Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Life drawing Winter 2011: part 2

A while back I made a decision to approach every life drawing session with the intent to capture the full figure in each drawing. It's taken a while to get there but looking through the life drawings I blogged over the past year, I've been pretty successful at consistently achieving this. Just trying to fit everything on the page, in proportion, was a real challenge a couple of years ago and I've certainly improved.

So, clearly my understanding of relating the scale of my drawing to the confines of my sheet of paper has improved a lot. However the design, composition and aesthetic appeal of each picture, as a whole, has been pretty hit and miss. Mostly miss. I've become aware that I need to pay much closer attention to the role of design within the picture-making process - in addition to addressing the technical challenges of just fitting everything into the page.

Here are some of the drawings I made last night at life drawing class. The first one is a prime example of "just fitting everything in":


The next one is exactly the type of thing I end up with when I'm not paying attention to fitting everything in:


Cropping at the ankle like that feels so awkward, but more importantly, it was not intentional. Composition isn't balanced either. The main shapes feel symmetrical in design with no diagonals. Pretty flat.

For the final drawing, I thought hard about the composition before I made any marks on paper:


For me, this drawing feels much more engaging than the others. So in future sessions I plan to begin every drawing by observing and letting my observations give me a clear idea for framing and design before choosing my materials and making actual marks. I used to think that a drawing only begins with the first mark on paper/canvas - but I'm beginning to realise that in fact a drawing starts way before then. All the decision-making going on in your head as you observe and plan is drawing. I need to ponder on all this.


  1. Great to read your reflective comments about your learning experience. Rather inspiring, in fact:-)

  2. Ah needz me a job modeling innit

  3. @tanyanizam Thank you. I find regular life drawing invaluable. An endless source of inspiration, so it's nice to pass on the inspiration :)

  4. @Anonumous You sound familiar. Who are you? Care to drop a hint? :)