Classes will start again in March when the weather and day light is a bit kinder. I will be spending some time in Cornwall where the temperature is a bit warmer. I will be attending some art classes in St Ives and Newlyn. I discovered the various life drawing sessions and venues last year so I will be practising hard.
The Youlgrave classes need to be booked for the whole term,
as we are following structured sessions. The life drawing
class in Bakewell still has the drop in option.
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A typical format of my life drawing class would involve different models each week; male, female, old, young, fat and thin! All bodies are different so you have a new challenge every week. It is not good artistic practice to draw the same model from the same viewpoint every week.
We usually start with quick drawings where the model poses for 5 minutes and you try to get as much of the pose as you can. The quick drawings 'get your eye in' and connects your eyes to your drawing hand. This loosens your drawing so that your drawings of longer poses are more free and well proportioned. It doesn't matter if beginners start with match stick figures, making simple marks on the paper is a good way of making immediate progress.
After the short poses we tackle a pose with more time to achieve a finished drawing. This is usually about 90 minutes. More observation gives time for a detailed drawing or painting. I tend to circle round the class and give assistance where required or requested during the long poses.
Any medium can be used. Most artists start with charcoal or pencil. Cheap paper is ideal for this exercise - sugar paper, wall lining paper, cartridge.
When the model takes a rest, usually every 20 minutes, most artists stand back and view their efforts from a distance. This makes it easier to see where proportions of the drawing need to be changed. This is also a chance to view the work of other students' work. Artists are a friendly bunchand always willing to give helpful tips or receive comment on their own efforts.
We have a break for tea, coffee, biscuits and a chat.
After the break we often resume with three 20 minute poses. You take home six or seven drawings after an afternoon or evening life class
Here are examples of my
students at work and the model at an all day life class.
The life drawing classes can help your drawing and painting skills in many ways. It can teach you observation as it is not until you try to draw something that you really start to look. You observe where one line is in relation to another. You start to look at the spaces between parts of the body, looking at the negative spaces between the limbs, It can teach you proportion and perspective by looking at the foreshortening of the body
I can teach you how to get the proportions by measuring techniques. How to line up the body and to see the central axis through the body.
Life drawing is a very good way of teaching the craft of drawing and painting . It is quite difficult to do at first but I know that once you can draw a body you will find it very easy to draw anything else. Definitely a good way for you to start seeing and observing for everything is within the human body that needs to be learnt for other drawing and painting skills. You learn and improve your skills with line, proportion, mass, volume, perspective, tone and colour By looking at colour and seeing subtle colour on the body will enable the student (you) to see more colour in the landscape and environment and thus increase a colour awareness and give more pleasure and appreciation to every day life.
All the different mediums can be used in life drawing
Pencil drawing where the use of the different weights of line can be employed different shading and blending techniques. How the rubber can be used to make marks and used as a tool rather than as an eraser.
Charcoal sticks - again how to get different weight of line and how this medium can be used for blocking in tone or making different textural marks.
Graphite, pen and ink, brush and ink, stick and ink, conté crayons, pastels, oil pastels, collage, all the different types of paints, the list could go on and on .... use whatever medium you choose.
Enjoy your art!