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When I set up a still life, I always remind the students that they can pick and choose.  You can decide to draw the whole pile of stuff or you can zoom in on a passage and work that out.  You can also aim for representation with all its complexities of shadows and high lights or you can take inspiration from the shapes in general and do whatever.

One student opted for the whole pile of stuff, but without the doll.  Only one student faced the challenge of the doll.  The other two (small class this term) settled for drapery, the supposedly bugaboo of still lifes.   Interesting, about the drapery.  If I had presented just drapery, the view might have been perceived as boring.  But drapery as one element in a very diverse pile of shapes, emerged as the choice cut.  Students always balk against drawing drapery—it’s complicated—but after so many months of balking, they have learned how to approach it and, lo and behold, drapery now is a welcome subject.  Probably because after so much practice, they can handle it.  Progress.  Let’s hear it for practice!!

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A doll’s curly hair can inspire propeller shapes and sometimes a doll lying down can, when turned vertical, suggest a funny face.  We do have fun in this class. Hard work and a lot of fun!

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