I’m in Seattle. My legs hurt. I walked 5 hours yesterday because I was being adventurous and didn’t want to call a cab or Uber.

Today was the first day of the figure oil painting class. Getting to class should have been a 20-minute walk, however dragging a suitcase and the fact that google maps did not factor in a massive elevation change -namely a 500-foot rather steep flight of stairs – made the trip about 45-minutes. Good thing I left an hour early.

There were 11 of us with all varying degrees of skill. Our instructor – Nick Enevoldsen – trained in Italy and is a great teacher. I met Gabby, who is a doctor in Berkeley, and K T – who has a lot of art knowledge and cusses. Patrick is really good at drawing, and Randolph is nice to talk to. Grace is young and thinks she might have taken the wrong class – she gave out stickers of baby animals (I chose a raccoon). Jay is a Korean lady who battled cancer and now wants to paint. She is very nice. Art doesn’t say much but his drawing is turning out well. Shawna is really nice. Rene is French-Canadian and is in the atelier program along with Maria, who is our class monitor.

We started with a lecture and then jumped right into drawing. Our model was given 20 minutes to pose, we would break for 5 or 10 minutes, and then she would get back into position and go again for 20 minutes. We had an hour for lunch, although it was miscommunicated that we only had 30 minutes. I walked down the street to a gas station and got some water, a banana, and a granola bar, and returned with 30 minutes to kill. Some of us walked around and chatted with each other.

We finished up at 4;30. My drawing is okay but man it is difficult to draw standing up with a piece of charcoal. A lot of people told me I did a great job on the hands. Tomorrow we will start the actual painting. Our model will be in the same pose all week.

The walk back to the hotel only took 25 minutes because it was all downhill and I didn’t make any wrong turns. Back in my room I pulled up a picture of my drawing and started analyzing it for problems. I found 6 things I want to address on it tomorrow before I start the painting. That’s a picture of it above. Sorry the resolution is so bad – I only have my iPad and I normally use my laptop to create the blog images. It’s way harder to do web stuff with an iPad, but I’m glad I was able to post this today.

Well I’m starving and think I might walk down to the Italian place and get some dinner.

Day 1 is over and I feel like this workshop is exactly what I needed.

By Cody Deegan

Cody Deegan is a life-long artist versed in drawing, painting, sculpting, and design. He studied filmmaking and character animation at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles as well as figurative oil painting at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.

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