Life Drawing Workshop 1

The first of four life drawing workshops took place on Saturday morning 8th November. We used A1 paper throughout and a mixture of media. The model was lit by both a spotlight and a halogen lamp. This added drama to what would have been a very even fluorescent light.

The first drawings done were quick 5 minute ones done in charcoal. The first of the two drawings I asked people to wipe out with a piece of kitchen towel. This does not completely remove the drawing but leaves a trace of something on the paper. This is useful as a warm up as it makes you less precious about what you  have done, gives a less stark background to the subsequent drawing, adds a ‘history’ and saves on paper!

Here are the charcoal sketches. Remember these are 5 minute drawings.

This exercise is also good to enable the drawer to see the whole pose rather than as a series of sections eg head, arm, leg. This way you are pressed to see the figure as an entirety.

After this we again did short poses but used felt or ink pens. This makes you look differently again at the figure. Instead of form you are looking at outline and contour.  The brief on this was to allow your line to express what you see in as many directions as you can (allow the line to meander).

Here are the contour sketches

These proved to be very expressive and free which I was very pleased with. I was also bringing in the idea of adding context to the figure drawings. As you see on the one above Jon has included the corner of a bench and a table.

The model was holding a pole which assists with this concept and also adds interest to the poses.

Before a tea break we did a 25 minute drawing using whatever media preferred from the previous exercises. Here are the results of that.

Seated poses are very difficult to master so I was very pleased with these results.

After the break we had around 50 minutes left , which is a good time to achieve more depth in a drawing. To help build the illusion of form into the work we used a grey paper and charcoal and chalk. The paper gives you the mid-tones and you can pick out more extreme tones in black and white.

Here are the results of the long pose.

The model was reclining whilst reading a book. This device helps with the idea of context which students followed admirably.  It also adds a human touch to a pose which is often forgotten in figure drawing.

Altogether the people who attended the workshop did very well indeed and should be greatly encouraged by the results. It is an extremely hard discipline and easy to fall flat on your face.

The last one on the list done by Ruth was exceptional to say she had never done life drawing previously. The attention to detail as well as the overall is very strong and has created a real feeling of the model and the pose.

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