Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life Models and the Art They Inspire

by Donato
Live figure drawing has been one of the greatest sideline pleasures I have experienced as part of a freelance career. What other job has you stepping into a studio in SoHo New York with dozens of other artists to pass away three hours of time in studious contemplation of the human form...and call it work!! (and write it off on your taxes !) These breaks from my regular studio time have been ways to recharge my creative batteries and revisit the human gesture which , when confronted by the amazing things live models can do, reminds us how little we know about the beauty in posture, lighting and the subtle power of gesture.
As a realist painter, I rely heavily upon my models to open the door in conveying emotion and gesture that I can never have dreamed of. Every time I sit down in that cellar studio, many times with artist friends, and watch the model twist, arc, and collapse, I am tongue-tied with the visual language I am still learning to speak. It is a humbling and motivating event every time, year after year...
I wanted to take the time to recognize a few of the models I have met through life drawing sessions at The Spring Street Studio and the art they have helped inspire. These are just a few of the projects which have flourished from the seeds planted at Spring Street.
So find yourself models or friends which will take your art to a new level, for it certainly has worked for me...
Model Richard Holly (above right and below)
The Hobbit: Expulsion
with Richard Holly as a few of the dwarves.
Model Francois Moret.
After meeting Francois at Spring Street studio and calling him in for a commission, I discovered he was a huge art and science fiction and fantasy fan. We quickly became friends and I proceeded to hire him for over 15 projects through the course of the years, from Magic cards to book covers. He was an amazing talent and an integral part of why these paintings were so successful and powerful.
I lamented the day he moved from New York!
Thank you Francois!
(and congratulations, as he is a father now)
Model George Liker
George had a stare that bored straight through you. It was kind of scary sitting in the room with him, imagination running as I attempted to decode what was going on inside his mind. Regardless of his internal workings, George was a stunning model...


  1. Awesome life drawing skills! I love drawing from life there's always something to learn.

  2. Beautiful drawings! Even though my art style is far from realistic, I can't get enough life drawing. It's like food.

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I've linked to you from my Curious Art blog, as part of a Stylish Blogger award: "Muddy Colors - A fairly new group blog featuring lengthy posts by masterful artists, about the art & technique of painting & illustration, mostly fantasy-related, but with many ideas applicable to other styles."

    Thanks for all the inspiration.

  3. Very nice of you to honor your models.
    People tend to forget that modeling is very challenging. It requires determination from the model and the ability to keep pushing the limits, both mentally and physically, as well as creativity.

  4. I take life drawing classes sometimes at the Schoo of Visual Arts. I've never actually tried the Spring Street Studio though. If it's as good a place as you make it out to be, Donato, I might have to give the drawing sessions there a shot.

  5. like Johan Derycke said, very nice to credit the models.
    And looking at these life drawings I really want to do some life drawing myself. Shame I can't seem to find any classes for it in my neighbourhood.


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Whatsapp Button works on Mobile Device only

Start typing and press Enter to search