Friday, March 23, 2012

Caught in the Act!

Paul is a favorite to draw because of the variety of modeling jobs he is able to handle. He is also a favorite because of his accessible anatomy, - bones, muscles, tendons, -  structure there to see. No need to guess! He has been in the game for many years and has developed a wide variety of wonderful poses. He needs very little  direction, - just a bare suggestion and he seems to read your mind. From the sublime to the ridiculous this guy does it all!  Not many of his poses are as easy as that above, so shhh, - he may be meditating!

Paul is a musician, dancer, writer and "in- depth" yoga practician.  His "yoga" poses are phenomenal, - wish I had some here!   Here he is in three short poses, a few seconds each.  In this sequence he had run through many poses,  one right after another while I raced to jot down the essential action!  It's gesture drawing!

You say you have no model?  No problem!  Next busy shopping day go spent some time in a food store parking lot and draw people as they pass. They'll be carrying grocery bags, leaning as they push carts, bending over loading purchases into cars, etc. Look quickly trying to catch the figure shape and action as if in a stop-action photo, then draw what you remember without looking at that person again.  Work very fast without regard for detail.  When finished go right on to the next
person happening by.

Try it anywhere there are people moving.  Look hard and fast, - draw quickly and deliberately! Don't be critical.  Do not erase!  Just do it! This is great practice in learning to "see", which is the first step in learning to draw!

In Kipling's Just So stories, a wise Mother Jaguar chastises her cub ("ever so many times") always ending with a very pointed,  "Do you see?"    -   Well, do you?                                                                                                                                                                              

I love drawing organic shapes,  - people, certainly. - and things like the old sleeping bag Paul reclines on in the top picture. By adding highlights only to the body and not to the sleeping bag,  a nice contrast is created between the two. Without actually rendering both textures, we point up the difference between skin and fabric.

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music."   George Carlin


  1. Phil. The way you're able to capture the moment, in a quick gesture drawing or in a longer pose, is remarkable. Especially with the male model, I love the way you "got" the curves and angles of the pose, and the perspective, all working together so perfectly. thanks for posting these images.

    1. Thanks Carol, I appreciate your comments! . They are especially welcome from someone as accomplished as you are! BTW, I loved those recent landscapes!