Thursday, July 14, 2016

Drawing progress report 3 -- live models

As part of my drawing confrontation, I've joined a small group of artists who draw from a model once a month.

This is really challenging, even with a model who knows how to sit perfectly still (unlike my husband, who got dragooned into service a couple of times for my class assignments).  In a 20-minute pose you have to choose what to focus on and what to simply hint at with a few strokes.  I look around the room and see what others are doing, and wonder whether I should try working in pastels or colored pencils or charcoal, whether I should clip my paper vertically on an easel instead of working on a table.  I struggle with getting the proportions right, the hardest part for me.

I've been taking photos of each pose and intending to go back and work on my drawings again from the photo, but somehow haven't worked up the enthusiasm to do so.

We're adjourned for the summer now so I won't be doing much figure drawing for a while.  When we return I think my strategy will be to focus on very small parts of the model instead of her whole body. I hope that within the limited time period I can do a good job on a small detail rather than a discouraging job on the whole pose.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the group, despite my frustration.  Most of them are far more accomplished artists than I am, and most of them work in representational drawing or painting. I'm already getting a lot out of the monthly critique and discussion, and of course it's always fun to hang out with other artists. If it actually improves my drawing, I'll be sure to report back!


  1. Interesting class and probably very good for you. I think it's a good plan to focus on a body part for the time being. On the side, did the life model consent on having her photo posted online?

  2. When I was modeling I found that listening to the talk was very inspiring for my fabric work. (I was also lucky enough to model several times for Arturo Sandoval's class. Brilliant teacher!)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  3. Life Drawing is the most difficult discipline - all that foreshortening!I don't enjoy it very much but my drawing always improves no end as a result. Focusing on a small area is always good to build confidence ( I got obsessed with feet! )

  4. interacting with other artists can only help, in whatever your goals are as an artist. I have learned a tremendous amount, and I also think I'vet taught on occasion
    Pat F in Winnipeg

  5. Clipping the paper so that the drawing surface is vertical really helps in getting the proportions. Having the model and drawing side by side makes it easier to compare. And standing rather than sitting is better because you use the whole arm rather than just the hand, so that as you become more confident and relaxed the drawing gets more free and artistic.

  6. As with any new skill, it's practice, practice, practice! Lots of hard work involved in drawing and I commend you for sticking with it. It's probably a good plan to concentrate on those details!