The model disrobes, steps upon the platform and she takes a pose. At tables and easels the artists are ready, their charcoals are poised, and as their eyes travel around and through the models curves and shadows, the hands work to capture the gesture on paper.
Sessions usually begin with several short poses, sometimes only minutes long. This ritual, in addition to being a warm-up for the longer poses to follow, teach the artists to quickly connect their eyes and hands with the drawing.
Watching the artist rather than the model, you see them look up every few seconds roving their gaze around the model. They memorize the curve of a muscle and transfer that line to the paper, moving around the figure and capturing various relationships, such as the length of a forearm and how it drapes over the belly making a shadow there.