The portrait with hands was done in 2007 from a photo. The photo, however, was taken at a drawing session at Studio 2nd street that I actually was at, drawing this same model from life. The life drawing at the top was not as successful, but was a fun challenge and a good exercise...I was rusty as hell too, so it was much needed. The other one is a little off in her arm sizes...one is a tad bigger, the other a bit small.
My roomate Nick and I went from San Diego to Encinitas a couple of times for these sessions. This was the first time I was in Studio 2nd Street, but I had taken classes and met with Ron and Vanessa Lemen before (see side panel of inspiration for their blogs). I remember spending the full 3 hours on this head...and fighting the frustration cause I knew I had done way better than this before. With about 40 minutes left, Ron came in. He said hi to Nick and myself and then set up behind where we were sitting with a 4x4 foot canvas. All I could hear for the next 20 minutes were the sounds of charcoal swooshing around. When the bell dinged at the end of the interval, we all got up and stretched a little and I walked to see what Ron had done. He had whipped out a full on figure with everything in there...hands, portrait, clothing with all the folds, jewelery...plus the backdrop, and who can remember what else...it was really loose, but it was all there. In the next 20, he finished the drawing. I guess the next week, he painted over it and gave it to the model (at least I think). Anyway...I can remember looking at my drawing and then his and feeling really humble. I thought it was pretty funny, but I also learned that I need to move (or at least think) faster.
That is the thing that inspires me most about artists. Sure quality and accuracy are good, but if an artist can do these things in the matter of moments...that is really captivating. In the end, I don't really know if that is who I am or if it even matters...there are tons of great artists who take their time...and there is something to be said about that. However, I do know that a quick and efficient artist is what I strive to be.