Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for...Life Drawing (nudes)

Not long ago I took a weekend workshop on life drawing, or figure drawing.  For anyone reading this who does not know what that is, it's drawing from live models instead of from a photo.  The models are usually nude.

I'm not sure what possessed me to take this class, as I've only done a very little drawing and never of the human form.  The class popped up on my FB feed out of the blue, and I registered, out of the blue, not having any idea what to expect.

I thought the models might be nude, as the drawing advertising the class was of a nude, but I wasn't entirely sure.  It was also a charcoal class, and I had never done any charcoal drawing...two new experiences for the price of one!

I was slightly apprehensive about the nude component.  I thought I might be weirded out, or it would be really awkward.  I wondered if the models would start out clothed or partially clothed.

The class started on a cold, blizzardy Friday February evening, just four of us and the instructor, and a male model in a robe.  As soon as we shut the door, adjusted the lighting, and the students were  settled...off came the robe!

So that answered that question.  There was no lead-up to the disrobing.  Clothes...No clothes.

As for being weirded out?  That lasted about a second, and then any awkwardness disappeared.  Everyone got busy drawing, and the time flew by.

Saturday morning we had a female model for the full day.  Both models were fantastic.  Very professional and totally comfortable with us drawing them.  I'm sure that makes a big difference...if the model is comfortable, it puts everyone else at ease.  I was very impressed at how they could hold the poses for so long.  I learned a lot.  I even completed a couple of passable sketches that I'm quite happy with.

So to any of you out there who may be considering a life drawing art class...go for it.  It was fun and not weird at all after 30 seconds.

I've included a couple of my drawings...it's okay if you laugh at the first one :)

first attempt...we were doing "gesture" which is just supposed to be the very general outline of the body to capture the angles.  I had no idea what that meant, as is pretty obvious.

okay, better...

more detail...I was quite happy with my final drawing!

I spent a lot of time on this last one and was pretty pleased with the result.  Of course as an artist you want to do the model justice and not make a horrid drawing of him/her.  Before these two I had four or five miserable failures on Saturday, but in the end I was able to walk away with a few drawings I could be happy with.

I wouldn't hesitate to go again :)  It was a great experience.


  1. Sounds like it was a very cool experience. Thanks for telling us about it and sharing your art. I see an affinity for drawing the female form if you don't mind me saying so.
    Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

  2. Thanks, Shawn. I had more practice by then for sure!