Sue, who has organised and modelled for our life drawing group since it began more than 20 years ago, has been asking for 15 minute poses lately. Fifteen minutes is long enough to get alot down but for me, it is also enough time to tighten up and lose the energy of the pose. Drawing is such a relational thing, with every mark the betweenness narrows and it's easy to mush all your marks into something similar. Today I was thinking about the mark making in particular.
I began with a black and white drawing but aimed to work in colour for the session. Esme, the model, is angular and although beautiful to draw, her poses can feel a little more posed than some of our veteran models. Her first few poses were standing and getting the model onto a square piece of paper without making her diminutive is always tricky. Some people insist on getting all of the model in the frame. I was taught that that wasn't essential, and for me it's all about the shapes. Each of the drawings is about 15 cm square on prepared cartridge paper. Some have schminke pastel ground mixed with a bit of acrylic. In others I have rubbed pastel into the paper and fixed it with surgical spirit.
I've put the drawings up in the order they were made. Each was a 15 minute pose.