Sometimes we think that all life drawing can be is the setup from a Drawing 101 course. The model stands on a platform or sits in a chair (or lounges in a couch if you’re really fancy) and you frantically try to transfer the scene in front of you before the clock runs out.
Which is great, I love it. But think of all the other things the life drawing setup can be. Stages can be set, a whole tableau, narratives implied.
And gravity can be cheated, using the equivalent of in-camera special effects.
The landscape behind the figure is invented (and the lowered foot), but the pose (and the fabric) were all there in front of me to draw. (I did embellish the robe a fair bit, I admit. But the twisting drapery behind her I drew pretty much as it was).
Lying the model flat on the ground and using a mirror or raised vantage to look done on him/her would be great. It’s a classic weightless/flying effect. Check out the opening credits of Barbarella to see it in action. But that approach only works for one artist.
So I built an model stand that can be set at an incline, and allows a semicircle of artists to draw at the same time. For the artist directly in front of the stand, it is quite straightforward. If you’re off to one side, and want to play with the illusion of weightlessness, all you need to do is tilt your drawing surface to match the angle of the platform (as I did in the drawing above).
I built the stand so it can do a handful of different angles, and I’ll be playing with what else it can do to switch up scenes.