I grab my pencils, mostly old and blunt, scramble for a sharpener, my sketchbook then connect to Zoom run hands through unruly hair, so long now in lockdown, clean my glasses with my clothes.
The class begins. This week it’s Maxine from Greece, his lithe body first reaching and arching upwards back turned coyly to the camera we have ten minutes only to capture the length and proportion of limbs, that pert bottom, not that I notice it, the way every knee has a front, a face and it must be drawn right. Use the light and shadows to give heft and bulk, says our tutor in Germany, embolden key lines to make your drawing stand out.
The pose changes, now he drapes himself across a chair one leg stretching out to the lens and I grimace at the challenge of foreshortening making his leg look as if it is coming out of my page I try to see the shapes, the curve of his torso here a triangle of negative space there how his knee is on the same level as his nose.
All too soon, Maxime bids his farewells as we clap then we show our various efforts to each other. After each class, I am always tired drained with the effort of trying to achieve a human body on my grubby page.
Maybe we are not players on a stage But in an orchestra Each with a part to play Integral to the whole They tell us to aim high Lead role, boss, the one and only First violin But so many of us thrive without the spotlight The pedestal What is a orchestra without a third row? Empty.