Art Macabre

UPDATE TO THE POST BELOW:

If you would like to read about the Art Macabre evening from the other side of the canvas, please visit the lovely Steve’s blog and find out how a life model feels at these events:
Steve Ritter – Life Model

I’ve been following the fabulous Art Macabre on twitter for some time now, hoping to go to an event and finally the stars aligned on the 25th August. The event was billed as “Drawing from the unconscious: The Exquisite Corpse” and the Freud Museum was the perfect venue. Having never attempted life drawing, or used charcoal before, it was always going to be a challenge, but a challenge that I really enjoyed.

We had the run of the museum and there were different models or drawing exercises in each room. With no set order, you were free to engage with whatever took your imagination. At first, it was difficult for me to loosen up my drawing, but with the help of a few starting exercises guided by our hostess (The lovely Nikki) we all got into the right frame of mind and then began exploring.

What struck me was that the models moved position every 15-20 mins or so, which I hadn’t expected. At first, this seemed frustrating, but then I realised that it was very freeing! There was no pressure to create the ‘perfect’ drawing in 20 mins. Instead you captured the section of the scene that interested you, worked too quickly to have time to self-criticise and then moved on. You can probably see the development in pace and confidence from the 4 sketches below that each took about 15mins:

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1st Sketch – Magritte-esque
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2nd Sketch – In The Frame
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3rd Sketch – The Terror of Tiny Hans
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4th Sketch – Magritte’s ‘Lovers’

Although this was far from a usual life drawing class, it was a fantastic evening and a great way to open up the creative subconscious. I will definitely be using some of the exercises in future, and can’t wait for my next chance to attend a life drawing class.

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