No Body Here

The Model is created!

Ten years ago I decided it was time to practice drawing “the human form.” I already had one of those wooden models with articulated joints, and a bendable wire one, too. I bought several books and got to work. The basics went well.

But everyone told me that to truly be an artist I absolutely HAD TO practice life drawing. The reasoning behind that made some sense to me even though I wasn’t entirely convinced. So I tried drawing figures I saw on television. That didn’t go well, mainly because they’re two-dimensional. I might as well just draw pictures of people from pictures of people.

One day, when I was packing up some old clothes to donate, I decided to delay their journey. I stuffed a top and ancient sweatpants with the rest of the old clothes and found a plastic mask and wig, and made a body. Then I posed it, added a plastic hand and sunglasses, and the “person” in the photo above appeared. 

I dressed and decorated it several ways and posed it on chairs, etc. It routinely scared the cats. Weeks later, when I realized that the legs needed “bones” to look right I assembled a skeleton out of old paper towel rolls. But I never re-made the model.

Why not?

Because I had so much fun fussing with it, making it look increasingly realistic, taking silly photos of it, that I drew it only once. Its original purpose was to help me teach myself how to draw a person. But I didn’t want to. 

I took it all apart, put away the hand, the mask, the hats, and the hairpieces. The old clothes went on to living people who needed them more than I needed to learn how to draw people.

I draw faces.

If I had a thousand years of life ahead of me I’d never tire of exploring faces.

No bodies needed. 


One of these days I’ll track down the other photos and that drawing, and share them. And, yes, I know that the hand is on the wrong side. 🙃


For another photo of The Model, see this more recent post: “The Model Ponders Ambulation.” 

9 thoughts on “No Body Here”

  1. Absolutely love this! We made a scarecrow once in a similar way — for Halloween/Harvest. We kept him for years. It was so weird when we’d take his body apart and pack him away and then weird all over again when we’d get him out the next season. He became very real to us in his own unreal way. I can’t wait to see your sketch!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That sounds like great fun! Yes, we can easily come to see these creations as “real.” Do you have pictures? I’m trying to find the photo of that sketch, plus other shots of The Model. Need to check my old computer. Thank you!!! 🤗👋

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do have some old pictures of our scarecrow I think, although I’ll have to scrounge around a bit to find them. I remember when my husband pulled him apart (essentially putting him into two pieces) and some of the grandkids really freaked out! The scarecrow was very real to us all. Grandpa explained he had to do it to store him away safely. The grandkids were just aghast.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL! Yes! A security model! You’re right about the life group, I’m sure, but it’s not something was ever able to manage. References, along with my own face & imagination will have to do. Oh! And the plastic skull I bought a few years ago after Halloween. It’s not accurate but it’s life size & better than photos of skulls. Thank you!!! 🥰👋

    Liked by 1 person

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