Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Life Drawing

The local art groups decided to get together and offer art classes for the local communities of Kings County, N.S. Tonight they sponsored a life drawing class and I got to attend. There was such a good response that they're thinking of making this a regular thing. Let's hope so, I can really use the practice. I did 8 hours a week of life drawing at college and my art skills went down hill quickly when I graduated. I've greatly improved since then and it was a great joy to find that I took to life drawing like a fish to water.

It took a few tries to get back into the swing of things, so I'll spare you the warm-up drawings, but here are the rest of the sketches that I did.

This was a 5 minute pose that I drew too quickly. The waist is too long but overall it's not bad
I switched to a 3B pencil and it adversely affected the line quality. That blob on her shoulder is supose to be her right hand
I switched to a charcoal stick and filled the whole page on this one. There is some distortion caused from scanning the image in two parts and putting them together in Photoshop. The image on the left is a quick sketch I did with a 2B pencil

This time the woman was lying directly opposite me, causing a lot of foreshortening. I just couldn't get the hand right, so I started over again. The second time (on the right) I did the hand first and then fit everything around that. Still not perfect but it looks much better.

We switched to a 10 minute pose and the instructor put a strong light on the subject. This is the best of all the sketches since I had the time to do it right.

The final sketch of the night was a 15 minute pose with a strong light like the last one, but it didn't come out as well. The odd angle of the left leg threw me off a bit. This was also a fill page drawing and combining the two haves in PS once more distorted the image a bit.

I drew a small thumbnail in the corner before drawing the full size image but I should have paid more attention to the anatomy. Getting the pose right in the thumbnail can help you to avoid mistakes in the finished drawing. I'll have to be more careful next time.

Well, that was my first life drawing class in 5 years. Not bad for being so out of practice. I hope they'll keep this going. I'll let you know if and when we have another session.


gonzalexx said...

Very cool. Life drawing is excellent. My experience has been in stolen moments so far, I can't wait to get into one of these some day soon.
I really appreciate you sharing this.
It's so different from just sitting at an art desk, and what you learn is invaluable.
5 minute poses? I guess one gets fast without knowing how. I think you got that long-waisted post just fine. I can see myself making the same little mistakes you mention, but that's your focus right now. Look at the right things you drew. You can see how one "dances" with proportion without knowing too. I'm getting the itch to try charcoal too, it kind of marries drawing and painting IMHO. Foreshortening seems like a great puzzle, where one goes between 2D and 3D vision. That approach of drawing the hand first was a good idea. Some folks draw from the inside out, while others start with the profiles. I think drawing from the inside is probably best, but with me it depends on the mood and the subject. I still don't know what's best for me, but I'll learn. It sure worked for you.
Incredible how one thinks one has to race time to get all of the subject down, when in fact, one doesn't need that much time. Incredible all that you got down in so little time.
I think this is great, man! Thanks for sharing this. Its like being there for a visit. Can't wait for my turn at one of these.
Thanks again!

George Ward said...

Thanks for your great comments

I do tend to focus on what I did wrong over what I did right. Although, I did say I liked some of what I did.

I have lots of pages of bad sketches to prove that life drawing is not easy. It's not the amount of time so much as it's the ability to draw the lines where they're suppose to go. Once you've drawn the human body a few hundred times you get used to where things are suppose to be. Then it's just a matter of seeing what's in front of you.

I look forward to seeing your sketches from your first life drawing class.

gonzalexx said...

My sketches from a life drawing class will probably not be from a class! I'm going to search for one, but chances are my life drawing sketches will continue being coffee shop, mall, and waiting room sketches LOL!!! Thanks man!
A pleasure seeing these. Good show!