Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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09/27/2006: "Model Behavior"

Yesterday I went all day without eating (except for 3 cups of coffee and a large green tea); by 5:00 I was getting a bit twitchy so Aaron and I met for Chinese at the Canton House. I forgot how nice that place is. I love being in a warm cozy restaurant when it’s cold and blustery outside, especially when you’re with someone who’s so much fun to be with.

Full of wontons and almond chicken, I headed off to the Ruby Room for my first life drawing session in seven years...a little nervous about drawing in front of other artists. I was impressed and slightly intimidated by the turn out, the place was packed. But it was fun, I mean *really* fun. I forgot how exhilarating the sound of dozens of pieces of chalk scratching away can be.

And the model was great too. The only undraped male model I've ever had was Edwin at UAA. He was in his 60s or 70s, really large, and would shave all of the hair off of his entire body. I hated drawing Edwin. The halls of the Art's Building would be lined with his image because he modeled for free.

The guy last night was young and in terrific shape. Muscles (without being bulky) sharply defined facial features, and he could hold a pose too. I only have one criticism. For one 15 minute pose, he chose my eyes as his focal point. Not my head or chin (which would have been OK, though I later noticed charcoal smudges all over my face) but directly into my eyes.

I wanted to draw his face too but you can't return someone's direct eye contact and also concentrate on drawing them. I know I was blushing furiously and I think there may have been a giggle or two. How humiliating...thank god it was only 15 minutes (Rob, could you mention the “no direct gaze” thing?).

Anyway, here are two of my gesture drawings from last night:

model3 (32k image) model2 (25k image)

I feel a bit rusty so sessions like these will be great for me. I can't wait for next week!

Replies: 16 Comments

on Wednesday, September 27th, RR said

These are great. My classes start next week and I can't wait.

on Wednesday, September 27th, marja-leena said

Nice start! Oh, this makes me miss life-drawing - haven't done it in years! I know what you mean about being rusty and nervous in a group but once you get over that it is fun.

on Wednesday, September 27th, Elise said

Hi RR, I miss taking studio classes actually. I know they can be stressful but lot of fun too...I even miss critiques a little!

And Marja-leena...there are probably tons of life drawing opportunities near you, you should consider it.

I didn't realize how much I missed it. Also, I knew that i'd be out of practice but I didn't realize *how* out of practice. Yikes, but, hopefully I can post some new drawings after next week and you'll be able to see an improvement.

on Wednesday, September 27th, Sam said

even out of practice you do nice work, I doubt you could do otherwise.

oh, and who is this S/V you speak of or am I being too nosey?

on Wednesday, September 27th, Elise said

Hey Sam,

Maybe a little nosy.

Let's just say that not everyone feels comfortable using their real identites online and I have to respect that.

on Wednesday, September 27th,">KNEEL before ZOD said

Glad to know you liked it. I was very overwhelmed by the attendance last night. Holy Kamoley! We had 20.

And there were four HS students there. Let’s see if I can be arrested for corrupting the youth with life drawing. Then I can be in the same league as Socrates! The thought of being arrested is scary though. *sigh* Nothing exciting ever happens.

I thought last weeks model was better, they are down for next week so make it if you can.

I am disappointed about summer sales too-do not take your unsold inventory personally. It was a dismal summer for everyone in Juneau except the jewelry stores.

Don't forget that you made the art hook-up of the summer with the wilderness guy.

on Wednesday, September 27th, Elise said

It was great Rob! And I liked the model, I just felt uncomfortable the way he was eyeballin me during one he new to modeling? It seems like a rookie mistake...but yah, I prefer women (naughty) so I'll be sure to come next week.

as for summer sales, you're right, the "wilderness guy" "hook-up" was a great result of all that, I didn't mean to seem ungrateful, honestly...if anything I feel like I let *you* down!

on Wednesday, September 27th, Elise said

oh yah,
what was the name of that last band you were playing...the Scottish one...they were good crack.

on Thursday, September 28th, Rod said

I will never think about "sockpuppets" and "meatpuppets" the same way after clicking on your Wikipedia link.
Goodness, I think I have to lay down now and stare at my blank, painting-less wall.

on Thursday, September 28th, Elise said

Rod! Hey, I'm sorry I missed your call, I honestly wasn't home but try again sometime ok?

As for the sockpuppet/meatpuppet comment, what are you talking about???

Oh, and in regards to "the painting"...could you email me the address you want it shipped to again? I'm assuming you're done with your wanderlusty ways for a spell?

on Thursday, September 28th, Judy Vars said

Ok - so Edwin sounds like a wierdo, Old, large, shaved and free YIKES. Better to pay and get a good model.
Glad you're getting out more sounds like you're having a good time.

on Thursday, September 28th,">I Am Elise's Irritible Music Taste said

Belle & Sebastian

on Thursday, September 28th, Elise said

Hi Judy, yes, I am getting out more. I have to keep up the same momentum I had as when I though I was leaving...

and "I am Elise's Irritible Music Taste"

Thanks! For the record, most classical music makes me sleepy...yes, even Beethoven. I love hearing it live, I find it thrilling...but otherwise it makes me too relaxed and makes me want to drift off.


on Thursday, September 28th, Elise said

Oh cool, I just looked them up in Napster and they have a ton of their songs...which album was that?

on Thursday, September 28th, berry bowman connell said

Actually, for fun, I go to the airport and try to sketch people there.
What's amazingly better, though, is hanging around on the streets of downtown Indy and doing the same. Well, except when it gets too cold, but, even then, the sketching gets easier because they're wearing so many clothes, it's like drawing round cloth balls rolling around on the sidwalks....

on Thursday, September 28th, Elise said

I used to do that too Berry, in airports, cafes, sitting in meetings, etc. but invariably I would get caught and the person I was drawing would think I was staring at them and get weirded out.

Also, when people aren't posing for you, they move around too much, I find it frustrating.