Life drawing takes a great degree of concentration, skill and a healthy respect for the model who has offered to bare all to allow us to test our abilities. Why is it important to try and draw a nude model? Seeing how muscles and skin tones change under differing light sources and how limbs all fit together is a great way of mastering perspective. The challenge though is that even the best models can’t stay still for long periods, so drawing quickly is a must.
It was with these thoughts in my mind that I attended my first life drawing class. The term ‘warming up exercise’ took on a different meaning as we sketched like fury for 30 seconds and our model bared all. You couldn’t get a better contrast. With barely enough time to observe and put charcoal to paper the time was up. Over the next few hours our sketch time increased to 15 minutes per session, and slow but sure my perspective drawing got a little better. Rebecca, our model, never complained as she tried to keep as still as she could whilst a large class of students sketched away trying desperately to create a drawing that represented her beautiful form faithfully.
By the end of the day I had more than a dozen large sketches and my aching arms and wrists confirmed the effort I had put in to the exercise.
Without doubt all these drawing lessons are beginning to pay as I’m sure my skill level is creeping up. I’m sketching with confidence, observing in more detail, looking at the interplay between shadows and light and paying far more attention to composition than I ever have. Great skills for a photographer as its the attention to detail that makes all the difference in a photograph. A great learning exercise and I’m grateful to Rachel the tutor for allowing me to join the class.
A selection of the best drawings are shown below.