All art copyright (c) Mike Kloepfer
"The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it."
-Steve Vai

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Life Drawing at Helikon Gallery

After returning home from a friend's wedding, I was fortunate to log onto FaceBook, where I saw the Event posting for Life Drawing at Helikon Gallery and Studios.I grabbed my kit, jumped in the car, and made it in time for the majority of the session! :)
Helikon Gallery and Studrios

The interior of the gallery space
I had been to Helikon once before to see Dave Rapoza's demonstration a few weeks back. It is a super-nice gallery and studio space in Denver (and very convenient for me to get to!)
But I was unprepared for just how nice of a setup they have for Life Drawing.
The space is very nice and open, the lighting is superb (probably the BEST lighting I have experienced for life drawing.) There was also a very nice backdrop and floor covering for the stage (which is not shown in the photograph below.)
And the room is outfitted with Klopfenstein Pro Studio Easels. OMG... I am in LOVE with these easels!

The AWESOME Klopfenstein Easels
with the trays.
I am in love!!!
The Klopfenstein Pro Easel
Showing the top clamp,
which holds the board tight,
or allows you to tilt the surface
They are uber-sturdy (mine did not budge at all through an entire 3-hour drawing session.) They have a whole bunch of very easy - and sturdy - adjustments to put your surface right where you want it, at the angle you want it. They also have an assortment of handy clamps and devices to keep your drawing/painting held in place. And the gallery had them fitted with the tray for pencils/brushes/etc.
Did I mention they are sturdy? And handy?
Now I know what to ask Santa to bring me for Christmas. But I might not wait for him. lol
The group was small, but very nice. The environment, light music, great lighting, and beautiful stage made for a great setup.
On top of all that, the model was awesome. She had a terrific dignity and demeanor, the expressivenes of how she held her head up, and her great poses... I was a very happy camper.

Since  I have started my studies with the Watts Atelier, I have been curious to try out the methods on the figure. And I was very pleased. The method is in many ways more like painting with the charcoal than drawing with a pencil. It allowed me to comp in envelope shapes, block in light and shadow, all very quickly - which allowed me to get to the stage of building the interesting areas sooner and with more confidence. I was able to say more, with less - and decide where I wanted to add detail and interest. My experience of drawing was much more confident, pleasant, and satisfying than I have experienced in life drawing for quite some time.
I can hardly wait for the next Life Drawing session!
Here are some samples from the mid-to long-poses.
10 minute poses
Wolff's Carbon Pencil on Newsprint, 18x24"

20 minute poses
Wolff's Carbon Pencil on Newsprint, 18x24"

30 minute pose
Wolff's Carbon Pencil on Newsprint, 18x24"

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