A couple of weeks ago I attended a life drawing class at a local arts organization. I hadn’t taken one since I was college which was a lifetime ago.

I have to admit it was pretty humbling.  At first it felt as if I didn’t know how to draw people, especially women, a subject matter that is arguably my forte.  I typically can draw many poses out of my head.   In a life drawing class, however the feel is different because you are referencing a live model.  Often I would catch myself drawing on my own rather than studying the model’s poses. As a result, the figures would look a little stiff and unnatural.
Figure Drawing_0001
The major headache for me was drawing hands and feet. What a pain those were, but the best artists have learned how to master them. The next time I attend a figure drawing class I will make an point of isolating the hands and feet so that I can practice sketching them.

Our model was a pro. We started off with a few five minute poses, then ten minutes, then two twenty minute poses, and finally a thirty minute pose. I did improve over the course of the evening. Obviously the more time we had, the more I could focus on the details such as lighting and shading.

Figure Drawing_0002      Figure Drawing_0003

Figure Drawing_0004

The other thing I noticed was that I was tired when it was all over. Maybe it’s just me. I have a short attention span, even when attending to my own art. I will paint a line here or there, sometimes while watching a TV show or sporting event online.   In the class,  I had to exert a lot of mental energy over an extended period of time.

I’m looking forward to the portraiture class being offered by the same arts group so I can practice drawing the human face. Overall I would encourage anyone to take a life drawing class no matter how many years they’ve been drawing.  I was amazed at what I learned and actually re-learned from this experience.

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