic lines and shapes. Shading is a whole different story in a short time frame. I'm just starting to develop the shapes and BAM, the time is gone. I'm usually the one whining 'awwww geeeeezzz!' when the instructor says the pose is finished.
That gap of 20 plus years since life class is showing me that the re-learning curve is steeper than I thought it would be.