Posts tagged ‘figure drawing’

Yep, Still Drawing Those Nudes And Loving It!

A few weeks ago I was tickled by some of the comments made about the recent nude figure drawings that I posted on Google+. They were from my weekly figure drawing session. Clearly it was the most engagement that I ever received from any post on social media and it generated the highest number of +1s.  For those who aren’t familiar with Google+, a +1 is the equivalent to the Facebook Like.

Most people were pretty complimentary but some were uncomfortable. One person commented stating that my drawings were nice but that they needed to block my post. Then another person asked, “….why do you always draw naked people?”

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Several years ago it would have never dawned on me to post nude drawings on the Internet. How things have changed! It was the year before last that marked the first time that I participated in figure drawing since college oh so many years ago. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it back then although admittedly the first time felt a little awkward. In the end, I found myself really concentrating on form and not so much on the model’s nudity.

I didn’t realize how much I still had to learn when it came to drawing the human form. I’ve kept at it and improved over time, experimenting with pencil, then pen, then pen on different color papers.

We Are “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.”

Have you ever considered the work that God created? Look at how we’re designed. Are we not a feat of engineering? Our anatomy is complicated and amazing. We are living vessels, comprised of tissue and muscle connected to bone by tendons. Every body part no matter how large or small has its own special role that contributes to the body’s overall make-up. Just as the universe is vast, so are our bodies with their moving parts.

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Now try putting all that on paper – arms, legs, hands, feet, torso, head – positioned from different angles. You could draw figures for decades and still find it engaging.

Clothing Can Take Away From The Subject Rather Than Add

With the addition of clothing it’s harder to capture the curves of the body if the model is wearing a shirt, pants, dresses or loose clothing.  I find it distracting.  With the nude form, you just see it for what it really is.

I also think that some clothing, depending on what it is and how it’s worn can actually be more provocative.

Appreciating Our Different Body Types

I love that we’re all built differently. I find it sad that we as a society are so hung up on what’s considered to be the perfect body – the washboard stomach with six-pack abs, and perfectly sculpted arms and legs. In reality, many of us have curves with visible tummies, thighs, wrinkles, and all other things that society views as imperfections.  The reality is that this more normal compared to the magazine and TV ads, where the model has been edited to death by Photoshop.

That’s why I’m thankful for the models with diverse body types who get out there and pose. They’re keeping it real.

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How Mighty Is The Pen?

For the past few months I’ve attended weekly free life drawing sessions hosted by Twenty-Two, a combined bar and gallery.  I practically break my neck to get there early in order to find the best seat.

For several weeks now I’ve been drawing the human form in pen.  Pen is scary and yet wonderful at the same time.  It gives the work some boldness, like an inked comic book.   To me it’s an unforgiving medium leaving little, if any room for mistakes. Ultimately, I had to attack it fearlessly with the understanding that I was going to make errors.  It was that feeling of, “Yeah, I screwed that up, so WHAT?”  It’s very liberating.

An artist who frequently works in pen told me that if you make a mistake, you just draw around it.  Well I took his advice to heart and drew around a LOT of stuff, although over time I seem to be doing less of that.  I’m nowhere near perfect with the pen, but I’m improving.  I’m also taking my time by studying the subject a little more in order to improve my accuracy.

One of my favorite things to do is to use crosshatching to define shading on the model and folds in the fabric covered props.  I can control how light or how dark I want to make the subject by drawing the crosshatching lines tight together or further apart.

 

Nude leaning  Nude one leg pose  Sitting nude

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 Here are my tools,  a set of  four ballpoint pens  that I purchased from Office Depot.  Initially I was drawing the model in one color, however lately, I’ve been experimenting by using two different colors.
Pens

 

 

 

 

Back to the Basics: Life Drawing

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.
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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.

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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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