When the Painting is Fueled by the Model

It was Saturday morning, I left one hour early for the 9am open studio session, even though our apartment is only five minutes away from the art school, I’ve learned over the last few weeks that if you are not one of the first six people who make it in the doors when they open in the morning, you will be left holding a palette, paint box and canvas, trying to find the best position in the second row of easels, or worse.

Anyway, I was the first one in the parking lot and the first one in the door. Set up my palette, walked around the school a little, waited….and waited…..The model was late, this was unusual as they usually arrived a half hour early so that the lights could be set up etc. Five after nine, a wispy figure raced in to the room…. that must be the model.

por1

She flung off her glasses and coat and launched into the model’s chair. This was going to be a full on, front face view from my spot in the room. Why was she late? What was she thinking? There was an expression on her face that couldn’t be explained, only painted.

ppr2

At this point the solid structure of her face was established, it’s amazing how unsymmetrical the human face really is. I slowed down to check my angles like David Shevlino suggested, comparing  things like; the angle of the end of the eye to the edge of her mouth, the angle of the widest part of her jaw to the inner corner of her eyes.

port-last

This is the finished sketch, I feel that I captured the aura surrounding her.

I had another experience like this only when an elderly cowboy model, “Vinnie” had a hard time finding the art studio, arrived late, and announced to the class that he liked horses more than people. His pensive expression fueled my painting for the rest of the day.

 

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