Sunday, October 12, 2014

Naked Ladies

As all you good horticulturalists know, naked ladies is the common name for Amaryllis belladonna, a bright pink, late summer flower that grows from a bulb.  But in today's blog, I am thinking more in terms of flesh pink!

The next picture is also a naked lady and I drew it! Shock and horror! As regular readers will know, I have been painting watercolours for a couple of years now and you can see my results elsewhere on this blog. Although I normally paint flowers or plants, I have for a while been trying to paint other things and so do the odd landscape, still life or whatever, although they don't give me the same thrill and passion as plants!

Well in November I am due to go on a Charles Reid figure painting workshop for a full week, so thought I ought to try and at least attempt to draw the human body before I am thrown in at the deep end. So I enrolled on a figure drawing class here at the Desert Art Center. Now I've never done this before, so was a little apprehensive. The medium was charcoal (forget barbeques), we were to use easels, which I never normally work with and the model was to be nude! I was also told that we would draw on newsprint, which was a new term to me. I nearly turned up with a bundle of old newspapers but fortunately someone explained that this was cheap thin white paper!

I boldly walked in to the new class, was greeted and announced myself. Setting up my easel, I turned to the lady next to me and asked if she was good at this - her reply 'Early morning conversation - decidedly not!' A poor start - keep my mouth shut and draw! I have to say that the rest of the class were far more friendly and very encouraging. The model arrived, and totally without inhibitions stripped off in front of us all. Starting with short two minute poses, we moved rapidly on to 30 second, then 10 second and 5 second poses. I quickly got lost, sketching arms and legs everywhere! Help! Plants at least stay in one place and don't move! It was called a warm-up but I was getting decidedly hot under the collar! So we moved on to two 45 minute poses, which gave me time to get to grips with my smudgy little piece of charcoal and to feel able to stare fixedly at the naked lady in front of me - quite a challenge for a sensitive gay guy! Anyway the sketches above are what I produced in my first class. Below are a few of my past attempts at figures - mostly copies of other paintings. You now see why I prefer to stick with plants!

With apologies to the late, great John Singer Sargent

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