Tonight we had Reimars sit for as at the Portrait Drawing Group.
After each pose, the sitter will generally get up to stretch their legs and have a quick look around at some of the work the artists have completed.
I find that one comment seems to come up more often than any other – ‘gosh, I look like a bit of a grump don’t I!’
I can understand what they mean but I never see it that way. I feel that when you allow yourself to be relaxed and expressionless – as you need to be if you are trying to hold a comfortable pose for 20 minutes or so – then this can often translate as frowning. Often the next pose will see them attempt to put on a happier face, only to look awkward with a forced smile that will slowly drop away as time passes.
I try not to worry too much about whether I should make them look happy or not, my aim is just to draw what I see. I much rather the natural, relaxed face of an expressionless model and know that if I can successfully capture this pose, you get the feeling of being able to see right into their soul, unencumbered by any forced persona they might otherwise try and project.