I would like to do more life work from models, from photo doesn't get me any further and bores me and the life drawing group for 2 hours a week hardly enough to satisfy my appetite for learning. The problem is that my room is limited to one single room flat where I do sleep, eat and paint. I live in one of the most expensive areas of my country, without earning the wage I would like in my dayjob , so renting a bigger flat or a small atelier gives me a dilemma: either I pay for more room and have no money left for good painting supplies and to pay models. Or I have the money I need to pay for my supplies and the models but I have to stay low profile with the flat rent. Using friends as model is no good ... to much expectation on both sides, I wait with portrait from friends until I am good enough.
So in the last days I was thinking and trying how to do something with my flat and this is the idea I came up with:
Since I work only standing I need the model to sit on a higher ground so I will be eye-level with the model while painting.
An extra platform takes too much room, so the best idea I came upon was to use my bed. I take out the mattress and lay in a masonite plate in instead ... seems to work fine.
It looks like this now:
The ugly dude in the overall thats me
btw. Nevermind the scraped off portrait on the canvas.
Further I will buy some dark cloth to hang behind the model in the corner, some really dark grey, black or blue I guess, not exactly sure yet. That should suck up the light from the back so it does not reflect on the model from behind ?
With this setup I can step back about 3m from the canvas ... not as much as I liked to be able to, but that's all the room gives.
One problem with this setup is that the window is behind the model, so I will have to close the window blinds so the room is dark and use artificial light for "normal" portraits.
With artificial light I of course need to light my canvas as well, which I so with daylight lamps. And here is the problem. Those daylight lamps I use to make light on my canvas shine on the model as well and they look terrible. I would like a warm light on the model, like a halogen bulb or something. Ideal would be a nice Rembrandt lighting ... but I guess that will not be easy with that small room.
Do you have a good idea how to keep the light for the canvas separate from the model ? The photo does not show it well, but there is much more light on the model from the bright canvas light than the rather dim halogen light I have beside the locker (behind the canvas in the picture).
Maybe a black curtain from the left side of the canvas starting to go far to the right until the locker maybe that goes all the way up to the ceiling ... maybe that would do the trick so I can look left side beside the curtain at the model ?
I guess it is hard to answer from a single photo without being here and witness my miserable room in person. But I thought why not post and ask for an opinion or two.