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A couple weeks ago I enjoyed the chance to model for John Ball's painting night.  John Ball has opened his home for a life painting group, and it's always a pleasure to gather together and try to capture the model's likeness.  

Painting from life is very important for an artist.  Not only does the artist get practice, but he also gets a challenge, and a learning opportunity.  Whenever someone works from their memory or from photographs, they lose some information.  When an artist sits down to paint a model, he sees more information than he can record.  He is always learning something.

That's why it's very important to have good models.  And when we can't get one, we paint ourselves.  I had the extreme privilege to sit for my fellow artists and took the chance to capture some of the experience.

First of all, from the model's perspective, the night looks like this:

Usually we set up the model, try a couple poses and then dive in.  We work in 20 minute painting sessions with 5-10 minute breaks for the model.  It's great time to think and dream.

And you get to see amazing artwork created before your very eyes.  John Ball has graciously allowed me to post his small demonstration sketch for your amusement.  I took a photograph every break, so here is an evening's painting condensed into a matter of 10 seconds. 

To see more of John Ball's beautiful paintings, check out his website.  (His blog is amazing too!)

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