Still Life

Yesterday I modelled for a life drawing class. Yes, I kept my clothes on. No, I wasn’t paid.

A few months ago a colleague told me that there was a group of people at work who get together one lunchtime per week and drew each other, and they held an exhibition recently, so I thought I’d give it a try. I haven’t drawn anything since school, although I used to love it as a child (dinosaurs and superheroes were my speciality). I bought a pad and a selection of pencils, but first I thought it would be interesting to see how the others in the group rendered my own features. Most of them use pencils, although apparently there’s a lady who works in watercolour, and most work on one relatively realistic head-only portrait during the one-hour session.

I sat in the chair and was told to gaze at a fixed point in the distance. I looked at the window, watching the raindrops hit it and slide down, occasionally shifting my focus to the trees outside swaying in the breeze. My mind wandered, as it tends to do. I did some complete breathing. I would have preferred to be able to look back at the people staring so intently at me, but that probably would have made me feel even more self-conscious. The biggest surprise was that after what felt like about ten minutes of sitting immobile, I was told that half an hour had passed and that I could take a short break. I was complimented on my ability to sit perfectly still, and one lady told me that I had a perfectly shaped head, which was nice. Then I sat back down in the same position for another half hour so that they could finish.

A journalist from a German radio station was due to come along and interview us, but her car broke down. It’s probably just as well – how exactly do you show people drawing on the radio? Do you record the sound of pencil scratching across paper?

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be able to make it along again to attempt a crude scribble of my own. In the meantime, here’s my favourite of my colleagues’ efforts (they gave me photocopies of all of them at the end).