Greetings on a Sunday evening! I hope this blog post finds you well. My most substantial art modeling job of the summer has come to an end – five weeks posing for Robert Armetta’s figure drawing atelier at the Long Island Academy of Fine Art. It was a top-notch experience. These intensive classical drawing sessions never cease to amaze me. As the model who sees and hears all, I can’t help but be impressed by the focus and dedication that goes into that kind of painstaking practice. Gosh those people work hard. Almost as hard as the model
The primary goal is to train the artist’s eye. Shapes and proportions provide the visual keys to representing the form, and the light reveals those forms. The human body is all forms, after all. Forms of muscle mass and underlying bone, creating relationships and contours, some of which are obvious, others more subtle. Artists in the classical tradition believe that drawing is the crucial foundation of painting, for it is through drawing that one’s ability to perceive forms – and mold those forms – is developed.
Robert and I set up a pose that would offer the class enough variations in forms without being too complicated. Then, with some perfectly angled lighting, we had a figure study that pleased the class very much. I found the pose fairly easy to hold. Maintaining my posture was the challenge, and I felt only minor lower back discomfort toward the end of each four hour session. Believe me, I’ve done much worse! Most of the class worked in charcoal, but some used graphite.
Three of the atelier students agreed, enthusiastically, to let me post their works here on Museworthy and I am happy to do so. The problem with drawings such as these is that the delicate qualities and detailed workmanship are less discernible on computer images than they are in real life. I’m sure you artists out there know how difficult pencil drawings are to photograph. They are best appreciated when viewed in person. But it worked out nicely that I have three images of the pose from three different perspectives.
This is Gerry’s drawing. She was working the closest to me, just a few feet away behind me and to the right. Very beautiful:
Smadar had a front view that presented a lot of foreshortening. She certainly handled it well. I love the light on the shoulder and collarbone:
And here is my friend Daniel’s piece. I really love the way he did the shadow shape on the stomach and front of the torso:
It was gratifying to pose for this atelier class and I hope I have the honor of doing it again. This week another group of artists awaits me – a figure painting workshop at the New York Academy of Art, taught by Maggie Rose. It will be my first time working with Maggie so I’m looking forward to that. Just one more week of art modeling duties and then . . . can I say it? . . .
v a c a t i o n