Week 4: Life Drawing

20|10|16
Week 4

Today was our first class of life drawing in the life drawing room. I found it really challenging and educational, more challenging than I thought I would find it. Having done spots of life drawing in Foundation last year, I thought I had a vague grasp at it, but it seems life drawing from an animation/design point of view is completely different from a foundation/fine art point of view, and even if I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet, I definitely prefer this way of thinking compared to the latter.

So we attempted to draw the lovely Jackie, my understand is that the focus of the activity was on both accurate form, and getting used to the technical aspects of the human figure.

The type of life-drawing I have done before was encouraged to be very loose and expressive (which I could do, but didn’t fully understand, I think I really struggle to get interested in things being expressive without them being logical or thoughtful first).
Whereas this technique of life drawing seemed to be heavily focused on technical perfection of form, close attention to detail of the human skeletal features that are unchanging from person to person, that create an accurate portrayal of perspective. (a type of thinking which I feel like I understand, but can’t do)

I honestly found it very challenging to draw the form and capture the pose before doing simply what Mike called “outlining”. I definitely kept reverting to either outlining or just doing the form wrong and making the form look “blobby”.
I really was trying, but my hands just weren’t co-operating with what my brain was trying to understand. I think myself and Mike were both pretty frustrated with me.

I really enjoyed the class despite not quite grasping the technique. I feel as though I understood what Mike was telling us to do, but I couldn’t move that information from my brain to my hands! As soon as the conté hit the page I was doing what I always did, which was very frustrating, and unfortunately the class went by in the blink of an eye.

Only at the very end of the lesson it dawned on me that capturing Jackie’s physical angle before drawing the form, would help grasp a more accurate sense of her perspective, but I caught on to this too late and the task was over.

In the very last portion of the class, we focused on head form and attempted to draw the shape of a head when first capturing the angle of it in a cube. (harrowing flashbacks to the cube exercise)

The first drawing below is Mike’s example, he explained the technique of first drawing the facial features squarely, to focus on getting the structural form of the head technically correct, before dabbling into things like personal features and detail, that never matter first, because they will never be correct unless the structural form is there first (and never just observational outlining!! My downfall!!).

My attempt is the second image, and I did have it pretty tricky because Michael (our step-in model) was sitting in a way that I was looking at him in profile.

So a lot was learnt and still to learn when it comes to life drawing! Even though I didn’t walk away from the class thinking I made any progress in my drawing, I definitely walked away with a change in my thinking, which is important! Now I just have to focus on getting that information from my brain to my paper!

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