Saturday, 16 July 2011
Cattitude and Life Drawing
Recently I met a cat sitting amongst rose bushes outside Glasgow University Library. As I had partially gone there to paint and having all my stuff with me, I took the opportunity to quickly draw her - and I am so glad I did, as not only did I make a new friend (although she wasn't quite friendly enough to come out from the roses) but I discovered that doing three minute sketches at atyn had prepared me for animal painting - not only in the speed used, but also in the skill of capturing the essentials of a pose.
I feel this is even more important with animals (especially cats!) than with humans, as they are often more expressive through their posture than we are - Another cat-friend of mine (in the loosest sense - he is my neighbour's cat, and has taken daily delight in hissing at me on the stairwell) is never less than composed and commanding - even when watching the other neighbours dog, as can be seen in the second painting.
Whereas the third painting shows my childhood pet (who lived for 24 years!), who was almost a disgrace to catdom in having virtually no dignity and unlimited curiosity about everything and everyone. When we were moving, and showing people round the house, she had to be put in her basket and taken to a friends - otherwise she would follow people around and talk to them. She even joined in on conversations on the phone . . .
Anyway, my point really is that life drawing really does prepare you for everything - and helps you decide where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Expect much more animals in future . . . .