8x10 inches, 20 minute watercolor
I drove to UW Whitewater Monday evening for their life drawing studio, and to everyone's disappointment the model did not show up. This is a small but devoted group who all had scheduled their lives and hauled their materials to the university, and rather than turning around and going back home, we decided to be our own models, 20 minutes each - clothed. It turned out to be lots of fun, and sitting stock still for twenty minutes turned out to be devilishly difficult. I sat in a chair with arms, but still found my eyes crossing and my fingers falling asleep. We took to calling the experience "model appreciation night," because each of us discovered how challenging it is to hold a pose for twenty minutes.
I have been wanting to use watercolors for my medium in the Monday studio night, and to that end put together a travel palette with pigments I thought would be useful for doing figures. In addition to tube paints, I took along a few watercolor pencils, and they have turned out to be the most useful. I can quickly sketch, and also do loose washes by dragging my brush over the "lead." This was my favorite quick study from the evening. I loved the woman's comfortable attitude, her thick hair and flowing outfit, and it showed in what I produced.
Most of the week has been spent in organizing, weeding, and adding to my collections of watercolor pigments, brushes, papers, and also my acrylic supplies. Why did I buy four different brands of phthalo blue watercolor, anyway? And why did I pop for three 1" flat wash brushes? Do I need to keep craft-quality brushes that have loose ferrules or are stiffened with acrylic gel medium? The answer is clearly no. Just handling these materials made me want to paint, so I have been doing that too, and it has felt pretty darned good.