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?”
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.
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.