Two Steps Forward, One Back

Adrienne in her tough guy outfit

It was a great week in terms of activity.  Wednesday the Granucci workshop group met for 4 hours of live nude drawing.  Thursday the Bennett class met for painting the contemporary portrait.  Saturday the Saturday Life Group met for its usual three hours of live nude drawing.  And Sunday I joined a new group that meets for three hours to paint or draw from a clothed model, who keeps one pose for the entire time.

Peter (Granucci) started us on shadows, and I am happy enough with my results to share with  you for the first time some of my drawings from that workshop.

Two quick poses from Granucci workshop

Exercise in Shadowing

Thursday night, I took in my drawings from Saturday and Wednesday in order to choose one to use as a basis for painting.  I narrowed it down to two:  the more developed one above, and one from last week, the reclining figure.  I was happy with both of the faces on these two, until I asked Cameron (Bennett) for advice on which to choose for my painting.  He didn’t like the faces.  I was so taken aback that I forgot to ask why.  Anyway, together we chose the reclining figure to paint:

Translation into Oil

Our model on Saturday was the same person who was modeling for SLG the first time I joined.  That was perhaps 4 years ago, and she hasn’t changed a bit.  I have mentioned before how I just accept a bad angle and try to make the best of it.   This week I tried, but I did not make the best of it.

Rear View

Extreme Foreshortening

In fact, I may have done better with the shorter poses, which were in pencil:

Series of poses from SLG:--5, 10, 20 minutes

Sunday morning I  joined up with my friend Bea to go paint at Adrienne’s studio, the same studio where we meet for the Granucci workshop.  Adrienne had arranged for a Sudanese model dressed in her native regalia, and Bea in particular was looking forward to painting the dark skin tones–she even prepared a special palette.  But the Sudanese model never showed up–signals got crossed or were not even received, apparently.  So Adrienne herself modeled for us, too upset to paint anyway, she said.  She held the same pose for the entire three hours, with generous breaks every 20 minutes or so.  I finished a small painting of her entire figure (the painting that leads off this post) and had a half hour to spare, so I started on a painting of her  head.  I was hoping that the limited time would push me to capture the essence with minimal strokes, a la Caroline Anderson (whom I have adopted as my muse, as recounted in earlier posts).

Alas, on my way home, the tape I had used to keep the full body portrait secured to its support came loose, and smeared the head portrait.  In the course of repairing the head, I lost the freshness and simplicity of the original.

How to Sport a Fedora

The full body one was easy to repair, and I don’t think I lost anything essential to it.

So I am kind of down in the dumps at the end of a relatively productive week, which is probably why I couldn’t bring myself around to getting this post out on time.

Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:

at the Gallery at 100 Market Street in Portsmouth; at the Sage Gallery in Manchester; at the Hatfield Gallery in Manchester; at the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; at the McGowan Fine Art Gallery in Concord; and at her studio by appointment.

Link to website:

6 responses to “Two Steps Forward, One Back

  1. As always, so interesting. And … inspiring with your undaunted exuberance for your subjects. Wish it would rub off on me … MCH

    P. S. Love TTofTC.


  2. Upon rereading your post it still comes through to me that you are filled with exuberance over your art production. And, I believe, that is the key to your continued development. Exuberance: filled with or characterized by a lively energy and excitement. That is what I get out of your blog. As for ‘down in the dumps’ … I think you were just tired. LOL


    • That is wonderful to hear. I am going through a period of doubting myself, perhaps. It doesn’t mean I enjoy making art less–although it is a struggle more often than it is a pleasure. I just wonder if I will ever come out the other side of the struggle as a good artist.


  3. The drawings as usual are very nice; I like pencil anyway. The fedora portrait has a light touch. I do wish Adrienne’s feet were positioned more gracefully; it might be worth it to re-work that part of the painting, otherwise quite good.


    • The feet positioned like that was my favorite thing in this painting, and it was what I painted first, which was fortunate because she couldn’t quite get them back into the original position. Gracefulness can be less interesting than awkwardness.