Monday, 9 July 2012

Dr Sketchy New York

A visit to New York without visiting Dr Sketchy's seemed unthinkable, so I duly went on my last Sunday.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photographs - the main reason I attend Dr Sketchy's here in Glasgow.

A couple of years ago, when I was a newbie oil painter, I really needed photographic reference of faces and bodies to work from. I was still too unsure of myself (and skint) to hire a model, even if I had known one available. Dr Sketchy's was the answer, and when attending regularly I met lots of interesting people who are now friends - including, of course, Fiona Wilson

Not only were we not allowed photographs, there were an awful lot of very quick poses. That can be interesting, if you have the right media with you (the watercolour would have been fine, but the paper was far too thin for using a brush) and if the model holds lots of different, athletic poses. This one didn't - they were all variations of her lying or sitting on the table, with her head almost always turned in one direction. Even worse, although her costume was lovely, it covered a lot of skin as well as her hair, with virtually no bony landmarks visible. For some reason, I like to start with the clavicles, which generally weren't visible - or even guessable!

So I left. Terribly rude, and very disappointing, but I was pretty tired and had packing to do for the trip home the next day.

Oh well. Maybe next time. Meanwhile I am thinking about revisiting some of those old reference photographs.

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