[Caveat repeated again below: This image is -not- done and so is somewhat ugly!]

So my second time at MOCA’s open nude figure model night was 2 days ago. This time it was just one long pose. The place was packed solid with all sorts of people and I wasn’t particularly happy with the view I had – especially the distance.The experience, though, was completely different than the first time. I got to think and consider my plan of attack a little bit more and got to spend time working the material in a variety of ways.

I have a couple of thoughts on the process itself and what I learned:

1. Blending sticks with conte crayon serve an interesting purpose. They make lines by removing material (and therefore color). Since I was working on solid black paper, this ad the nifty side effect of making a -dark- line. Bingo! Colorless shadow technique :)

2. This was the second time Ive used a smaller sketch pad to plan out my composition and palette ahead of time. I can now say for sure that it really helps with the piece’s color composition. If I pick out my primary 3-5 colors ahead of time, there is a lot more consistency over time and it ends up being a lot more aesthetically balanced. It also allows me to use colors later on NOT on that palette to add striking details or movement.

As far as the piece itself went, meh. I must have moved at some point because the upper body and lower body are completely out of proportion to each other. I also still felt really rushed while I was there. I know that I impose that on myself when I’m drawing in public and when I’m drawing from life. If need to stop a photograph and walk away for awhile…even until the next day…it’ll still be there when I get back.

On the other hand, I was thrilled with how the color and shading were coming out. I think if I’d had another couple of hours it would be gorgeous. Ultimately, Im only about halfway done with the piece and it shows. The hair, for instance, will eventually end up darking and (possibly) mostly black and the background detail was fleshed out really only enough to let me see my base color schema and shapes. It was the models first time and I think it showed…she seemed very tired by the end.

Overall, it was a lot of fun, I learned a lot, and was well worth the time. I’m going to continue going….