Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Life Drawing: Winter '09 pt. 1


Last night I attended my first life drawing class of 2009. I was so eager to get back into a regular weekly evening class, it's all I could think about all day. The session felt exhilarating, eye-opening and incredibly inspiring.

The drawing above is from the tail-end of the evening. 20 minutes in pencil on cartridge pad.

We actually started off with much shorter poses. Check these charcoal sketches - 30 seconds per pose:


The idea with these was to aim to get in all the body parts - at least marking them in and not just focusing on sections. We then progressed to slightly longer poses, about 1 minute each:


I find it interesting that I managed to draw less of a complete pose when I had more time!

This was followed by several drawing exercises like "drawing blind" i.e. not looking at your drawing surface as you draw, just at the model. (I haven't scanned any of those drawings but you can see an earlier one here.)

We also drew from memory. Here we observed the model's held pose for 5 minutes without drawing anything. She then left the room while we drew our recollection of that pose for 2 minutes:

(charcoal on cartridge)

(chalk on cartidge)

I found these exercises incredibly helpful in understanding the different ways in which we see things. I was suddenly aware of some of the seemingly automatic, subconscious processes involved in the act of drawing. Physical and mental mechanics included.

Here's a 15 minute drawing from the end of the evening:

(charcoal pencil on cartridge pad)

And finally a frantic 7 minute sketch in wax crayon on cartridge pad:


Drawing is the furthest thing from a relaxing, passive activity. But I find it incredibly therapeutic. Like a spa for for your visual senses. I look forward to the next 9 sessions of this term and hopefully, will blog my explorations weekly.

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