I Have Been Away But Now I Am Back. And Some Pictures.

Last week I took a week off work – where I am employed to commission other people to make pictures – and spent the week drawing my own pictures.

It was:

1. glorious – yay! Not at work!

2. daunting – oh my god, there are some genuinely talented people here

3. reassuring – okay, I *can* draw, even if I still have a lot to learn about the various proper techniques

4. exhausting – standing at an easel, drawing with one’s whole arm rather than in a crabbed hand, and concentrating on mastering new concepts and approaches (especially when you’ve been doing your own self-taught thing for 37 years) is more physically demanding than I had anticipated

5. inspiring – by the end of day one I was looking at everything differently, especially people. Faces and bodies are so endlessly varied and our anatomy is so fascinating. We are amazing.

I can’t remember when I enjoyed a week more.

But rather than try to explain what was essentially a visual week in words, here are some pictures…

This is the view into the small casts room, from the entrance to the larger life drawing studio:


This is the ceiling of one corner in the main room. Every available space is basically crammed with pictures illustrating some technique or other.


Another corner, this time filled with various casts of famous sculptures. And yes, that chap is wearing a woollen hat. I have no idea why. Crazy artists, eh?


Lunchtime on Day 1 and this is my easel. And the kind of drawings I usually do if left to my own devices – viz. some contour drawing on the left hand page (where you look only at the model, not at your hand or the page, so you REALLY look without worrying about the nonsense on the paper – jolly liberating) and on the right hand side a rather stiff and unconvincing pencil drawing.


The tape marks on the floor indicate where people’s easels are set up on certain days – everyone is very particular about their position since some of the poses are sustained and repeated over several weeks to enable a finished oil painting to be undertaken.

And here are some of the drawings I completed over the course of the week, mostly attempting to differentiate line, tone and form.





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15 Responses to I Have Been Away But Now I Am Back. And Some Pictures.

  1. Sounds like your week off was well spent. I really like the first bust of the woman. I can draw as long as what I draw doesn’t have to look like what I was looking at. . .

  2. doctordi says:

    Sydney is way too small. Do you know Deb Elkind? Just noticed her Twitter update to the right of the screen.

    These drawings are lovely. I’d be feeling quite chuffed with myself if I were Woo (couldn’t resist).

  3. azahar says:

    Very nice. Have you ever thought of making an online portfolio?

    Sounds like a perfect holiday to me.

  4. piereth says:

    Holy god, T, your hands and feet are amazing!! I adore the second and fourth… still want to buy a nude by you whenever the opportunity arises (and preferably before you get too expensive and I cna’t afford you, natch)


    • There, I’m glad I came back and checked in. I hadn’t noticed the hands and feet, but they truly are wonderfully done. I spend a lot of time looking at nude bodies in my work, and your ankles are really well crafted.

  5. modestypress says:

    Trying to think of something intelligent and witty to post as a comment, but failing, so I will just say I read and viewed this post and enjoyed it immensely and leave it at that.

  6. woo says:

    healingmagichands – thanks, glad you liked the first one, its a tonal study – i.e. just trying to capture the light and dark areas, not the shapes of anything much. But I think its a pretty decent likeness. And I pay special attention to ankles, they’re one of my favourite body parts, so I appreciate the compliment on them from someone who knows what she’s looking at!

    doctordi – yes, I do know Deb, through a mutual kiwi friend. Small world indeed! 🙂 And thank you, I’m glad you like the drawings.

    azahar – it was the perfect holiday, absolutely. I’ll have to look into the online portfolio thing, thanks for the tip. I used to have my own website for my art, but I got lazy about its upkeep…

    piereth – thanks petal, very glad to hear you like them. And I’m always extra careful with hands and feet as they’re so tricky, but these one didn’t turn out too badly, so I was rather pleased with them. As for buying one, don’t talk nonsense, tell me which you’d like and I’ll send it off to you today with my love.

    Mr Random – well, saying that you enjoyed the post immensely is certainly an intelligent comment, as well as showing a vast deal of discrimination and good taste… 😉

  7. I am always in awe of people who can create images which look like the real world.

    btw, I shall be in Canberra in mid February next year (a fourday flying visit with Buff) – guess where we will be going – – –

  8. woo says:

    Archie – well, they look like the real world as viewed by me, but I suspect more and more as I get older that everyone’s reality is slightly different so… 😉

    Wow, a trip to the big smoke eh? Any chance of popping into Sydney? I’ll buy you both dinner!

  9. Unfortunately no side trips – this is a four day visit to the National Gallery to see, for real, some daubings which have supplied Buff with inspiration for years. Of course, you may have a chance to come to Canberra so i can buy you a dinner. 🙂

  10. piereth says:

    Well, has Christmas come early for me or wot??!! Are you sure?

    If so, number 2 – it’s exquisite. I am honoured.


  11. doctordi says:

    Speaking of #2, how’d you get that thigh to do the thigh-like thing?? It’s just exactly what thighs do…

  12. woo says:

    Archie – I’ll have to see if I can fit in a quick trip to Canberra 😉

    piereth – will be on its way as an early Christmas gift… x

    doctordi – thank you! I do like thighs. Lovely big long muscles!

  13. modestypress says:

    I sent you an email. I don’t know if I used the best address, so check them all.

  14. woo says:

    will do 🙂

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