Second Thoughts

Painting from models is great, except that you need to work really fast to complete a sketch in 20 minutes. Working quickly is fun, actually exhilarating, kind of like the feeling of running or skiing downhill a little too fast. And to further add to this excitement, for the last six months or so, I have been forcing myself to make a snap decision about a narrative for each pose, and then to see how I can convey the emotion of whatever particular story I chose. I have been doing this because so many of my 20-minute sketches seem emotionally flat.

For this pose, I decided to build a story around the way the model was holding her hat and looking off to the side in an alert way. I decided that this woman had been trying to catch up with a group of faster walkers, but, after falling further and further behind, was having second thoughts. Of course, it would have been better if she were clutching her side rather than her shoulder, but I did not think of that in time.

About Sarah Sullivan
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