10 minute sketch
I thought it was about time I got back to some life drawing after yet another long gap without doing any at all! So yesterday I went along to the six hour life day that happens every couple of months at Bath Artist Studios. It's been well over a year since I last went along to a life day and I was seriously rusty! But it was great to get drawing again with a good model and to chat to other like-minded artists.
A life drawing day once every blue moon isn't quite the same as a regular run of weekly sessions, but it is so hard to find both time and money to keep up a weekly course. I think I will try and get to a life session somewhere once a month if I can - I do love it, though it is always so challenging...
The first sketch above was actually the very last quick one I did right at the end as an afterthought in the last ten minutes, but actually its the drawing I liked best.
Here's some of the very rough and ready five minute warm up sketches that we started with, trying to get my eye and hand back in:
And then one of the ten minute sketches (below), trying to make more of an effort to take time to measure properly which wasn't entirely successful!
Finally two different viewpoints of the last longer pose (in fact the first example at the top of this post was a third view of this same pose)
45 minute sketch
This 45 minute one was a lovely pose, but I felt my handling of the charcoal was very murky and laboured so it isn't one I particularly like. The 1 hour hour one below had some lovely lighting (with a very tricky bit of foreshortening on the right leg that rather stumped me!)
1 hour sketch
So there we are, not the most spectacular results but great to make a way back into drawing from life again. I am itching to do some more now - I learn so much from this and I really have missed it.
A friend to my surprise recently asked me, don't you get embarrassed by the nudity? The truth is it has never occurred to me that there would be anything to be embarrassed about. I have been life drawing on and off for the last 18 years and have never felt uncomfortable with any of the models I have drawn. In fact quite often you can chat to a model and completely forget that they haven't got any clothes on!
I just become immediately absorbed by the line and form, light and shade, and abstract composition of shape the body makes and try to capture that on the paper.
The human form I have always found a beautiful and fascinating subject to draw, the dynamic and energy of body language and expression in a pose, the energy and movement, tension or subtle poise all express so much. And then there's the fascination of muscle and sinew, the skeletal frame beneath, the way the light excentuates the hidden structures.
I wonder for any of you who love drawing the figure, what is it that you enjoy most about it?