Drawing Life Figures (Apr 2012)

If you saw my last post, you know we have a new puppy. And if you’ve ever had a puppy you’ll know not much gets done apart from the constant observation of the creature. One thing I am able to do in the art world is attend a Life Drawing Class at the county art association once a week.

So far I’ve had five 3-hour sessions.  The first session’s drawings (from early March 2012) were posted last month.  Since that time I’ve sketched several more figures, all male save for one female model.  As you look over my website, you’ll see a header image of a  reclining nude from the session with the female model.

Prior to attending these drawing sessions, I sketched human figures from my imagination and memory. Now I must draw what I see, not what I imagine . . . and sometimes in as few as 60 seconds. The medium is stick charcoal in the brief poses of one and five minutes.  For longer periods (10, 15, 20 and 35 minute sittings) I first draw with charcoal and then embellish–for light, depth and definition–with oil pastels.

Curiously, I try to draw nothing more than the slightest detail of the head and face. These features are difficult and time is limited.  Therefore, I focus on the model’s body in the limited time available. In addition, hastily drawn faces are usually rather ghoulish distractions–at least mine are.

I actually squint my eyes to get a better focus on the model’s shape, form and features. (I described this squinting technique–and my theory about why it works–in the post “Sketching Technique”.)  When I squint the depth of field and contours of the model’s flesh are accentuated . . . these are my focal points.   However, while there are some distinctly recognizable body landmarks (e.g. the dimple pattern of the sacral triangle), there is no easy roadmap to drawing the human figure!

In any event, images of my first attempt at life drawing I posted last month and can been seen by clicking here.

Images from subsequent drawing sessions can be viewed sequentially by clicking here Drawing Session Images.   (FYI, these drawing sessions are not instruction sessions; rather you are merely provided with a work surface and an audience with a nude model . . . everything else is on you.)

Thanks, Tom

Apr 2012

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