I hadn’t managed to get out to a life drawing class during the drawing figures part of the course due to the unrest here in Bangkok but I wasn’t quitting, prior to going home for my second visit in 15 years last month I had arranged to meet a friend in my hometown Wakefield who would take me to a life drawing class.
After choosing my medium, soft charcoal I set up my easel for the first pose which was a 15 minute pose. I was quite nervous and very self conscious, it being the first life drawing class I had ever been to and due to this I seemed to forget everything I had learnt and tried to hard to make a picture.
On the second pose, the first of three 5 minute poses I was still in 15 minute pose mode and went at it it too slow, what I should have done here is smoother longer lines focusing on the essential shapes and elements.
By the third pose I had settled in and was putting most of what I had learned from the figure drawing sections of the course into practise, I was loosening up and you can tell by the drawing I was starting to put some of what I had learned into practise.
By the fourth drawing the lines were getting smoother and I was thinking how addictive life drawing could be focusing on the essential elements but still going at it quite slow.
From here it was back to a 15 minute pose and my favourite out of the five drawings, I focuded on all the essential shapes and elements as well as stance and force which I had learnt to do in my earlier gesture drawings but the pose helped.
Like most of my figure drawing, the quality of the drawings I produce depends on whether I like a certain pose or not and this also applied in the life drawing class. I will be returning to England next year for good and will hopefully be attending life drawing classes on a regular basis.
The brief for this exercise was to ‘ Look for the center of gravity in a standing figure. Mark the central axis in your sketches’ and to ‘ change poses every 2-5 minutes’. I divided my A4 sketch book into three panes so i could work smaller and so keep within the 5 minute time frame. Unlike the previous exercises, in this exercise I started from the head down and once I thought the head was in the correct position marked the central axis, which the brief pointed out was from the back of the ear on a side pose, the top of the spine for a back pose and for a front pose started at the top of the head and run down the bridge of the nose.
After drawing the head and then marking the central axis I worked to it as a guideline. The benefits of working this small was that I could capture the stance quite well plus add some detail while working within the time frame. The negative side is that when enlarged the drawings are very sketchy.
The first three drawings took closer to 2 minutes each while 4-6 were closer to 5 minutes and it shows.
Having got confident drawing he different basic stances by now I decided to get a bit more daring with the next 3, hands overlapping behind the head an back twisting to one side in the first two, and the third drawing bending over with one hand on the left calf. This third drawing wasn’t the most difficult nor did it take the longest to draw but it was the most awkward and I wasn’t completely satisfied at first but looking at it now the proportions and stance are perfect it just felt strange to draw what seems like a triangular form.
On the 4th and final page of stances I went for a pose that was a true test to see if I could draw the correct center of gravity…The tree pose. My first attempt would have had the model falling over, while my second attempt was close to spot on, with the knee of the standing leg pushed out to center the weight. Last but not least was the model drinking a class of beer from the back and I even managed to get in some back muscles. I have noticed there is an anatomical drawing coming up and I think back muscles on the right model would be great for it.