Dexter posed for us today. He's been modelling for decades and his body is a fine machine...he exercises a lot, he teaches high school wrestling, and he eats only the good stuff (that means it may not taste great but it's good for you). He's short and compact. Not an ounce of fat on him. Which you would think would make it easier to draw, yes?
No. I kept seeing squares and triangles and the muscles in his chest and stomach and ribs and...well, just could not "see" it correctly. The drawing looked dead, lifeless, dull. I became angry at myself for not being able to get it "right."
Then Charles talked to me about the life-force inside and asked me to try to draw as if I'm capturing that life-force. That force rounds everything because it is pushing on the outer edges of the body. Then I could start to "see" it. (Damn, he's a good teacher!)
So I began again, after 2 hours of struggling with the first one.
Then, without measuring anything, and begining with his left knee and leg, I did this one. Much better!
See how the weight of body is pushing down on the pillows. See how that right leg has mass and strength but more roundness (roundness doesn't mean softness but I think it shows the mass of that thigh and upper leg).
Ah...another difficult pose. Another struggle. Perhaps the struggle never ends but it's always nice when a light goes off inside and you can see it and go beyond just draftsmanship to something more...I could have worked for another hour on this...or two!
Only 2 more classes :( before the session ends.