life drawing

red nude

This is a 10-minute sketch I did at the life drawing session at WAAM on Thursday, when we had an amazing and beautiful model, a graceful young woman who could hold a pose without the slightest movement for a full 25 minutes.  The sessions are on alternate weeks, and I try not to miss a single one.  Life drawing is forgotten by many artists as soon as they leave art school, but I think it may be the single most important practice for an artist at any stage of his or her career.  It’s not about producing beautiful final works, it’s about seeing and training the hand to cooperate with the eye.  It’s about patience, and about speed…to catch something of the model during a one-minute pose is a challenge.  My greatest satisfaction comes when I feel that I have connected with the model, that I’ve captured something of her being…that doesn’t happen very often.  The practice itself is infinitely interesting to me…at first I try to match the media to the subject; some models need a light delicate pencil stroke, some demand great bold swaths of charcoal.  Good models bring themselves to the process; they care about what they’re doing, they’re into it, and it feels like there’s an energy transmitted between model and artist…when it’s going well my hand isn’t moving a pencil across paper, it’s in contact with the subject, following directly the line of a shoulder, the curve of fingers.  Hard to explain, but drawing from life is where I feel closest to pure Being, closest to meditation.

And it’s just fun, too, as are my pre-drawing lunches with Marcie and Annette…

PS–there’s a fabulous book about drawing, and many other aspects of art that I highly recommend: Undressed Art: Why We Draw


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10 Responses to “life drawing”

  1. The Sexy Asian Mer-Vixen | : Sexy Clip,Sexy Video Says:

    […] life drawing « Drawing Flies […]

  2. susan Says:

    wow ~ this is just beautiful!

  3. loelbarr Says:

    Thank you so much!

  4. patti Says:

    Lovely sketch. I know I should do it…but am so awful at the figure.
    When is the class? Might be a good discipline for me to do from time to time.

  5. angela Says:

    Lovely drawing. I ordered your recommended book “Undressed Art: Why We Draw” today as it sounds really interesting. Can’t wait for it to arrive. Thanks.

  6. gberke Says:

    nice… 🙂

  7. Jim Sizemore Says:

    A lovely lighter-than-air sensitive sketch. Makes me want to dig out some of my really old (and rather crude) conté sketches from the 1960s (the first and last time I attended life classes) and remind myself that I should have stuck with it. Who knows, perhaps I could have gotten better. Oh well, time gets away from us.

  8. patti Says:

    when is your next blog going to be written?

  9. sketchman Says:

    high-level methods of sketching, good enough to make an study

  10. plasticpumpkin Says:

    This is fabulous.

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