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Night of the nekkid lady

Tonight was the last night of my life drawing class. Sorry for the bad cellphone pic, but this is as close as you’re getting to this sucker.

Eh. It’s okay if you stand back here and squint. I was seated in a tough spot, with an unfortunate compositional hand/tit convergence, but there was no room to move my setup once I saw the pose.

Moar practice. I’ve already signed up for the next series in the new year.

Anyhoo. Late. Gotta run.


Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: December 1, 2011, 12:28 am

OK…. “LIfe Drawing” I have had plenty of experience back in the dark ages.


1) What is the surface on which you are drawing? Looks more like some kinda board, rather than than paper.

2) I equate drawing with pencil or graphite, maybe pastels. I’m seeing evidence of painterly equipment. Whats the medium or mediums you are using?

From my considerable experience, y’all have a good grasp of human anatomy and translate it well onto a two-dimensional surface. Don’t care if its a “bad cell phone pic”… Ya’ got the gifts (talents and skills)…. *AND* don’t y’all be goin’ all self-deprecating on me. I recognize talent when I see it.

Comment from Pupster
Time: December 1, 2011, 12:56 am


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 1, 2011, 1:02 am

It’s masonite. I can never remember what Brits call that. Anyway, these days, when you see something is “oil on panel” — it’s likely to be this kind of panel. I’ve worked on it for years. Well, back when I painted.

You have to put a bit of shellac on it or it’s too absorbent at first. And if you do anything worth keeping, you have to brace it at the back or it’ll warp.

Love it, though. Cheap. Cut it to size with a matte knife. Fun to work on.

And yes, that’s paint. The last three sessions were one pose in oil.

Comment from Oceania
Time: December 1, 2011, 1:15 am

You do realise, of all the animals that can be naked on this gawd awful rock, Humans are but by far the ugliest of all creatures naked?

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: December 1, 2011, 1:18 am

Untempered masonite, sealed with shellac. Yeup! good smooth ground for oils. I prefer a gesso canvas with some tooth to it. But then, I was more of a impasto the shit out of sumpin’ inna “Fauvist” kinda color and style.


Then I took off chasin’ a dream of building furniture. HEH! — still doing it today, as my wretched back will allow. Gotta say, its helped keep food onna table and roof over our heads.

Stoatie, still a nicely executed head, arm and torso study.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 1, 2011, 1:24 am

Ah, you know your grounds, Sven. You should take it up again!

Comment from beasn
Time: December 1, 2011, 1:36 am

I might not be the prettiest human around or fittest but I certainly look a lot better than a bald gorilla, nekkid mole rat (I don’t care what rosetta says), or skinny guinea pig.

Oceania, perhaps you should take a bath before looking in the mirror. Though, I’m thinking the mole rat has one up on you.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 1, 2011, 1:41 am

I dunno. I can’t help but think I’d like our species better if we were covered in short, silky fur.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: December 1, 2011, 2:53 am


There are three or four Sci-Fi writers agree with ya. I know that that Heinlein wrote of such a being in “Glory Road. Seems to me that C.S. Lewis wrote about a species on Mars that was humanoid with short, silky fur in his space Trilogy. E.R. Burroughs maybe did the same…cannot recall. I do recall one of the short stories of Geo. MacDonald alluding to the same.

Right now I would *GLADLY* grow some kinda fur to keep warm. Its below freezing, will drop to mid-teens(F) tonight and the high tomorrow is supposed reach 25F….maybe….with wind driven snow and wind chill factor below zero.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: December 1, 2011, 3:55 am

Doesn’t matter. Saw tits…

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 1, 2011, 4:49 am

Human hair or our comparative lack thereof has always been a mystery for me. I mean I understand that eyebrows keep the rain out of our eyes ( unless they ‘ve been shaved off and then painted back on) but why do we have hair under our arms? I haven’t made a study of this mind you, but I don’t seem to recall cats, dogs, hogs, or horses having particularly hairy pits.

Why should human hair disbursement be so different than that of most of our friends in the animal kingdom? As Stoaty commented above,it’d be nice. I’d look great in a tuxedo-cat outfit.

Oh, and as for “unfortunate hand-tit convergence” – last time that happened to me, I got slapped….

Comment from Oceania
Time: December 1, 2011, 7:54 am

Silky hair? That can be arranged … hair follicle cells are migration stem cell posses …. and are under androgenic control … sometimes.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 1, 2011, 10:15 am

I’ve always heard our patches of hair are where they are to trap the delightful smell of unwashed monkey.

Comment from The Jannie
Time: December 1, 2011, 11:06 am

Masonite? It’s hardboard on this side of the water!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 1, 2011, 11:21 am

Hardboard. That’s it. And the thicker stuff is MDF, which I think Americans would call particleboard.

Masonite (hardboard) is the one about an eighth of an inch thick, shiny on one side, screen pattern on the other.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 1, 2011, 11:47 am

You know, that’s one area where being a foreigner hits home: when you try to buy something that you only know by a brand name. Like masonite.

This first dawned on me when I struggled to buy Elmer’s glue.

Comment from thefritz
Time: December 1, 2011, 12:23 pm

I had no idea Fabio had such big pec’s….

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 1, 2011, 12:58 pm

Heh. Actually, she looks like one of those cheap Spanish Lady paintings you might see on velvet…

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: December 1, 2011, 2:00 pm

Points of clarity:
– Hardboard/masonite comes in two forms, tempered and untempered. the untempered is the hardboard that Swease seals with shellac and uses for painting. Tempered hardboard has oil infused into the wood particles before it is compressed with adhesives and formed into sheets.

– Particle board is made from larger, mixed wood particles compressed with an adhesive to form a substrate for thermoplastic coverings. Melamine is the most well known brand. Most plastic laminate counter tops use a particle board substrate. Formica is the most well known brand.

-MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is made from very fine wood dust compressed with adhesives into a very heavy, easily milled wood product. MDF is used as a substrate for high quality, expensive veneer panels and for inexpensive, paint grade cabinetry.

Urea Formaldehyde resins were the original adhesive used in the manufacturing process of all these products. That adhesive is a known carcinogen. Its been replaced with a more environmentally friendly group of aliphatic resins.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: December 1, 2011, 2:06 pm

I’m going to take a drawing class one of these days. I actually did look around for one a couple years ago, before babby was formed, but I couldn’t find anything for adults in the entire city (which is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country, I might add), other than private lessons, which were well outside my price range. ??? Apparently, only children want to learn to draw. I guess I will have to enroll in the local community college when the time comes.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: December 1, 2011, 2:11 pm

Sven, as far as growing hair is concerned the gold standard is the short story “Hyperpilosity”, by Louis Sprague deCamp.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 1, 2011, 6:20 pm

Holy shit, Sven! You really DO know your grounds!

Comment from dawn
Time: December 1, 2011, 6:42 pm

It would be cool to see the whole class’s work on display together.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: December 2, 2011, 12:09 am

Stoaty: I had the same problem during the 7 years I spent in the USA.

In the grocery…
Me: “Where do you keep the icing sugar?”
Employee: “The what?”
Me: “The icing sugar, the stuff you use to make icing for cakes?”
Employee takes me to the cans of pre-mixed icing…

*bangs head on desk*

Turns it it’s called “Powdered Sugar” or “Confectioner’s Sugar” in the USA.

Every once in a while I’d stub my toe on another one of those name differences, or a product you just couldn’t get (like HP Sauce.)

Asking for white vinegar to put on my fries was another eye-popper… “But sir, we use that to clean our glass tables!”

Comment from Alice
Time: December 2, 2011, 12:19 am

Argentium – it’s even more perplexing when you look for something and find it, but it’s an entirely different product. A USA Milky Way candy bar = British Mars bar, and a British Milky Way is some gawdawful white chocolate thing.

On the other hand, Campbell’s tomato soup in England is a far superior product to the US version.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: December 2, 2011, 1:13 am

Alice: That sort of nonsense usually happens due to trade name registration conflicts between the various nations/continents.

Another example I ran into: In Canada, Smarties are made by Nestle, and are chocolate with a hard candy shell (very similar to M&M’s). In the United States, Smarties are fruit flavoured chalky candies often seen at Halloween. Here in Canada, those are called “Rockets” to avoid a name collision with the Nestle product.

The UK Milky Way thing sounds um… let’s just don’t go there.

What kills me is when you just can’t GET what you want in your favourite candy because of regional differences. Something I learned to love while in the States: Zagnut bars. Just can’t find em here… *sniff*

Comment from The Jannie
Time: December 2, 2011, 10:57 am

What you grew up with is important. I can only sink to the subjective when I note “Hershey chocolate” and “Oreos”, long part of the American way, are known in the UK as “4king awful”.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: December 2, 2011, 2:50 pm

Latin America is a blenderized clusterfook cultural mish-mosh. The only thing “Latin” about it is the base latin language base of its two predominant languages – Spanish and Portuguese.

In 1971, I spent the better part of the year in Guatemala, a beautiful country with stunning Mayan and Spanish colonial architecture, great food and beer…and the most politically corrupt government and oppressive caste systems that allow and encourage an chasm between the very wealthy and those who live in grinding poverty. The MS13 drug fueled gang-bangers were founded in the filth and poverty of the barrios in the capitol, Guatemala City.

There are huge German, Swiss and Austrian pharmaceutical facilities in and around the capitol. You can walk into a carneceria (butcher shop) or quesaderia (cheese shop) and find a sparkling clean, white tiled, tidy business run by tall, blue eyed, blonde haired germanic folks. Thanks in a great part to a huge exodus of people fleeing Hitler’s oppression prior to WWII.

The Mayan people in the highlands still cling to what is left of their cultural history. In the lowlands and along the coasts, the French/English Caribbean influence is everywhere. Mixed race mulattoes live an almost serf like existence, working for wealthy Spanish/German land owners.

Yet….you can walk into any local family market (Tienda) and buy 7-UP, Coke, Pepsi or Malboro, Winston, Benson and Hedges. You want Frosted Flakes or Capn’ Crunch cereal? They are on the shelf at the IGA supermercado. MacDonald’s and Burger King had franchises at the main airport in the capitol. Haven’t been back since, still have friends who live there.

The only thing that changes is which side of the political coin is in power. Both are corrupt, both still keep private guerilla armies that continue to fight one another. The victims end up being the poor Mayans and mulattoes.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 2, 2011, 3:18 pm

Geez, Sven…all that and an encyclopedic knowledge of hardboards?

Comment from Redd
Time: December 9, 2011, 7:43 pm

So, what did Holbein use for a ground? My internet searches just say he used oil and tempura on oak or limewood. Didn’t have to prepare the wood in someway before he painted? Thanks!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 9, 2011, 8:04 pm

Yes, he very likely used a gesso ground. This could be any of several things, but was probably plaster that was slaked — stirred in water — until it was past the ability to set hard. This would then be dried, broken up and stirred in with rabbit-skin glue until it was the consistency of thin milk. Brushed onto the wood in thin layers until it built up to a strong, hard, smooth, bright white ground. Sometimes they’d even polish the surface to a gloss.

I think you might have to put a little shellac on it for oil colors, I don’t remember. I only went through the whole process once — though given the labor intensity, I made several panels. I didn’t paint anything good on them, I assume, since I don’t have them any more.

Pain in the ass. Give me masonite 🙂

Comment from Redd
Time: December 9, 2011, 9:04 pm

Thank you. I admit I’m memorized by they way they can make those luminescent reds with what I believe is tempura.

Do any calligraphy, Stoaty? I did years ago but I was never that good. Recently, I tried to take it up again but was discouraged by how awful at it I was.

Comment from Redd
Time: December 9, 2011, 9:43 pm

Uh, mesmerized…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 9, 2011, 10:22 pm

I love calligraphy, but I’m not very good at it, either.

You know what fascinates me? The very first painters in oil (van Eyck and those guys) were technically the most sophisticated. I mean, in terms of paint chemistry and painting for permanence and like that. How the hell does that work?

Comment from Redd
Time: December 9, 2011, 10:33 pm

Oh, that’s oil? I always thought it was tempura. You certainly live in the land of calligraphy. I look at all those guilds and the classes they offer wish I could take some. I’d probably be too shy. I always have to remind myself that one can enjoy an artform without excelling at it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 10, 2011, 12:05 am

I’m not sure about Holbein specifically, but a lot of paintings of the era were a tempera underpainting with glazes of oil on top. Very time consuming but very beautiful. The multiple layers of translucent oil paint…think stained glass windows.

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