Thursday, July 10, 2008

Life Drawing 1

Well, tonight was my first of 6 3-hour life drawing studio classes at The Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. I recently took a drawing course at UBC where there was a focus toward life drawings, but I found that class limiting in nature. The instructors were great and I have a lot of respect for the teaching team, however the emphasis was on realism and drawing everything we see - learning technique, rather than practicing already known technique, and working on compositionally interesting drawings. So being in an open studio class with no instruction is going to allow me to practice technique, experiment with media, and do studies of how I see fit.

One thing that stood out though from my UBC instructor, Richard Prince, was his idea that one cannot understand people from an artist's perspective, without drawing them in their true form. I've found that although some people giggle at the idea of life drawing classes, it's actually a very good method for understanding human form, human proportion, and really complex light and tonal studies. Much more challenging than drawing an apple, for example.

The UBC class also had us doing 3 hour sessions of mostly the same pose so realism can truly be achieved (the poor models must have been uncomfortable despite the breaks). Here we did a bunch of 2 minute gesture drawings to warm up, then we went to 5 minute sessions to have slightly more detailed sketches with some tonal work, then 3 25-minute extended drawings where studies are possible.

I used 3 types of media today: charcoal, conte crayon, and graphite. Here are some samples:

This is one of the quick 5 minute sketches, using conte crayon. I kind of lost track of time and forgot his second leg. Oops.

I decided to do a study on just tonal work for the second 25-minute extended session, as the previous one was of the entire body and 25 mins isn't enough to do a good job of that (too much to cover).

This is the last drawing I did - a 25 min sketch using a mix of pencil and graphite sticks (for tonal work). I decided to embrace the portrait artist in me here.

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