I had my husband take a few pictures of me on site, and clothed, in the same pose for photo reference. I know that I will have to do most of this painting using the photo reference as my guide. I am a little nervous about that as most of my experience is in drawing from life and I am not sure how to translate some of the challenges that painting from a photo reference presents. Fortunately, Terry Strickland recently posted a wonderful pro's and con's list on working from photos here. I found it very helpful and the timing was perfect for me! I have read about the problems with working from photos in various articles but thought her post put it succinctly and addressed some of the solutions.
I had one more trick to try to make the pose as much from life as possible...Tilly. Tilly is what was often referred to in the past as a lay figure, or what we would now call a drawing manikin. Tilly is sort of life size. I say sort of because she is not entirely an exact replica of a woman. She is about a foot taller than my 5'2" self and weighs in about 35 pounds. She has articulated joints that can be posed in many positions. James Gurney did an interesting series of posts on the historical use of lay figures starting here.
Alas, Tilly is not going to work out. I spent most of the day wrestling with her. She was most uncooperative and she even lost her head at one point. I was tempted to take a picture of her sprawled on the floor, headless, but restrained myself. Here is a picture of her striking the pose, or part of the pose I was trying to get her to model:
When I knew we would be moving out here to a relatively isolated location, I used some of the money I had planned to spend on tuition and got a few things I thought I might need in the studio. Tilly was one of them. She has yet to earn her keep so I am doubting the wisdom of such a purchase but perhaps in the future.
Well, to wrap up a bit of a lengthy post, I decided Tilly wasn't going to work out for this painting. I got her standing quietly in her corner and, exhausted and sweaty from lugging her around, decided to call it a day, but one final photo:
|Tilly (left) and a tired and disheveled me.|
|Image from: http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=135|
If you are curious, the very informative site from where I got this image is here at Lighthouse Friends and has the story and history behind the lighthouse.
A bit of interesting history from our neck of the woods.
Back to work in the studio tomorrow!