Why is French drawing so good?

Question: Why is French figure drawing so good?

Answer: Because French models are so good!

On Sunday afternoon, October 21, Florent posed in the Maison Basse studio for the second Open Model Session this term. The painting students and Maison Basse residents arrived in advance and cleared and cleaned the area under the skylight. When the drawing session got underway at 3:00 pm, Professor Deems and her life drawing students, joined by painting students Tyler Giordano and Kayla Cloonan, received a real treat. Florent, a professional artist’s model, shared his favorite poses and was also open to trying new poses. After three ten-minute poses, he settled into a long pose during which he held Sujay’s soccer ball under his chin as though he were about to heave an over-sized shot put.

When 30 minutes had passed, Florent said he was okay. At 45 minutes into the pose, I said it would be a good time to take a short break because we had 35 minutes remaining, and he said he was okay. In the end, Florent held a standing pose with torsion for 80 minutes. This allowed all of us to focus on subtle shifts such as changes caused by inhalation. It also meant that our concentration was unabated. If he could hold the pose, we could hold our focus. The session ended at 5:00 p.m.

All of this took placed under the most wonderful northern light. The life drawing students had the opportunity to complete their second long pose focusing on proportion; Kayla expanded her experimentation by using pruned branches as over-sized holders for her fine art brushes and adapted her exploration from landscape to the figure; and Tyler created a painted color study. Professor Deems sketched and so did I.

By Sandra Reed, Professor of Painting


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