Saturday, September 01, 2007

First Portraiture Class

As usual I was running around like a hairy goat just a few minutes before Glenys arrived to take me to portraiture. Holding the donkey painting in one hand so it could dry in the sun as I'd just varnished it while collecting charcoal and pencils to take along to the class. After I gathered everything together I waited outside in the sun for Glenys but only had to sit there a minute as she arrived just before 9am.

We were the first people there apart from Helen who was setting up the room. It was good just to absorb the atmosphere before everyone arrived. About nine people came including a lady who lives down my road but whom I'd yet to meet. The class began at 10am with Helen providing a couple of poses for quick 2 minute gestural drawings. I started in charcoal as I find this loosens up my technique although I find it awkward for doing hands and features. The official model was a young woman with her ten week old baby. We began with a few quick gesture drawings before settling in for 10 minute poses. At 10.45am we broke for morning tea (chocolate biscuits!) so I sat and chatted with Martina about how she finds living in NZ compared to Germany.

After the mid morning break the baby posed with her Mum. Apart from spitting the dummy (literally) on the floor she was perfectly behaved and just watched her Dad who was standing behind me. I had chosen the hardest place to sketch from (directly in front of the model) so had some difficulties to overcome. My best sketch was a 20 minute one in pencil which actually resembled the mother to my surprise. Donna the art teacher came along afterwards and corrected a few things (shoulders not wide enough, baby too adult looking, hands as usual my bugbear) but said I'd done well which gave me a burst of confidence. I now feel I can achieve my goal of painting the human form if I just keep practising.

I had taken my donkey painting along and after I wrapped it up Martina offered to take it with her two works to Pukeora on Monday for the selection process. Donna felt that it was a very saleable picture so I hope it's accepted for the exhibition.

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