Friday, 23 May 2008

My First Life Drawing Class

Ok, so yesterday I went to my first life drawing class ever. Since I first started painting in January, everyone has been telling me I need life drawing experience and that it will really help me to progress. My friend Anita occasionally models for classes, and she really put my mind at ease by telling me exactly what to expect.

It’s taken me a few months to get used to the idea of staring at a naked person, but just as Anita promised, once you start drawing you don’t see “nakedness”, you only see a subject – lines, shape, tone etc. In fact, the most nerve wracking thing for me was drawing in pencil! The last time I recall using a pencil was when I was about 15!

I started by drawing the outline, but I was really nervous about trying to add shade. I tried a couple of times by starting with the shade under her arm, but it just looked like she had a hairy armpit! John, the tutor, came to the rescue and lent me a softer pencil, and once I realised I could smudge the pencil it was much easier. It actually took me less time to shade the drawing than it did to draw the outline!

Now, the head was a different matter entirely. I must have drawn her face 50 times and then erased it again. In the end John drew that for me just before I started the shading. When I think about it, I have never been able to draw faces. That is obviously something I will need to work on.

B and 2B pencil on A5 heavyweight paper


Kathy L said...

Wow...beautiful. I would be so intimidated in a class like that...and not because of the model being naked, but of the complexity of the subject. I can't draw faces either but I have fun trying. I am just happy if I can get things look in perspective! Oh and I will blog about the show. Yep this is my first "major" gallery show. I have had two others but not in a gallery of the magnitude of this. Wish me luck (ha a Fat subject for me next week).

Undaunted said...

Thank you Kathy :) Yes, I felt intimidated by the complexity of the subject - I sat there for a while with my pad and pencil thinking "Where do I start?" It was a struggle for me, but I'm glad I went and I will definitely go again.

I look forward to reading about your show and hopefully seeing some photographs too. I'm sure things will go very well for you :)

painter girl said...

Hey UnD,
I think this drawing is a wonderful first drawing in a life class. I remember how intimidated I was the first day and just how complex drawing the human body really is/was/always is. Good job!
Can't wait to see the next one.
Good luck on your show.

Undaunted said...

Thank you Leanne :) Now all I need to do is get myself some decent pencils!

Rosa Murillo said...

I think you did a great job! I took a class like this when I was in college, and the teacher told us to just focus on the lines and curves and how they meet each other, how the forms flow into one another. I learned to loosen up while drawing, I think I learned a LOT about composition with that class. Congratulations for taking it!

Undaunted said...

Thank you Rosa! You know, the tutor didn't really tell me anything. Most of the "students" are well established artists in our area, and they all know each other. He knew it was my first time, but he didn't help until I asked for it.

Apart from drawing the head for me, the only advice he gave was to "try to establish the head early on" and "draw something underneath her because she looks like she's levitating"!! But then I ran out of time. I think he said some other things too, but he was so quietly spoken that I didn't understand him!