I will say this again, because I believe it to be true, and vital to your success as an artist: draw and paint from the live model as much as possible. Yes, you can learn a lot from copying master works and photos as well. But from the live model, you can chose so much more - what to leave in, what to leave out, what to emphasize, what to soften. As you perfect those skills from the live model, you can take that knowledge to a photograph - because an Artist should not just strive to copy from a photo, but should always be trying to lead the viewer to a new point of understanding.
Male nude, oil painting on oil primed linen, about 90 minutes
Crouching male nude, oil on oil primed canvas, about 90 minutes. I was trying to avoid creating any hard edges. This pose was particularly difficult for the model, the balance that was needed, and so I could not lock any element into place - he was always making minor shifts (and I say that with great respect for this model - who can hold almost any pose! See the next drawing...) But as you draw and paint from the live model, you learn to be flexible, because it WILL change over time - the model breathes, takes breaks, shifts weight - even the lighting may change. You have to always be open to change.
So...this is our interpretation of the "Flashdance" pose...all we needed to do was splash a bucket of water onto our model as he struggled to breathe for 25 minutes....
I'll post this one just as a teaser - I do have some progress shots and I fixed the dark spot by her chin. But this was how far I got in about 115 minutes. Oil painting on oil primed linen
I think this was about 90 minutes. I loved her earrings, and tried to leave the earring on our right behind - drawing the negative space around it - instead of outlining the shape. Charcoal.
Charcoal sketch, about 25 minutes.