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The Conservatoire, Blackheath, 24 November 2016

27 November 2016

Evening life painting – session 2 of 4

I checked out the two heaters, then removed the neatly folded white sheet from my backpack and placed it on the floor in an exact tape-marked position. More tape to mark where my feet should stand remained on the sheet from my previous visit to The Conservatoire. Meanwhile, tutor David Webb was returning multiple easels to their precise positions from last week, and tables as closely as possible.

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Seven of the previous week’s eight artists rejoined us; they prepared individual paint palettes, then resumed their works in progress when I returned to the position. Once again I would sustain a single long pose for 2-hours of a two-and-a-half-hour session, with a 15-minute break, plus brief stretches at roughly twenty-minute intervals. David visited each artist regularly to offer gentle critique and constructive advice.

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Of me, David observed: “it’s like he’s constantly inhaling… which, of course, he isn’t!” It is true I’d been trying to hold in my stomach to accentuate my ribcage; not so easy after the pizza I’d eaten before leaving home. With so much attention to colour-mixing around me – the infinite variety of flesh tones – I could imagine my skin having pizza-like qualities. Halfway through four sessions, some very nice work is taking shape.

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