You don’t have to be good at it.
Drawing, in this case. I’m not very good, but I’d like to be better. So today, BJ and I attended a model marathon put on by the Bay Area Models Guild, for a chance to improve our skills.
A model marathon is a pretty interesting affair. There were 60 or 70 people attending, and 4 large platforms where the models posed. 10 models, 6 women and 4 men, rotated around. On one platform, they did 1 and 2 minutes poses. The second was 5 and 10 minute poses, the third was a 20 minute pose and the fourth featured two models who did not rotate around but held the same pose for the entire time (with frequent breaks).
The models were all unclothed–this was a live drawing class. No photography is permitted, so I have nothing to show you. I’m certainly not sharing my poor efforts at drawing–I have a lot to learn.
I wish I had been able to bring my camera–not for the models, but for the artists. The models aren’t interesting as people–they pose in positions designed to test your drawing skills, and have blank expressions–there is no engagement with the artists. The artists are involved and concentrating, and would have made wonderful portrait studies.
The marathon begins at 10 am, and goes on until 4, with a break for lunch. The posing sessions run about 20 minutes, with a 5 minute break for the models. BJ and I just went for the first half, and went out to lunch with Gail later. It was amazing to me how exhausted we were–trying to get you hand to transform the three dimensional figure into a two dimensional drawing is intense and stressful. Three hours was all either of us could take, we were completely spent by the time we left.
Notice I haven’t made any cute comments about all the naked bodies we were studying. Besides the fact that I’m serious about trying to be better at drawing, the bottom line is that there is nothing sexy, exciting or erotic about working with artist’s models. Breasts just become lines, curves and shadows I try to properly represent. Drawing genitalia, male or female, makes me uncomfortable, probably the result of too much Catholic school. As far as I’m concerned, the sexiest person there was BJ.
The experience was worthwhile, even if tiring. I’m a little better with a pencil than I was yesterday, and I learned something about what interests me (people, faces, emotional involvement with the art) and what doesn’t interest me (figure study, still life). I’ll go to the next marathon and keep trying to improve because I enjoy doing it. You don’t have to be good, you just have to want to be better.