How many times you want to draw the same men?

Live drawing the men at the nude beaches in Berlin

by Paul
drawing of a muscular naked man with sunglasses laying on a blanket on the beach reading

Berlin just gets served a summer that can be seen. And after a few weeks it was absolutely dry and hot, now a few days with really strong thunderstorms ensure that nature does not come up short. Of course, I’m especially happy that my favorite swimming lake doesn’t dry up completely as a result. I must say, compared to the past years at the same time, this time there is even a bit more water in it.

I have decided to use as much as possible every day this season to go out to the lake and draw the men there at the nudist beach. By now, many faces there are familiar to me. Not too long ago, I would have felt like I had to draw a different man every time – every drawing, actually. As if a drawing would be worth less if I had drawn the model before. What a nonsense! But one must first become aware of such peculiar trains of thought and subconscious limitations. 

Last year, however, I realized just that. I drew the same man on the same day three times in a row. Each time in a different pose, because of course he was moving. And all three drawings have become absolute favorites of mine. As they say, I think in a Chinese proverb: “You can never get into the same river twice”. And that’s exactly how I think in the meantime. I can paint the same man not at all exactly so a second time. Even if I wanted to! 

And if I look at the great masters, then they have not only painted their models over and over again – Picasso, for example. They also often painted several pictures of the same motif, which are often so similar that they can hardly be called variants. Rubens, just to name one of them. 

So I devote my sketches to the naked men at the lake, many of whom are regulars there on the beach. Some of them I draw now for the second year. And what if my drawings were getting better and better by doing so?

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