Upside Down Model and Why Things Cost an Arm and a Leg!

15 Sep

Ink drawing: One model upside down.

 

I like a challenge when I’m at life drawing and enjoy things like extreme foreshortening and drawing hands and feet, which I think are probably the most difficult parts of the human body to sketch. Now and again we get a model willing to go that bit further and do a more challenging pose, which often involves them in some discomfort – they suffer for our art!

I had a few challenges with this one. Our model lay on a table with his head facing towards me so there was a bit of foreshortening; there was a hand involved and his head was lolling over the edge of the table, partly upside down. I don’t go for an easy life! The test to see if you’ve drawn a pose like this successfully is to turn it upside down and the face should look like the model and be in proportion. Luckily, it looks like him.

The expression “It costs an arm and a leg” comes from centuries ago when rich people commissioned artists to paint their portrait. There was a basic rate just for a head and shoulders portrait. An arm was extra. A leg cost even more. Two arms and two legs were only for the immensely rich.

5 Responses to “Upside Down Model and Why Things Cost an Arm and a Leg!”

  1. umanbn October 7, 2011 at 21:10 #

    …never knew it was art related…:)

  2. Andrew (@artmodelandrew) October 3, 2011 at 05:04 #

    That’s cool. I never knew the origin of that phrase.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. One From The Archives 6: Straight Ahead | scribblah - September 14, 2015

    […] A big part of life drawing is simply the opportunity to practice technique. This can be the technique of drawing itself, where  the actual pose of the model is important. Things like foreshortening can be tricky, as can hands and feet. In fact, the expression “It costs an arm and a leg” comes from centuries ago when rich people commissioned artists to paint their portrait. There was a basic rate just for a head and shoulders portrait. An arm was extra. A leg cost even more. I talked about this in an earlier blog which you can see here. […]

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