As Others Saw Me!

For the last three days I’ve been the model for David Kassan at the Scottsdale Artist School.  David is a very well known artist and he and his fiancé are opening an artists school in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  His work falls into the category of realism and if you check his website you’ll see why.  The way he structured his workshop is that he demonstrated each morning using me as his model.  This workshop was a three day drawing session and the shading and detail of the work is amazing!  Then, in the afternoon I had a slightly different pose that the workshop participants used for their work.  Here is the progression of his work:

It is customary at these workshops that the demonstration work is auctioned off to the participants.  This began as a light hearted “bidding war” to put food on the table for David’s son at $5.00.  As we went from day one to day three, things got a bit more spirited.  The auction ends at the last drawing session of the final day (Monday) and quietly and determinedly reached $2900.00!  What an honor to not only have David create this drawing of me but also that someone has now purchased it and I’ll be hanging on their wall!  I’m scheduled to pose for his painting class that begins tomorrow (3/23) and finishes up five days later on Easter Sunday.

As mentioned before, sitting for these workshops is quite an experience.  I make e very attempt to stay focused on and return to the exact same position after each break.  Listening to how he plans the work to create the drawings is really pretty fascinating and much of it relates to the sculptural aspect of drawing.  As he teaches line work, some of what he says is applicable to carving work.  One advantage for his though is that mistakes can be erased and lines put back in — with wood, once it’s gone that’s it!

The skill level of the participants in this workshop is evident by the work they produced.  I apologize for a few pictures here that came out a bit blurry — my excuse; 6 hours of sitting and holding a pose!  There were two other artists that drew me as well but they had to leave the workshop early to catch flights back to where ever they came from. Keep in mind that they are positioned around me in a semi-circle so each has a slightly different profile to draw.

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It’s always a fun experience posing for these workshops.   The artists so talented and interesting to talk with during the breaks.  They come from all over the country and one of the participants came all the way from Dubai to attend this workshop.  Needless to say, he got the furthest traveled award!  Looking forward to the painting workshop starting tomorrow, the way David approaches his work is that he gets to really know and understand the planes and features of the models face.  As you can see from his completed work, he’s captured it!

About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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2 Responses to As Others Saw Me!

  1. Francis Beegle says:

    Hi John, it’s Francis (short brunette)…I was in David’s drawing class…and “sadly” mine was the least professional of yourself…still need to finish it. Can’t believe how talented the others were…but just makes me want to work harder. You mentioned that you would also be doing the modeling painting class in a couple of days…am waiting to see how it went and artists representations of you. But can’t find anything. Hope it still went on and was great….

    Francis Beegle


    • Hi Francis, I didn’t get the finished paintings. Unfortunately since it was Easter others left throughout the day during breaks so after missing a few gave up! Even David didn’t post much. I’ll try to do a follow up blog but currently out of town.


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