The organiser was away for this session so I got the model to strike a more compact pose. It also helped that the session was not as full, so I was able to move into a better position. Normally at this session you can get there half an hour before the start and you are still having to squeeze yourself into  the little space that is left.


The figure above was sparsely done, using the paper  as a tone, but I did like the cushion she rested her arms on.


I did this in about 50 minutes in an evening session where they spend most of the time doing quick poses. I dont normally take my pastels to this session, because of the lack of time. Here I just banged in some primary colours and I was quite pleased with the result.


I normally do these charcoal studies at the evening sessions. You have enough time to make a measured drawing, consider your marks and  develop tone. I also find the constant rushing of quick poses leaves me skittish and hyper, like I’ve just consumed five cups of coffee. So before I start these longer 50 minute poses I need to pause, slow down and consider, before I start a measured piece.


And sometimes you wonder why you bothered. Well I tried.

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I managed to get the full figure on the sheet for once with this conte pastel study, but it does reduce the ability to develop detail.


I used the background as a middle tone and so had the figure coming in and out of focus or looking like a piece of  Emmental cheese, depending on your viewpoint.


A charcoal study with strong toplight completes the set of recently completed work  all done in  various life groups around Liverpool.

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When I turned up for a life session yesterday I was told the model had cried off. Instead, one of the painters, Doreen, had volunteered to sit in their place. I must admit to being disappointed as I had brought paints and was going to play around incorporating some collage. However with the lighting and the way Doreen posed made it a very good study – it turned out ok in the end.


I decided to move over to doing some life studies in acrylics. The pose was quite stiff, but by getting a low viewpoint something a little more interesting was achieved.

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At one life group I attend they seem to make things as difficult as they can to work. Here they insist on two models who then turn up late and before the main pose the group decide to do some ‘warm-up’ sketches, as if there is some chance of pulling a muscle when lifting your charcoal. Then as soon as you get started it’s time for a tea break. This is what I managed. I did like the way the female sat languidly in the light, though I think that right knee of the male could do with a touch of remodelling.


This one, at a more organised session,  was as much about taking out as putting down. I wanted a rougher feel to the work and think I got it.


Finally a more staid pose, but the turned up foot posed some difficulty.

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It’s been almost two months since I did any life drawing – that is if you discount drawing animals on the Etosha Saltpan. It is also about the same time since I did any pastel work. So I went down to the Liver Sketching Club and eased myself in between the easels, without standing on too many toes, and had a go yesterday. Here is the result. I did go in with a game plan of working off a mix of background colours, but could have thought the scheme through a bit better in relation to the selection of colours. Though I do always take a couple of different coloured papers, normally a cool and warm and dark and light and select one depending on the mood and pose at the time, so there are always many options which would need to be considered beforehand.

Anyway, it’s just a piece of paper and it got me up and running again.

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A little more extensive use of charcoal with the pastel though still not getting the grittiness or directness I am after.


In the one above I used even more charcoal, though probably too much and not to its greatest effect.


And finally a portrait of the child of a child of the sixties, but with the lighting so poor in the studio the features are flattened by the glaring light. Another of life’s little challenges, I expect some of you have shared.

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