Sunday, October 23, 2011

nude figure marathon

Rockville Nude Figure Marathon, Portrait 2 - Paul Zdepski
Portrait of a Black Male - Rockville Session
I took part in the 12 hours of Figure Drawing at Rockville Art Center in Rockville, MD yesterday. This was the first time I've worked from life since the 2008 session at the Society of Illustrators in New York. See them here.

I got there an hour late, due to living an easy 100 miles away, then proceeded to carve out a space among the 40 artists already present. I set up my French easel, which is packed with lead tubes of oil paint, very heavy. My drawings below are on Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal paper, which has a nice tooth and square grid weave.
Rockville Nude Figure Marathon, Portrait 6 - Paul Zdepski
10 Minute Portraits, Male - Rockville Session

The models were scheduled to do 2 hours. They varied from male, female, Latin, Black, White and REALLY White (Redhead). Each drawing pose on paper is 5 or 10 minute sessions. The longer poses were 3 sessions of 20 minutes each. The long poses were where I broke out my paints. I used cheap acrylic; Liquitex Basics and white Liquitex Gesso on clear Liquitex Gessoed Cardboard or pre-primed Aquarelle Arches Hot Press 140lb watercolor block paper. I took the Liquitex paint and a paper towel to prep the surfaces with a smeary texture.

I found that after a few full figure attempts, I was more focused on the portraiture. I ditched the idea of trying to capture the whole figure, and drilled in to try to capture the person's likeness.
Rockville Nude Figure Marathon, Maria Supine - Paul Zdepski
Maria Supine - Rockville Session
Rockville Nude Figure Marathon, Portrait 3 - Paul Zdepski
Portrait of a White Male - Rockville Session
Rockville Nude Figure Marathon, Portrait 4 - Paul Zdepski
Portrait of a Redheaded Female - Rockville Session
Rockville Nude Figure Marathon, Drawings of Maria 5 - Paul Zdepski
Drawings of Maria - Rockville Session
Rockville Nude Figure Marathon, Portrait 7 - Paul Zdepski
Drawings of a Redhead 7 - Rockville Session

I confess, I pussed out - I only lasted 9 of the 12 hours. I was seeing double since I was staring at the spotlight on the other side of the room all day. Headaches take precedence to drawing.


LAConley said...

Beautiful work. I haven't drawn from life since college! Your pieces are very inspiring.

michele said...

Wonderful figures! Always loved the quick sketches- It's a real challenge to capture the expressions and gestures in a short period. You've done a marvelous job, all around!

Honeydew Branchweed said...

Sounds like these sessions were much more physically challenging than digital work? But, what is more satisfying to you personally as an artist? Do you feel your art is better expressed in one more so than the other? Just curious.

I love the redhead portrait and yes, the watercolor that you deemed the best.

zillustration said...

Digital work is slower paced. Life work is fleeting poses that you need to capture in just a few minutes. There is a sense of urgency involved with drawing from the model. The clock always rings and the pose is broken as they step from the podium. My work from the model is satisfying, but very much a continuation of study set forth by generations of artists. I'm just adding my link to the chain. My "illustration" work is more personal, which sounds counter to the intimacy of drawing another human being in the buff. My personal work involves a level of physical work on paper, as well as digital interface. However there is a high level of satisfaction when looking at the tactile final pieces from life. The paint is heavy, there are fingerprint smudges and hurried brush strokes. It makes for an energetic final.