A Brace of Models

Stuart: Oh, look we have two models tonight!
Torsten: No, she made a mistake, it’s ok, she’s going now.
Female Model: Hi!
Stuart: Hi, Female Model! Great, two models tonight!
Female Model: Yeah, I don’t mind. But it’s too expensive.
Stuart: Well, if it’s only about the money … we have enough.
[Stuart approaches Torsten again]
Stuart: She’s willing to stay. We can afford it, can’t we?!
Torsten: Hmm, but some of our artists already have enough on their plate with one model.
[3 minutes later, Female Model is undressed on the little stage]
Stuart: Hey, Female Model, you can thank me for this!
Female Model: Yeah, you can call the poses!

Oh, I love my Life Drawing Classes, but tonight was my last one for months. I haven’t registered for the next course, because SBS and “daily” gesture sketching is taking up enough of my precious time.

But here are the results of tonight’s “brace of models” and also a sneak peek into my second week at SBS.

So, what’s this with the paper … looks like a calendar. Yes, it is a half price Moleskine weekly calendar. I wanted something that feels and looks great, but is not too “precious” and can still, just about take watercolours (it was still expensive, for half price: 10€) .

One last pic tonight in a small, absolutely lovely Moleskine watercolour booklet (10 minutes):


OK, this is the stuff I took to Life Drawing Class tonight:


Oh, look, there’s even a picture of me in there.

Now to SBS. Well, I am absolutely blown away. I can’t believe how much of my hidden creative seam has been mined in these 12 days.

I’ll just give you something of mine to look at from this last Klass with Jill Weber … it’s all about telling stories and making books.





blauw blau blue bleu


I’m not sure, what to think of these pics from tonight’s Life Class.
Lamy fountain pen on 190gsm, A3, and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer pencil.
I’m sure my pen has moved more fluidly on past evenings, but building up tone with the Albrecht Dürer pencil was very therapeutic, even if not always too easy, what with the lighting conditions we have in our Life Class room.
It’s interesting to see that I only have 1 1/2 hours of drawings but the evening is 2 1/4 hours long. So we spend 45 minutes chatting and relaxing somewhere along the line.

Snow, Rain and Life

[Stuart arrives at Life Class]
[Outside it’s raining, snowing, and sleeting]
Richard: Hi Stuart, the tutor called, he’ll be late, but the model’s already here.
Stuart: No heaters? No Life equipment?
Model (teeth chattering): I need those heaters, I’m soaking, need to get out of these clothes.
Stuart: Well, bad luck, get on that stage now … 10 minutes ok for you?


[Tutor arrives]
Tutor: Ok, hi folks, let’s do a pose and then I’ve got an idea for you.
[Heaters are set up]


Tutor: Hey, the next half an hour, we’re drawing blind.

Stuart: Yeeees, this is what I’m talking about. What a great experience! The result isn’t important, but the act of looking at the model becomes so intense.
Tutor: Now see if you can use anything you learnt in the past half an hour.


Stuart: Well, I’m not complaining, that was really fun. Used my Lamy Safari “F” nib, Blue/Black ink, in a rough surface, 110gsm, A4 sketch book. The paper really soaks up that ink.

Life Class Impressions

Another evening and an attempt with a slightly different tool set:

  • Faber-Castell PITT artist pen “big brush” COLD GREY
  • Faber-Castell PITT artist pen “B” COLD GREY
  • Faber-Castell PITT artist pen “S” BLACK
  • Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils

The “big brush” was a bit unhandy and hard to control for me. Later in the evening I moved back to the Albrecht Dürer pencils, which I enjoyed working with. It’s time for me to return to the daily gestures.

The Sustained Study

Before I left for Life Class I picked up my copy of Kimon Nicoleides’ “The Natural Way To Draw”. I read through the section “The Sustained Study” (section 13, pretty far into the book). OK, I’m not going to see any sustained poses in the Life Class, but this section mentions:

“Make a decision as to what you will consider the main source of light [..] and attempt to use only the one set of shadows which indicates the one source of light.” – Kimon Nicoleides

So today I thought, I’d go with my wax crayons and Albrecht Dürer colour pencils and give this shadow and light source choosing method a go.

In Class, the teacher gave us some additional ideas to make things more interseting. We were to add lines, boxes or whatever to create the sense of environment, perspective and play with it a little.

20151110_evening-1 20151110_evening-2The wax crayons are not easy to control once the tip has rubbed down, which is pretty much straight away. But it was fun, if a little challenging to try a new tool out.

Fun and Games at Life Class

7 pm, Life class:

Teacher: OK, let’s do something fun. You’re only allowed 20 lines, you have 5 minutes.
Stuart: That’s long. 5 minutes … I may have cheated, stopped counting my lines.
Teacher: … and for the last 5 minutes, switch the tool from thin to thick.
Stuart: OK, I’ll switch to wax crayons.

20151103_evening-3Teacher: More fun. Now you’re only allowed 20 horizontal lines.
Stuart: … but I can’t see any
Teacher: Yes, and you may also fill in shadow shapes, if you like.
Stuart: … like this?
Teacher: … now five minutes again, and then an additional 5 to “complete” the drawing as you wish.
Stuart: … ok, those wax crayons are coming in handy.
Teacher: Now you have 15 minutes for a pose. Try out the stuff you’ve just taught yourself

Teacher: One normal pose.
Stuart: Hey, foreshortening is my middle name!
Teacher: Continuously changing pose. Stick to the same drawing, the model changes the pose set-up every few minutes.
Stuart: … like this?

20151103_evening-1Teacher: Good night! Don’t forget to sign the attendance list.

Safari Nudes

Back from evening figure drawing class. And I have also been up in the mornings, before going to work and drawing 30 minutes worth of gestures. (To see them, CLICK HERE).

The nude pics below are done with my Lamy Safari, F-Nib, Royal Blue, on A3 190g paper, and then a little bit of Pentel waterbrush.

Topic today was “feet and hands in relation to the face/head”.


Keep It Small and Simple (KISS)


Just back from figure drawing class. Using A6 sketchbooks and the A5 Moleskine concertina sketchbook.

Also accompanied by:

  • Winsor&Newton Colman watercolour travelers’ set
  • My waterbrushes (Pentel and Koi)
  • The Da Vinci RedSable/BlueSable/Squirrel/Synthetic brush size no. 6
  • Lamy fountain pen with Lamy Royal Ink cartridge
  • Copic Multiliner (black, 0.3)
  • F-C. Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils

20150922-4 20150922-5

Moleskin concertina (approx. A5) (everyone loves this, get one for yourself) with Lamy and waterbrush. 2 x 15 minutes.


A6 sketch book, Copic + DaVinci and Colman paints. 15 minutes.


A6 + Lamy and waterbrush. 10 minutes.


Moleskin A6 journal (cahier). Copic + Albecht Dürer pencils and waterbrush. 3 x 5 minutes.