Saturday, February 2, 2019

Pet Peeves about Sketch Groups

Drawing of a fellow artist in a sketch group
On Instagram, I asked: What are your pet peeves about figure drawing groups?
Here's what you answered:
asidesart Often unimaginative setups or setups that flatten out the figure entirely with lighting. The one I frequent has several overhead lights that not only flatten it but create several conflicting shadows going across the model.

doraspaintdrips I wish I HAD a sketch group to go to!

madillstudio I don't have so many pet peeves but I sure wish I could find more time to study the figure. I used to be in a self-run figure drawing group; we used ourselves as our own models, volunteering each night we could meet.

b.l.phillips_art Not enough of them

michaeljamesmonaghan Not lighting the model!

artloader Having to draw ...

artloader@artloader Just kidding by the way, I love drawing!

fulford841 Jostling for easel space!

jowillart Being so far away you can’t see any details.

drifting_diatom I can't afford to go consistently :/

theartofjustinmiller When people talk while the model is posing

dupuis.chantal Being looked down the length of people’s noses when they see your sketch and realise you are not as good as they are. If I ever go back to that group I think I will just draw a stick man/woman and have fun with their snob reactions!

kimxromano When other artists, typically male but not always, want to sexualize the pose. I live in Texas.

g.l.garcia Sensitive models 🤷‍♂️

g.l.garcia@asidesart build a canopy from cardboard and or fabric 🤷‍♂️

g.l.garcia@asidesart also use cheap pluming tubes from a diy store for frame. No glue so its not permanent 🤔😉👍

lordbrenner I second Garbage Lighting. That and lazy models. When the breaks get longer and longer.

zipchip Models that talk

_grajo_Too much/not enough time spent on warm up gestures. I'm a slow starter.

elarosny Sudden boners. That shadow wasn't there before!

misslyndamay When people aren’t sensitive towards models 😉not an easy job just sayin...

kunst_und_fechten You using conte here?

misslyndamay Other pet peeves: bad lighting, lazy setup, bad music, unprofessional behavior, boring poses (you can tell when the model doesn’t try very hard but again it’s a physically challenging job)

alradeck Slight but constent movements that turn the post into something else

dannysabraDo you have any tips for starting a sketch group?

pursuingkairos@kimxromano Would you say some areas of the country experience more male/female artist disparity than others?

beezyknowsbest People who draw things other than the model—once someone was drawing me (and other people in the session) instead and it was so distracting. Also why pay for a model to draw people who aren’t sitting still?

asidesart@g.l.garcia hard to do if those are the only lights used for the model, and they’re clustered together. I’m also not the one running the session. Mentioned it before but they’re ambivalent towards it

markorenko So elegant!

wykbce As an artist and a model, unprofessional coordinators. You're here to keep things safe and professional for everyone. I'm not here to run your class.

eddywardster That sometimes you have the sudden urge to look at your neighbors figure and then get envious of them. Focus on your side of the field. Always.

g.l.garcia@asidesart yeah i stopped going to the local life drawing club after 10 years b/c of bs 🤷‍♂️ i hire my own models now

bbendelson@elarosny LOL!!!😂

willjbailey My loval life drawing classes are brilliant, but I do wish the lighting was better...

jamesgurneyart@beezyknowsbest Guilty as charged. But sometimes the other artists are more interesting than the model.

jamesgurneyart@dannysabra 1. Agree up front on the length of poses and the lighting. 2. Agree also on the music or lack of it. 3. Be sensitive about oil fumes; some people are allergic. 4. If you're running your own sketch group, be ready for no one to show; you may have to pay the model fee yourself.

cricketcaitlyn_@sarahnicolekc reminds me of your art

grafips My personal pet peeve is that we seldom have enough male models. I think about 90% of my sittings have been with female models. I love the female form but for learning some more men would be fine ;)
tony_stencel_artist Tall people sitting in front! 😜

tony_stencel_artist@doraspaintdrips agreed

doraspaintdrips A great male model in college had big wild hair and brought great props like spears and tree limbs. Those were great days..

doraspaintdrips@doraspaintdrips I wrote ‘great’ too many times-sorry

dannysabra@jamesgurneyart thanks! I'm excited to get something going! I find it's pretty tough to find other artists near me interested in observational art.

armandchughes Just the lack of professionalism of the models or the people running the group. At least where I live its hard to find well thought out life drawing groups. Its good to have fun and hangout with artists and the models but the setup or quality of the group shouldn’t be sacrificed. Life drawing has a purpose beyond just hobby. Or multiple purposes.

thisisnicolesart I remember one particular class where my prof (a woman) actually started nitpicking/complaining that I was making the model (also a woman) less attractive by drawing wrinkles n' flabs and whatnot. I was like... are you serious right now? I'm just drawing what I see, isn't that the point?? XD

cemeryposh 1.)No chatting! 2.)Only the model can pick the music and no music without asking first! 3.) oil painters must use Gamsol odorless thinner, and/or Res-n-gel. No old artschool mediums containing turps! 4.) better yet, dry media only!

benj_artiste@doraspaintdrips I thought it was great!

doraspaintdrips@benj_artiste haha!

perrijs My pet peeve is that there aren't any sketch groups near me!

maiabwsanders Every one in my area is short nude poses only.

susanrankinpollard I used to go to a weekly life drawing group, but I stopped because the music was _always_ flamenco/salsa! Sometimes it was fine, but every time was just too much.

I’ve now moved and am looking into either sitting in on a college class, or starting a group once the studio reno is done.

kimxromano@pursuingkairos I think so (?) I’ve only been to life drawing studios in NYC, Seattle and now Austin

hikaruisaves Lack there of, or a very long drive there.

kathykellerbauer When the model lays flat on the ground so your drawing looks like a dead person.

brigidmaryschutz I once joined a new life drawing group at a gallery in Johannesburg. The model, a man sitting playing a guitar, made his pose include direct eye contact with one artist; Me. Every time I looked up, or looked at him or tried to focus on one feature to draw, his eyes would find mine. It was really disturbing and distracting. Even when I shifted places, they found me. I put my head down and turned the drawing into a man/tree: his fingers and hair and the guitar melting into branches and vines and leaves. I could still feel his eyes on me all night. It felt weird and creepy. I threw the drawing away and never went back to that class.

nicoettlinart I just started to go to figure drawing groups and draw with a live model and i loved it! It is so much fun!

sketchingtom Peeves? Poorly organized events in terms of space, time control management and lighting. Models—regardless of body type—who believe the job is to sit still while naked without regard to the substantial history and range that can be brought to a posing Repertoire. Model’s pay, which inexplicably remains flat. How can we expect models to be professional when many make only a few dollars above minimum wage. Attendees who simply ogle the model rather than attempt to draw them. Seating/stools/easel setups could use some work in a few venues I’ve drawn at over the years. Currently, I draw the model in a studio context twice a week. Could add more, but these are the big ones.
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Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

Not a peeve, but a positive experience:

Here at WWU we once had a professor who was focused and interested as to learning and instruction; music was chosen as optimizes learning. At CSU we had a model who, although a business major needing the money, was neither over nor under defined, and very interested that we had what would help us learn.

Said model and professor were unavailable afterward for cloning.

Terry said...

Many years ago as a desperately poor college student, I did nude modeling for a drawing and a painting class on campus. The students were always respectful and I enjoyed seeing all the different interpretations - everything from one giving me metallic blue skin, to another drawing every sag and wrinkle! The one thing I would suggest is that the teacher, the models and the artists all know exactly how long each pose will be. The teacher left the room once without establishing this, and I held a pose for 40 minutes! The students loved it but I was in agony (I was pretty naive at the time, didn't know I could take a break when I needed to). Posing really is a physical challenge.

Roca said...

There is a local Dr. Sketchy group near me I have been wanting to go to. I find costumes endlessly interesting to draw, but I’m disappointed their Facebook page seems to only show scantily clad women posing seductively. Years ago I went to an animation convention where they had hired a man and woman to do 5-10 minute poses throughout the day. They wore a different costume theme every day (wild west, pirates, circus, etc), and their poses were SO good they must have obviously been actors as well. If only I could find something like that!!!

James Gurney said...

Roca, are you familiar with The Drawing Club in LA, which uses actors in costumes acting out story ideas?:

James Gurney said...

Terry, YES! Every sketch group needs a time leader. Someone with a timer who keeps track of every pose and frees the model at the end of each session.

Warren JB said...

Can't help but sympathise with the responders who have a lack of nearby sketch groups.

James Gurney said...

Timothy, thanks for sharing your positive experience, too. It is truly magical thing when a group materializes, with great models, good lighting, professionally run timeframes, and a spirit of learning and cooperation. It takes everyone working together with a spirit of experimentation and flexibility. Hopefully the "peeves" will remind people of how to capture that productive spirit.

Unknown said...

we're really lucky to have several great life classes in Nottingham, UK. Several have 'not ideal' lighting, or are in the basements of bars (with bad karaoke upstairs!), but the models and artists are usually great and we make the best out of what we have. I also run a few life classes at work in empty meeting rooms, so the lighting is rubbish, the model has to be clothed, but with a bit of thought and direction we get really great sessions, focussing on character, costume, gesture, anatomy, etc. Work with what you have, and work together :-)

Jules said...

I love going to life-drawing groups when I can find them. And yes, they're definitely worth finding!

That said... yes, I have had a few stinker situations. Inappropriate topics of conversation happened the most often. ESPECIALLY politics. For some reason there was one group in particular that was especially bad about this, and the people ranting never seemed to notice how uncomfortable some in the room were becoming. I noticed several people not return to the group after particularly nasty comments were made. I also happen to be friends with a popular model who quit coming because she happened to be the political type that they were so harshly criticizing. Not that they saw their comments as "harsh." I think they thought they were just "telling it like it is." They weren't, but either they didn't see it that way or they didn't care who they were alienating.

Only one time did I go to a group that thought sex would be a good topic to discuss. I can't imagine how the model felt about it. (I didn't ask. I was trying to remain professional.)

CerverGirl said...
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CerverGirl said...

I love the group I recently found--but 1-minute warm ups for me is too fast, I'd rather have 5 minutes, especially on a large newsprint pad...but otherwise from reading the posts, I am very fortunate the lighting is good, music good, artists are quiet, professional, and keep the talking to the appropriate-length breaks. $8/night. One of my faves. I am excited to try Mr. Gurney's suggestion of high contrast studies, Thank you. --