Tuesday, August 28, 2007


This is Heather, one of the models we have frequently hired to pose in the life drawing sessions every Tuesday evening at Visual Arts Brampton over the last 3 years. She is certainly a favourite of mine, as she has all the feminine appeal of what we cartoonists think of as the "Freddy Moore Girl" (like the bobbysoxers in "Make Mine Music" or the centaurettes in "Fantasia"), in that she has very soft, curvy features.

Heather has a background in dance, both in ballet and in musical theatre. This is quite evident in her choice of poses during the quick gestures stage that we begin each session with. As you can see, there is a graceful, rhythmic flow to her poses that is a delight to capture on paper. (That 4th gesture is a "Fosse" dance pose that I'd requested and Heather was happy to oblige.)

During the longer studies, though I might start out drawing very traditionally, I usually can't help but try a more caricatured approach which I honestly have more fun with. Here's an example of where I have done a pencil portrait of Heather, followed by a quick caricature from the same sitting in the time I had left over.

Here is a pose that has been caricatured to some degree.

In this drawing I have also gone for a caricatured approach, trying to capture all of Heather's youthful beauty with simple, flowing linework. It's also an example of where I have dabbled in colour a bit, using soft Prismacolour pencils. I've tried using pastels in the past, too, but admittedly have been less successful in that medium.

I have much more artwork from life drawing sessions with Heather and other regular models at the Brampton studio, many in my caricatured approach. I will continue to post these up from time to time.


Amanda said...

You've drawn her so cute. And those quick action poses are lovely.

I look forward to seeing your caracatures this year.

Jinny Liang said...

Your life drawings are really beautiful! Especially the quick guestures, there's so much life in those~~ I really enjoy your caricatured approached drawings too ^^ I'll be looking forward to seeing more of these :3

and I can't believe school's coming up so soon! I'll see you around again soon Pete :)!!

Amir Avni said...

Man this is good,
I love the portrait compared with the caricature, I do those too! Not as great tho, spot-on likeness and lots of appeal.

Excluding the quick gestures, the rest are half hour poses, correct?

Ogi Grujic said...

Mr Pete Emslie....hats off
I love the classical, old school style that you ... applied would be a bad word... blessed the paper with, how did a young man like yourself ever come accross that era haha
jokes aside...

you are an inspiration

Pete Emslie said...

It's nice to see some of my Sheridan students dropping by, both past and (a week from now) present! I know Amir pretty well already, but I look forward to meeting you next week, Amanda.

Actually, I must admit, I often switch to my more caricatured approach in life drawing to keep myself loose, as it's sort of a visual shorthand for me. Fact is, I tend to tighten up on the longer studies when I draw traditionally. I've seen the stuff you students do in your life classes and frankly, you guys have me beat on the longer studies. Your knowledge of anatomy is far greater than my own limited understanding of what's going on under the skin! I love looking at the student work in the showcases - very inspiring. I reckon I can hold my own with you on the quick gestures, though. :)

Amir, you are quite correct on the time taken for the longer poses - these are all half hour studies, even the caricatured ones. At the Visual Arts Brampton studio, we generally do a series of ten 2 minute gestures, followed by three 10 minute quick studies, ending off with a couple half hour poses. I always find it hard to pace myself on the 10 minute ones.

See you rascals in school!

Randeep Katari said...

Pete, man, these are AWESOME...I LOVE the look to these, the gestures are great, but the last two have to be my absolute favourites - wait till Jenny Lerew checks these out...she'll flip - I can totally see the Freddie Moore influence, and phenomenal work Pete.
Thanks for your crits again.

Jeremy Townsend (JERT) said...

gorgeous work, I just got turned on to your blog from a link on Joe bluhms page. Finding such a great model to work from can be rare, good to see you taking advantage. love the work, you are one of my new favorites


Lainey Schallock said...

These are just lovely. Your lines are delicate yet bold and confident at the same time. The one where she's lying on her belly is very Fred Moore-like in the approach. I would really love to see more - both the gestures and longer studies. Very inspirational, I'm a huge fan of yours Pete.

Joe Bluhm said...

These are great. I'm so glad you offered a commentary with the sketches. It's great insight.

Jonathan said...

Great drawings,and a great model too.

Jenny Lerew said...

These are fantatsic!

willipino said...

i love the gesture drawings!



The range of your talent knocks me out. Just gorgeous drawings. I really enjoyed the various degrees of caricature added to your more "classic" drawings. All capture the model's feminine charm, in differing styles. Wonderful work!