I’ve been perusing a handful of Vienna 1900/Secessionist/Symbolist/Klimt documentaries and articles recently, including the execrable movie “Klimt”, which features an utter waste of John Malkovich in the titular role. ugh.
anyway, I found out a few hilarious things about Klimt recently, including that he lived at home with his mother and sister his entire life, and that he (somehow, no one says how he afforded it) had a custom of filling his studio with nude or half-nude models at all times, who were provided, I guess, with snacks and wine and lots of lounging space, and generally encouraged to, as one friend of Klimt’s put it, “take life easy”. Klimt would work on paintings until he got burnt out, then turn around and look across the studio for good poses the models may have taken, in their ease, that he could quickly sketch. After this refreshing diversion he would return to painting.
anyway, this sounded pretty good to me. it’s hell-summer in Oakland anyway, meaning lounging around in your underpants isn’t exactly a chore.
i didn’t ask the model to pose any particular way, just let him read and poke at his phone and do whatever else he felt like while i bumbled around setting up lights and baffles and, eventually, started drawing.
this is 18 x 24” toned paper, charcoal and white soft pastel and a tiny tiny bit of ink on his far eyelashes.
i think i asked him to correct pose only one time; for the rest of the sketch he was moving naturally; i just picked which forms and angles i liked and put them down as best i could at the time. total drawing time was about 40 minutes and i think this is one of the more successful life drawings i’ve done.