I did a three week stint as an ‘artist’s model’ for portraiture, mainly because I was curious and the pocket money was handy. I chose a Chinese outfit to look more Chinese since I never normally dress up or look formal. I wanted lots of bright flowers on the top of my head, as I am a fan of Frida Kahlo.
The class was in a small studio at Putney Bridge and was taught by an accomplished and practising portrait artist Kathy Barker. You can see each student develop through the weeks. I actually manage to think about so much while remaining still. Some thoughts actually upset or alarmed me, causing movement. The slightest tilt or movement was not allowed and would receive a bark of disapproval from student or teacher. Naturalmente, I had to have the Nurofen at the ready for after the sitting. Every bone and muscle was throbbing.
I learnt a lot of things too, such as shadows are not grey or brown. They are just where the light is less. Light is everything in painting. In makeup you start with a 3D canvas already. You have to make that canvas even more 3D. In oil painting, the canvas is 2D but you have to make it 3D by the end. That is quite a challenge, one that is probably not for me! I was surprised at how philosophical I became after each session.