Interview with Chas Mason

“Art is definitely a hobby for me and it gives me a huge amount of satisfaction.”

Chas Mason is a talented artist based in Cheshire, United Kingdom. He uses his Instagram accounts to showcase his brilliant work. During the pandemic, Chas created a profile to show drawings of portraits he creates through Zoom live sessions or photo references. His life drawing account has over 3,000 followers who stay tuned with his life drawing studies. 

Chas likes to use toned paper for his pencil drawings and enjoys highlighting features with a white pencil. He is very careful with proportions and takes his time to achieve the results he wants. Chas’ hobby allowed him to gain many fans and receive encouraging comments from users and artists from all over the world.

In this Q&A, artist Chas Mason shares with PoseSpace what he listens to while he draws, what is his biggest challenge while working with the nude figure, what he thinks of PoseSpace and more:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

 I became interested in art as a result of my parents taking me to galleries in London when I was a child. In particular, we saw an exhibition of paintings by Magritte that deeply impressed me. 

Is art a hobby for you or do you make a living from it?

Art is definitely a hobby for me and it gives me a huge amount of satisfaction. 

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your perfect environment to draw?

When I’m drawing at home I often listen to music on headphones. At the moment I’m revisiting my favourite albums from the 70s and 80s. I also like to listen to programmes on BBC Radio 4 (talk radio) and also to audio books in French to help me learn the language. 

When I’m drawing from life in groups I much prefer silence. 

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you have a favorite model? 

PoseSpace is a superb resource and I have gained so much understanding of the human form by using it. The idea of having photos of the same pose in rotation is superb because it gives an appreciation of how the body is placed in three dimensions during a pose. 

This appreciation of three dimensionality is really important to me when drawing from life. However, when drawing in a group it isn’t usually possible to walk around the model to get a view of the whole pose because that would be distracting to others. 

It’s hard for me to choose a favourite model, however I prefer poses that are photographed with softer lighting because the resulting tonal range suits my style of drawing. 

What challenges do you face working with the nude figure?

Getting the proportions correct is possibly the biggest challenge I face. I overcome this by repeated checking of the drawing until I’m satisfied with the proportions. Like a lot of people I find drawing hands difficult and time consuming, but it gets easier with practise. 

How has your style changed over the years?

My style of drawing changed most when I changed from using white to toned paper. With toned paper I find using white pencil to develop the highlights really satisfying. 

Chas’ Instagram accounts:

https://www.instagram.com/chas.practises.portraits/

https://www.instagram.com/chas.life.drawings/

Interview with Steven Friedman

“My goal has always been to create artwork that has every bit the look and feel of ones done by traditional mediums”

Steven Friedman is a talented artist who started his professional career as a traditional photographer. He begins experimenting with digital imagery in 1990 and has been studying different software and developing beautiful techniques which he later called Digital Natural Media.

Friedman recently started to paint with oils and watercolors which has allowed him to deepen and polish his digital work. He enjoys teaching and shares videos on his Youtube channel and tutorials on his website. From realistic watercolor effects to details of the use of programs and photography, any artist interested in this craft can find valuable content on his platforms.

In this Q&A, artist Steven Friedman shares with PoseSpace how developed his artistic techniques, which software he uses to create his work, what he recommends to artists interested in digital art and more:

You started your artistic career as a traditional photographer. What made you want to experiment with digital fine art?

I have always been a wanna-be artist. Photography gave me a chance to be creative, but I longed for the subtle nuances of painting. While I had made several attempts at painting,  I was just too ADHD to master it. When computers came along I started playing around with some early graphics software and the light went on in my head.

What are your favorite software and why?

I’ve often compared Digital Artistry to composing music. In that respect I like to use an entire orchestra. So to your question what are my favorite software programs, it is like asking a composer what are their favorite instruments. I find each program lends their own special capabilities. For the most part, I tend to start with the actual photograph rather than try to recreate the scenes on a blank “canvas”.  But here are a few programs that I particularly like:

  • Fotosketcher
  • Redfield Plugins for Windows
  • Topaz Studio
  • Rebelle 4 Digital Paint program

Do you have a favorite digital artist, whether famous or completely unknown?

It’s a pretty small community. Many of those that I really like are only known by their FB or social media names. The ones who I most admire are the ones that really try to push the envelope with their creations but still stay within the boundaries of traditional art. My goal has always been to create artwork that has every bit the look and feel of ones done by traditional mediums.

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you have a favorite model? 

Posespace has been a fantastic find for me! For years I have longed to do artwork from Nude models. Being somewhat “North” of 50 (well 60 for that matter) I can’t exactly call up my old girl friends (not to mention their granddaughters) and ask them to pose for me. Life drawing classes are expensive and not easily accessible – not to mention photography is verboten. Hiring a model and trying to pose and light them is well beyond my financial abilities. Pose space has solved this problem offering a huge selection of beautiful nudes, well posed and lit, and taken at high resolutions. The cost per pose is less than 1/30th of what I might pay to hire a private model. It is also a lot less risky. Best of all the stuff on Posespace is not cheesecake or porno stuff.

What life experiences have influenced your work?

Being in the company of other traditional artists like portrait painters and the like. Not so much photographers. Artists have to develop a way of seeing that transcends the original scene. That has been the challenge for me.

What’s been your greatest artistic success?

It may surprise you but the greatest success of this has been to gain an appreciation for art – especially painting. Before I started doing this art was just something to “look at and appreciate”. Now I look at paintings with a microscopic lens to try to see how did they do that? What colors? What techniques? How can I re-create that digitally?

Do you have any shows or activities on the horizon that you’d like to tell our readers about?

I’m happily retired now and no longer have the energy or stamina nor funds to do the summer art shows. I lead a Digital Art group and teach class here in the community I live in. I love to teach, and I will often do video tutorials on “How Did I do that” that are posted on YouTube. I have WEB site that I confess I’ve neglected for some time, and am a regular poster to The Photo2Paint facebook page and Fotosketcher FB page.

What advice do you have for artists who are interested in Digital Natural Media?

Digital Artists today really have a wealth of tools, tutorials and associations to help them compared to 20 years ago when I started doing this. I’d say look on YouTube and Facebook.

Anything else you would like to mention?

I’d like to give a special appreciation to software developers who provide an incredible array of  programs at very little cost or even free. It is because of them that I am able to stay inspired and creative.

Steve Friedman’s Website: http://digitalartmasterworks.weebly.com/

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/sfriedman451/videos 

Interview with Fred Whitson

“The human figure is at the core of expression, and the energy and variations that the human form is capable of have always intrigued me”

Fred Whitson is a talented self-taught artist located in Mornington Peninsula, in Australia. Ever since he was a little boy he enjoyed painting and drawing, but later pursuit a professional career in Music. In 2013 Whitson decided to draw and paint again, and has been creating beautiful paintings ever since.

Whitson has been inspired by contemporary artists like David Jon Kassan, Christopher Pugliese, and Steve Hanks. He focuses on the human form, applying different styles and techniques, but when it comes to painting he prefers oils. Fred has over 30 years of teaching experience and decided to teach beginner and intermediate artists to encourage them to pursue their artistic goals.

In this Q&A, artist Fred Whitson shares with PoseSpace how he decided to become a painter, how he uses PoseSpace during his trips, how he constantly encourages his students and more:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art? 

I haven’t had any formal training as such, just lots of practice and asking questions of experienced, extremely capable artists. In my upbringing, my parents always exposed to the Arts, in music, theatre and visual arts, so I was attracted to drawing at an early age. I had a long hiatus from art for about 20-25 years with life as a parent myself and some changes of career. I was lucky enough to go to a workshop in 2013 and that transformed things for me, and I’ve been in the creative world since, and loving it!

What are your favorite mediums and why?

I love oils – so much fun! I’ve also made peace with watercolors, and had a lot of fun exploring those. When I draw, I usually use Generals charcoal pencils and PanPastels.

How do you start a work — do you have any rituals? 

Squinting helps identify major players of shape and tone. For more advanced and complex works, I’ll work out the work surface dimensions and run the composition through a composition armature, to check placement of key focal points and rhythmic aspects.

You work while you travel. Do you use PoseSpace’s photos? Can you tell us about this experience?

When I travel, I always take a sketch book with me, as I love to draw some of the scenic architecture, and visit museums and galleries to sketch from paintings, drawings and sculpture. Europe is perfect for this. I’ve taken my trusty tablet which is full of my PoseSpace collection, and long train trips are ideal opportunities to get the tablet out, call up a PoseSpace image, and spend time sketching studies of hands, expressions etc from the hi-res images. I did some great studies of hands from a PoseSpace model image library on my way to Nice from Avignon! PoseSpace provides incredibly valuable references for artists at any stage of their artistic journey.

Why figurative art? 

The human figure is at the core of expression, and the energy and variations that the human form is capable of have always intrigued me. Raw emotions shown this way are simply beautiful and awe inspiring. The same pose from different angles or different lighting can convey a whole new meaning. How much fun is that?!

What advice do you constantly give to your art students? 

I always encourage them to aim for precision and control – you’re never going to improve your skills unless you demand more from them. Classical discipline has stood the test of time for that reason, why it’s produced so many Masters. Being a musician, I know what’s needed to improve with a piece of music, and it’s the same with art. Having said that, there needs to be within you a desire to become better, and that challenge makes the entire process fun, despite little temporary frustrations and setbacks. Take your time, focus on basics, and enjoy the process! Reward yourself for your successes, and realize that not every piece you produce will be a masterpiece, but should be able to learn something from it.

Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about.

Ooo, good question! I think I can answer that best when I look through my old sketch books, when my sense of proportion, angles, shapes etc wasn’t as keenly developed (and it still has some way to go). I thought my skills and knowledge back then were good, but with years more of practice, combined with hindsight, I can look back and recognize that I was wrong. That realization helps keep me grounded now, knowing that I will always have room to improve! Anyone who thinks they are already at the top of their game and has no room for improvement, might as well pack their brushes away.

Do you have any shows or activities on the horizon that you’d like to tell our readers about?

COVID has thrown a lot of plans in the air, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for opportunities as they pop up. In the meantime, I have an artist tool that I’ve developed that I’m marketing, and helping locked-down artists keep their sanity that way. I post regularly on social media too.

Fred Whiston’s website: https://www.fredwhitsonfineart.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fredwhitson/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FredWhitsonFineArt/

Interview with Jamie Lindholm

“I paint mostly figurative subjects because, for me, the work is all about humanity”

American artist Jamie Lindholm was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1961. Ever since she was a little girl she enjoyed painting, but it wasn’t until after she started working that she decided to take her art more seriously. Now, Jamie works as a full-time artist and creates beautiful oil paintings. 

Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and internationally in Sweden, Italy, Great Britain, and Canada. She is currently showing her most recent work, “Evolution to Interconnectedness”, in a virtual gallery that delicately displays her paintings and provides all visitors a fantastic 3D experience. 

In this Q&A, artist Jamie Lindholm shares with PoseSpace how she got into art, what are her favorite mediums, about her work process, and more:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

Like many artists I know, I’ve been coloring and drawing since I was a child. Growing up, I was one of those kids that also loved Math, Science and English, so when it was time to go to University, I did not originally study art. The moment I graduated, however, that changed. I have been painting and selling regularly since the late 1980’s while working full time. In 2004, I left the corporate world and focused solely on my art. I’ve never looked back and some of my corporate contacts have been my best customers and friends.

Really. Oil 12’ x 12’ study. By Jamie Lindholm

Which artist or painter has influenced you?

My Earliest Influences…The Dutch Masters for sure, but also Anders Zorn, Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth! It was Nelson Shanks’ Danilova’s Slipper that blew me away though, and I thought I’d love to be able to paint like that. That was more than thirty years ago.

What are your favorite mediums and why?

I really only work in Oil for paintings or Charcoal for drawings. I’ve tried everything, but find I enjoy these the best.

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you have a favorite model? 

I love PoseSpace for many reasons — the variety of models and poses is great. The high resolution images make it possible for me to pull them up on my big screen and view them as if they were posing live for me in my studio. I have mostly worked from life for my work, but during this time of Covid, I am more than grateful to have this option. I have live-model-Zoomed for sure, but I’m not sure any model wants to pose for as long as I typically paint. Also, I often work well into the night and the PoseSpace models never complain about my hours. 😉

There are so many models that love, but Zaza and her poses have fit so well for the work I wanted to complete. She’s beautiful as well and has a very regal air that is projected.

The Interconnectedness of Hope and Fire, 48″ x 24″, Oil on ACM Panel. By Jamie Lindholm

Why figurative art?

I paint mostly figurative subjects because, for me, the work is all about humanity. Most recently I’ve found a more global voice that is focused on our interconnectedness, and how recognizing this could change our actions. We just need to change our perspective to that of a space-eyed viewer.

My painting of Zaza (zaza016) — The Interconnectedness of Geography and Viewpoint — is the first in this endeavor. I’d like to share this upcoming new work, and its hopeful concept, with the world as it’s not unique to one culture, geography, gender or ethnicity.

The Interconnectness of Geography and Viewpoint, 18″ x 18″, Oil on Panel. By Jamie Lindholm

Jamie Lindholm’s website:

https://www.jamielindholm.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jamielindholmart/

Instagram: 

https://www.instagram.com/jamielindholmart/

Twitter

Interview with Ricardo Pontes

“I realized PoseSpace had so many poses that I could literally never see myself wanting to do classes again”

Ricardo Pontes is a talented artist based in Washington DC, in the United States. He has always been interested in art, but it wasn’t until failing at painting that he discovered his true passion: sculpting. His beautiful sculptures highlight the beauty of the human body and its fascinating anatomy. 

You can appreciate this sculptor’s passion by visiting his Youtube channel Sculpt Some. Pontes features a fun video where he sculpts Batman in pasticine and has uploaded other interesting educational content where he teaches how to sculpt a hand or hollow out a terracotta sculpture for firing in kiln.

In this Q&A, sculptor Ricardo Pontes shares with PoseSpace how he got into sculpting, details about the process of making his work, what he thinks of our website, and more:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into sculpting?

I picked up sculpting after I failed badly at painting. Sculpting came more naturally to me. I took classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and started sculpting then, it’s been a while now and im improving bit by bit.

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

Recently I have been using PoseSpace.com. I was using it before the pandemic hit, but afterward I realized PoseSpace had so many poses that I could literally never see myself wanting to do classes again. I tend to be slower than most, so I prefer the ability PoseSpace gives me to go at my own pace.

Where do you get your imagery from?

Before PoseSpace, I had to hunt images on Google,  and often the research involved days to get enough reference. 

What challenges do you face working with the nude figure?

One of the challenges is learning about anatomy, it’s a bit more difficult online. 

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you have a favorite model? 

PoseSpace has been great to find great photos with high detail and to take my time working. When you work a 9 to 5 it’s not always easy or affordable to hire models. I did use another artist reference website and prefer pose space because it lets me buy a pose instead of a monthly fee. I like that you are always adding new poses, but i feel i could never run out with the ones you have now. 

I think one of my favorites is Anastasia, she might be many artists’ favorite as well. She has an old time feel to her, great figure for sculpting.

What advice would you give to young artists interested in sculpture?

The best advice i could give is to do it often and daily if you can. Practice as much as you can, and always do drawings. Drawings help sculptors more than they think. 

Ricardo Pontes’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sculptsum/

Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAmWIvjtvtuoNKcm7R66Axw

Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/RicardoPontesArt/

Interview with Tim Hodge

“At Disney we had in-studio drawing sessions at lunch to keep up our skills. You have to be able to capture action and emotion quickly”

Tim Hodge is a talented artist, animator, voice actor, director, and writer located in Tennessee, in the United States. Ever since he was a little boy, he knew he would pursue an artistic career. Since 1985, Hodges has been specializing in animation and has worked for popular studios like Walt Disney Feature Animation, Big Idea Productions, Dreamworks Television, and Warner Brothers Television. His ideas have been part of popular feature films like The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, and The VeggieTales.

Tim has to continually adapt to the styles of the studios, but he also focuses on developing his own vision. He also teaches artists and shares his knowledge through online courses like Drawing Cartoon Animals and Drawing Cartoon People. On his website, you will also find wonderful books he has published such as 31 Uses for a Zombie and Pith & Vinegar.

“Untitled” by Tim Hodge. The artist used pose zaza016 as a reference

In this Q&A, artist Tim Hodge shares with PoseSpace details about his experience in feature films at the most prestigious Studios in the US, great advice for artists who have an interest in animation and cartoons, and more:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

Like most of us, I’ve been drawing since I was very young. I just kept it up. But as far as drawing as a career, it was when I was around 12 and discovered my dad’s movie camera (an 8mm film camera, this was pre-home video). He showed me how it could take one frame at a time to make animated films. When I realized I could one day get a job drawing, my future was set.

Which artist has influenced you? 

This could be a long, long list. I’ll try and keep it short: Bill Peet, Jack Davis, Norman Rockwell, Beatrix Potter, Wallace Tripp, Honoré Daumier, and Winslow Homer just to start. But it seems every day, I am finding new up and coming artists that blow me away.

You have worked for Disney Feature Animation, Big Idea Productions, Dreamworks Television, Warner Brothers Television, and more! What has been your most memorable studio experience? 

Again, so many to mention. I think one that stands out is watching The Lion King (my first feature film) at the wrap party with my family and all my co-workers. We finally go to show what all the long hours were for. And of course, we all sat glued through the credits, cheering each other. There was an incredible amount of camaraderie. We all stay in touch to this day. Many of my former animator friends now have painting careers.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gift for a friend. #HakunaMatata

A post shared by Tim Hodge (@baldmelon) on

What is the importance of gesture drawing for you? 

It’s the basis of everything. Of course all the Masters have relied on it, but it’s also at the essence of animation. At Disney we had in-studio drawing sessions at lunch to keep up our skills. You have to be able to capture action and emotion quickly. Eugene Delacroix said (I paraphrase) “If you are drawing someone falling from a building, you should finish the sketch before he hits the ground.” It’s a gruesome take to be sure, but he vividly nails down the importance of sketching quickly.

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you have a favorite model?

I love PoseSpace. As a freelance artist, my schedule is rather erratic, and I often don’t sit down to paint for myself until 9 or 10 at night. Or I may grab an hour or two on the weekend. Hiring a model or running out to a group session is very difficult. But PoseSpace is always there. And if I have to put a painting away for a week, my PoseSpace model is always ready when I get back. Lately, I’ve been going through Luana’s poses and doing some oil and watercolor sketching. Her poses have great rhythm.

“Luana” by Tim Hodge using PoseSpace model Luana as a reference

Have you been working on a special project during quarantine? 

Actually, animation is a business that hasn’t had the impact that other businesses have. Everyone in animation I know has been working from home, and production schedules haven’t really been impacted. But I always try and paint and draw for myself no matter what I’m working on. As an artist, I need a personal creative outlet, too, something that won’t get critiqued by an Art Director. We all have to create our own vision, especially after drawing someone else’s all day.

Illustration by Tim Hodge

Do you have a favorite source of materials? 

While it’s easy to order stuff from the big online retailers, or even pop into one of the many craft stores around, I like to seek out an Art Supply store, even if it’s several miles farther away. (Plaza Artist Materials, and Jerry’s Artarama in Nashville, if I can drop names). I find that the workers are more knowledgeable of the products because they use them all too. (I also worked at an art supply store in Tulsa when I was in my early 20s).

What advice do you have for artists who have an interest in cartoons? 

When I was around 14, I got to meet Marvel Comic artist, Johnny Romita, Sr. I showed him my sketchbook full of cartoon animals, he flipped through it and he stopped on a drawing of an elephant. And I’m going to tell you what he told me. “Don’t only practice cartoons. Draw from life. Build a basis in solid drawing. Then cartooning is easier, and your drawings look better.” Years later when I was applying to Disney, they said the same thing. And I’ve always found it to be true.

Tim Hodge’s website: https://timhodgeart.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/baldmelon/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BaldMelonTim

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimHodgeArt/

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0388113/

Interview with Sarah Forde – SenshiStock

“Seeing the art is my favorite part of doing pose references!” 

Sarah Forde is a talented American artist, photographer, and model. She has been interested in art since she was a young girl and later she got a fine art degree. After college, she started created her own photo references for her paintings and that’s how SenshiStock was born: her friends wanted her photos and more artists started to get interested in her photography work. 

Sarah Forde and Sinned-Angel-Stock; photography by Sinned-Angel-Stock 

Senshi Stock has 50K followers on Twitter, over 140K watchers on Deviant Art, and 18K followers on Instagram. Sarah started using Patreon a few years ago and turned her hobby into a paying job.    

In this Q&A, American art model and artist Sarah Forde shares with PoseSpace details about the creation of SenshiStock, funny anecdotes, and how her perception of the human body has changed in the past few years:

Can you tell us about your background and why you decided to become an art model?

I have been drawing since I was a kid and I have a fine art degree. My life drawing classes in college were a huge level up for my art. After college, I spent a lot of my free time doing character illustrations for myself and my friends. I really enjoyed life drawing classes in college but I didn’t have access to spaces like that after school, so I turned to online resources for figure references. At the time, a lot of the stock and resources content on DeviantArt was geared towards photomanipulators. They had elaborate costumes and scenery. I really needed images that showed the form better, but the nude references were all classical in style and I wanted stuff with more action and movement. I decided to start taking photos of myself so I would have a wider selection. I chose to wear a bodysuit because I was mostly drawing Sailor Moon fanart and it was a good base. My art friends really loved the poses and they started using them, too. Eventually it spread beyond my immediate circle and I’ve just been kind of doing it ever since!

How was SenshiStock born? Can you also tell us about the name?

As I mentioned above, I was doing a lot of Sailor Moon fanart at the time. Sailor Moon characters are called ‘sailor senshi’ in Japanese. The word ‘senshi’ means soldier, or in the recent translation they used the translation guardian. So since I was doing Sailor Moon poses, SenshiStock was the name I came up with. 

I have considered changing it many times in the past 13 years but I haven’t come up with anything I really like. At one point I was going to change it to SarahStock but this is literally the name of a Canadian professional wrestler so I didn’t want it to be confusing. While I have come to accept its dorky past, I’m still open to changing it in the future if I can come up with something I love that makes sense for what it is.

Model is Princess Rowena; Photography by Blue Amrich

Have you seen artwork inspired by you? How does it make you feel?

Seeing the art is my favorite part of doing pose references! At this point I know I’m not seeing it all, but checking my messages every day and seeing new creations is really motivational as a model and an artist. I am super happy to see artists of all different skill levels using my poses, but sometimes when I see a REALLY talented artist has used my poses I get particularly giddy. 

When comic cons and anime conventions were a thing, I used to love walking around the artist alley looking for art that used my poses. 

What are your goals and expectations as an art model?

I never really had big aspirations for this project. For many years it was a hobby and helpful for my own artwork. A few years ago I was fortunate to become a mom and my schedule and responsibilities shifted tremendously. Around that time, Patreon started and I was able to shift some of my modeling from hobby to jobby. Being able to make some money with pose modeling has let me prioritize the work in my new schedule and it’s also helped me improve the quality of my references with upgrades to equipment and diversity in my models. 

As far as the future goes, nothing particularly planned.  Right now I’m just eager for the pandemic to get under control so I can get back to working with other models and photographers to make more amazing resources! We had a few collaborative shoots scheduled for 2020 that are now pending based on the way everything plays out. Fortunately, I have built up a very large archive of unposted images in the last 13 years. I’m focused mostly on my artwork now and maintaining a steady stream of new pose references through my DeviantArt and Patreon. It’s a good time for me to start messing around with new ideas in the studio, too. I just bought some colored lights to try out!

Models are Sailor Starlight and Prince Nova; photography by Sarah Forde

Do you see yourself as an art model for the rest of your life?

I really hope to keep modeling. I am very eager to have a middle aged lady model and with just a few more years, I’ll have one! 😂

Do you tell people or family that you are an art model?

I’m a chatty sharer about all my work. I think everyone who knows me knows about my modeling. They also know about my hair bow art and my love for Sailor Moon. It all just spills out of me! 

It looks like you have a lot of fun during your shooting sessions, can you tell us a funny anecdote?

Collaborative shoots are the literal best. No matter who I am working with it’s always a good time. Sometimes there’s an awkward “We’re hanging out together in our underwear” phase, but we get over that pretty quickly and it turns into a creative few hours of ideas, laughs, and inspiration. I have a really bad memory so I don’t do well recalling specific, detailed events but the feelings and impressions of those shoots fill my heart with laughter and joy. 

Models from L to R are: Jademacalla, PirateLotus-Stock, Sarah Forde, and Null-Entity; Photography by Blue Amrich

Has your perception of the human body or your own body changed after modeling for artists?

Woof, this is a big one. I don’t talk about it much, but I’ve had various issues with body image over my 36 years. I’ve never been diagnosed with any kind of eating disorder, but I have gone through some phases in my life where I’ve had unhealthy relationships with myself and food. I’ve learned a lot about body image, fat phobia, and the harsh impact of diet culture on people in the last 5 or so years through really amazing people like KivanBay and yrfatfriend on Twitter. This is the biggest area of self-development for me right now where I know I’m not ‘there’ on understanding how these things all impact and play into my life and our culture as a whole, but I’m trying to learn more.

I think that respect for ALL bodies in ALL areas of life is one place where people – especially those who consider themselves progressive – need to do a lot of self education. Everyone in every body deserves the chance at their best possible life and care and that just isn’t how it is right now.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?  

I learned a new stretch last week that I like a lot considering how much looking down I do when I’m sewing. You grab your own wrist behind your back and pull your arm down while also leaning your head to the opposite direction of the arm you are pulling down. This video kind of shows it: https://youtu.be/BAKshtIcULM.  Feels SO good on my neck and shoulders. I love it.  

Senshi Stock’s Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/senshistock

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenshiStock

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/senshistock/

DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/senshistock

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Jean-Claude Despoulain

“Figurative art suits me perfectly and allows me to convey the emotions of the moment more easily”

Jean Claude Despoulain is a talented sculptor located in Langres, France. As a self-taught artist, he started painting and drawing but later, when he was 38 years old, he discovered a new passion: sculpting. 

Despoulain has been sculpting beautiful pieces of art for the past years. His main subjects are animals and the female figure, and he also has a special interest in gymnastics. His delicate, curvy sculptures have been getting attention from a great variety of art collectors and galleries.

In this Q&A, French sculptor Jean-Claude Despoulain shares with PoseSpace details about his artistic career, the process of making his work, and valuable advice to artists interested in sculpting:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

I started out with drawing and painting. From the age of 12, I made my first landscapes in oil on canvas stretched by homemade frames. Very early on, I was drawn to museums and art exhibitions and I think—as in all artistic disciplines (music, writing, cinema, etc.)— that the artist in the making must have certain predispositions.

What life experiences have influenced your work?

I’m  a self-taught artist, 3-dimensional representation came late at 38 years old. François Pompon influenced me a lot in my first animal sculptures. Then I got interested in the creations of nudes, gymnasts, busts.

Do you have a favorite source of materials?

I use clay most often and also plaster on a polystyrene structure for larger creations. My soils are often hollowed out to fire in the oven at 1000C°, an interesting process to preserve them.

What do you think of PoseSpace.com? Do you have a favorite model?

I have drawn the female nude a lot in my career and posespace.com aroused my curiosity due to the diversity of the models presented, and the technique of 360° views with a very good definition of the shots.

Can you tell us about the process of making your sculptures?

After defining the subject to be treated, I shape a metal structure to support the clay. For the head of the character, I try as much as possible to give a pleasant, sympathetic expression. The subject, once finished, is molded with silicone under a plaster screed. This step is essential so that the smelter can do the job and leave, after casting the molten metal, chiselling and adding patina to get the much-desired bronze.

What has been your greatest artistic achievement?

When I started out in sculpture and during an exhibition in my city,  Langres—birthplace of the philosopher Denis Diderot, located in Champagne— a gallery in the Louvre des Antiquaires spotted me and allowed me to  be a little known to foreign customers passing through Paris (Americans, Egyptians, Russians, etc).

You also sculpt animals. Why did you choose figurative art?

Figurative art suits me perfectly and allows me to convey the emotions of the moment more easily. I am more and more oriented towards a positive art so that everyone’s gaze can find peace in a world that is gradually drifting.

Which artist inspired you?

My curiosity is limitless and many contemporary and deceased artists have inspired me. The career and the works of Richard MacDonald through the expression and movement of the characters impress me greatly.

What advice would you give to young artists interested in sculpture?

As the President of a sculpture association, I give my lessons free of charge. The first piece of advice I can give to beginning artists is above all to have fun and to consider going further to have curiosity and motivation, even the opportunity.

Jean Claude Despoulain’s website: https://www.despoulain-sculpteur.com/

Interview by Andrea Miliani

French version (original responses)

Pouvez-vous nous parler de vos débuts et comment vous vous êtes intéressé à l’art?

 J’ai commencé par le dessin et la peinture. Dès l’âge de 12 ans je réalisais mes premiers paysages à l’huile sur des toiles tendues par des châssis faits maison. Très tôt, j’étais attiré par les musées et les expositions d’art et je pense, comme dans toutes les disciplines artistiques (musique, écriture, cinéma, …), que l’artiste en devenir doit avoir certaines prédispositions.

Quelles expériences de vie ont influencé votre travail?

Artiste autodidacte, la représentation en 3 dimensions est venue sur le tard à 38 ans. François Pompon m’a beaucoup influencé dans mes premières sculptures animalières. Ensuite créations de nus, gymnastes, bustes.

Avez-vous un matériau préféré pour réaliser vos sculptures?

 J’utilise le plus souvent l’argile et également le plâtre sur une structure de polystyrène pour les créations plus volumineuses. Mes terres sont souvent évidées pour passer au four à 1000° ; démarche intéressante pour les conserver.

Que pensez-vous de PoseSpace.com? Avez-vous un modèle préféré?

J’ai beaucoup dessiné le nu féminin dans ma carrière et posespace.com a suscité ma curiosité par la diversité des modèles présentés, la technique des vues à 360° avec une très bonne définition des clichés.

Pouvez-vous nous parler du processus de fabrication de vos sculptures?

Après avoir défini le sujet à traiter, je façonne une structure métallique pour supporter la terre. Pour la tête du personnage, j’essaie autant que possible de donner une expression agréable, sympathique. Le sujet une fois terminé est moulé avec du silicone sous chape de plâtre. Cette étape est incontournable pour que le fondeur d’art puisse faire son travail et sortir, après coulée du métal en fusion, ciselage et patine, le bronze tant désiré.

Quels conseils donneriez-vous aux artistes novices intéressés par la sculpture?

Président d’une association de sculpture, je dispense mes cours gracieusement. Le 1er conseil que je peux donner aux artistes débutants est avant tout de se faire plaisir et pour envisager d’aller plus loin d’avoir de la curiosité et de la motivation voire de l’opportunité.

Quelle a été votre plus grande réussite artistique?

A mes débuts dans la sculpture et lors d’une exposition dans ma ville de Langres (ville de naissance du philosophe Denis Diderot et ville qui se situe en Champagne), une galerie du Louvre des antiquaires m’a repéré et m’a permis d’être un peu connu de la clientèle étrangère de passage à Paris (américains, égyptiens, russes, …).

Vous sculptez également des animaux. Pourquoi avez-vous choisi l’art figuratif?

L’art figuratif me convient parfaitement et me permet de faire passer plus facilement les émotions du moment. Je suis de plus en plus orienté vers un art positif pour que le regard de chacun y retrouve de l’apaisement dans un monde qui petit à petit part à la dérive.

Quel artiste vous a inspiré?

Ma curiosité est sans limite et beaucoup d’artistes contemporains ou décédés m’ont inspirés. La carrière et les œuvres de Richard MacDonald par l’expression et le mouvement des personnages m’impressionnent énormément.

https://www.despoulain-sculpteur.com/

Interview with Susie Wilson

Whatever the subject matter or medium, however much time I have allotted to the piece, however big or small it is intended to be, the gesture is vital

Susie Wilson was born in North Walsham, a beautiful countryside village near Cambridge. Ever since she can remember, she has always felt a strong connection to art. Susie studied printmaking, typography, and illustration. This talented artist also founded her own successful Graphic Design business, Pommegraphis, and moved to the US in 1991. 

Nowadays, Susie works in her studio in Santa Cruz, California. Susie’s favorite mediums are graphite, chalk pastel, charcoal, Conté, and oil, and her beautiful paintings can be found in private collections around the world. She paints and teaches traditional figure drawing with joy and passion: “The human form is endlessly fascinating and being aware of its energy and fluidity is the ultimate teacher of really seeing!”

In this Q&A, artist Susie Wilson shares with PoseSpace details about her aspirations as an artist, what life experiences influenced her work, and the importance of gesture drawing to her:

What are your goals or aspirations as an artist?

When putting into words what motivates and inspires me as an artist, the first thought is that part of me ‘belongs’ to my art. It is difficult to describe, but there seems to exist a core self that is fed and feeds me through drawing and immersing; it is a very humbling feeling to be part of an energy and source far greater than myself. To study the figure intensely and connect with its energy, to follow the lines and pathways, to explore connections throughout the form and around its edges, is blissful and emotional! Translating all these discoveries of a living, breathing, moving, fleeting moment, and to capture them honestly onto a flat canvas or piece of paper and be able to retain some of it’s essence feels like a responsibility and a privilege every time I do it, and the enthusiasm is never diminished.. This is perhaps the aspiration. My goal as an artist is more than this as it becomes important now to share everything this journey has taught me. To this end, I have spent quite considerable time teaching figure drawing in a very traditional style which emphasizes technique, anatomy and form.

How has your style changed over the years?

Much of my original ’style’ has stayed the same, just become much improved I hope! It is my ability to see and interpret that have changed really. Also I am braver and prepared to fail more easily than when I was younger. As my attachment to outcome has diminished, the end result is open and not contrived.

What is the importance of gesture drawing for you?

I was glad to see this question included! Gesture drawing is essential to me!! Whatever the subject matter or medium, however much time I have allotted to the piece, however big or small it is intended to be, the gesture is vital. As a teacher, I begin every class with a minimum of half an hour of gesture practice and even for a long study the first twenty minutes is dedicated to the gestural overview of the entire work. Working quickly and seeing everything at once forces us to let go of any detailed or analytical frame of mind; we simply do not have time for erasing and second guessing and a looseness prevails and an opening of our eyes! It is energizing and liberating!!

What life experiences have influenced your work?

I guess in a way all life experience becomes a part of the evolution of our art. I personally have moved many times, lived in several countries and met people from all walks of life. As a result I have been exposed to a great deal of art and many artists work and ideas. Perhaps the most influential aspect has been the fact that I worked as a graphic illustrator and some of the story-board and comic book artists I was lucky enough to meet most definitely broadened my understanding of color and anatomy. These years are when I truly discovered the importance of gesture.

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you have a favorite model? 

I was introduced to PoseSpace several years ago by one of my students who fell in love with figure drawing and couldn’t get enough of the practice from our live models. I was skeptical at first but once I checked it out for myself found that the 360 degree views of each pose provided a very satisfactory substitute which I went on to use regularly and still am using today. Favorite models would be Shandra and JenB, but there are others I have loved drawing for certain individual characteristics, like Stephanie who is a great portrait model. 

Do you have a favorite living artist, whether famous or completely unknown?

There are far too many amazing artists to really have any be a favorite, but Andrew Wyeth and Alma Tadema are two of my most revered past artists and Nick Alm’s modern day watercolors literally take my breath away.

What is the most valuable lesson or advice you always give to your figure drawing students?

To enjoy the process more than the end result and not be too judgmental along the way. Also I emphasize that natural ability needs a LOT of practice to manifest and the journey is going to take a lifetime… so relax, enjoy and keep lots of notebooks handy!

Susie Wilson’s website: http://susiewilson.net/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pommegraphisfineart/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susieearthdancer

Interview with Tracie MacVean

“The ominous glow of the mountains burning really stuck with me, I felt I could only paint it out to cope with it”

Tracie MacVean is a talented artist based in Wodonga, Australia. Her beautiful paintings combine her two great passions in life: art and the environment. Through her work, MacVean wants to raise awareness that the natural world is threatened, and encourage people to take better responsibility for our planet.

In Tracie’s paintings, you will always find nature and natural elements, and the human form frequently depicted as a substitute where we would usually see native animals. Her powerful work has been recognized and she has earned several awards such as the “Emerging Artist Award” from the Chiltern Art Show, and the “People’s Choice” for the “Encompass” exhibition at Gigs Art Gallery.

Survivors Guilt 30cm x 40cm Oil on canvas, by Tracie MacVean

In this Q&A, artist Tracie MacVean shares with PoseSpace details about her paintings of the bushfires in Australia, the process of making her work and how social media helped her gain commissions and sell artwork:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

When I was a young teenager and my older sisters were creating beautiful art pieces but not pursuing it as a career. I knew if they wouldn’t, I would.

“Roo in the Burbs” 40cm x 30cm Oil on canvas, by Tracie MacVean

You are very active on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube. How have these platforms influenced your work?

I wouldn’t say social media has influenced my work heavily but it has helped me with gaining commissions and selling artwork. I am a little bit disappointed with the reach my YouTube channel has received considering the amount of effort I put into it. I believe I was a little late for the Instagram band-wagon but Facebook is the one that has been the most beneficial in getting my work out there.

You’ve been making beautiful and moving paintings of koalas and other animals in bushfires in Australia. Can you tell us more about this project or collection?

At the end of last year I was very close to one of the bushfires. The ominous glow of the mountains burning really stuck with me, I felt I could only paint it out to cope with it. I was already halfway through a body of work when the bushfires came through but it fits in well with my concepts which addresses environmental issues including climate change.

“Echidna”, 30cm x 40cm, oil on canvas, by Tracie MacVean

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you have a favorite model?

I hadn’t heard of Posespace until quite recently actually. I’ve bought quite a few of the books and prefer them over the digital format. Now as my work is getting more detailed, I want to find more views of particular poses I want to capture – so doing a quick google search came up with Posespace. My favorite model at the moment is Mandy, but there are many others in the reference books I use and not sure of their names.

“The Watcher”, 30cm x 40cm oil on canvas by Tracie MacVean

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

My process has changed a lot and it really depends on what medium I’m using. At the moment I’m using oils and over time I’ve learnt what works best to create the painting I have in mind. The process has become quite structured – I usually start with an idea pf what I want to capture and then I search for references. Over the years I’ve made contact with some talented photographers who I may collaborate with or I search in books (eg Art Models by PoseSpace) if my idea involves the human form or, if I can, I try to take my own photos for reference. All of my paintings use at least 3 different subjects/reference images because I want as much of it to be my own idea. I then sketch the subjects (which are usually figures, trees, native animals or scenery for the background) onto a prepared canvas and I start blocking in whole areas with basic colours. I always have at least 4 paintings on the go at the same time so I’m never bored with any particular piece while allowing each layer to dry. It’s hard for me to say precisely how long each painting takes to complete but 4 paintings could take up to 6 months depending on the size.

“Survivors Guilt 2”, 30cm x 40cm Oil on canvas, by Tracie MacVean

How has your style changed over the years?

I think every artist goes through the most amount of change when they are just starting. I made a very big change about a year and a half ago and decided to focus on my attention in a very specific direction to create more conceptual, quality works. Really developing my painting techniques to a more ‘refined’ quality.

“Where Will Be The Bilby”, 30cm x 25cm Oil on canvas, Tracie MacVean

Tracie MacVean’s website: https://traciemacvean.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TracieMacVeanArtwork/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/traciemacveanartwork/?hl=en

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX_KYWj1VGNy-TrZmAVnknA

Interview by Andrea Miliani