Poor little rich girl, in my mind

Graphite sketch after Reubens on Strathmore Smooth Bristol Visual Journal

The model was clearly upset. She couldn’t sit still, let alone maintain a pose. It was wiggle, sift, sigh, and sink for the entire time.

Graphite sketch after Reubens on Strathmore Strathmore Smooth Bristol Visual Journal

It wasn’t my place to ask her to leave, and besides, I think we were all trying to be kind—she seemed to be roosting in a nest of problems—so I had to just deal with it.

It’s hard to keep my imagination down (I can imagine 20 ridiculous  things before breakfast!), so I ran with it, and pretended I was commissioned to draw a portrait of a rich, troubled, doomed girl (Paris Hilton came to mind). My imaginary patron was her doting Fortune 500 daddy. And I tried to find the things that a daddy would love in his wonky daughter, and express them in the portrait.

By the end of the evening, I was ready to return the hypothetical advance to the hypothetical daddy, and my heart was aching for this poor, clueless model.

James Gurney has a good post on activating your imagination while creating academic models. I loved his suggestion: add wings!