Archive | September, 2007

In which G takes one for the team.

16 Sep

There’s a lot of responsibility in organising a life drawing group. You gotta turn up each week, you gotta book the room, book the model, take the money and buy the booze. You gotta fill in for the model if they don’t turn up…

The first time drawing companion (DC) and I turned up for the group was a bit surreal. We were a bit late and so we snuck in not really knowing what we were going in to. It didn’t help that the class was in session and they were drawing a fully dressed man. This wasn’t quite the nude we were expecting, but it soon transpired that this was in fact G-the-organiser filling in until the model turned up. Fortunately she did a couple of minutes later and the group went on as expected.

Fastforward to last week and DC’s last class. It seemed we come full circle, when once again the model was late and G started off with some poses in his jeans and jumper. Just like last time, he got his phone out mid pose and called the model. I thought he’d got through cos suddenly he’s off to the back room with a towel. ‘He’s getting ready for them’, I thought. Noooo… Within a few minutes G’s out again, with towel, but sans clothes. Apparently it’s not the first time he’s had to fill in, I hope he keeps the model’s money when he does…

Life drawing class 11th September 2007

Respect, G.

This is my 1 hour pose, which has a very good face, but a slightly distorted body. The arm’s not right. I actually like my 10 and 30 minute poses better

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Life drawing. Update.

15 Sep

I’ve now been going to a Tuesday night life drawing group for about 10 weeks – pretty much the whole time I’ve been back in Perth. I’ve been really impressed at how constant my attendance has been – I’ve only missed one class (thanks to a Chemistry lecture I went to instead). It’s probably helped that I’ve had a drawing companion, and we’ve got into a routine of going to a cheapie-but-yum Japanese restaurant for dinner first, making it an altogether Top Night Out. Drawing companion, however, is about to move onto greener pastures and so it’ll be interesting to see how dedicated I am when I go by myself.

Despite the fact that this class doesn’t have a teacher, I do think I am learning. When you (I) first start learning to draw, there’s a lot of emphasis on not worrying about getting the lines right first time and Not Rubbing Out. In terms of loosening up and not being afraid to put lines on the page, it’s great advice. However, for me, it had pretty much got to the point where I couldn’t be bothered rubbing out lines, which meant I produce scribbley and relatively dark works. It’s not very hard for me to get the proprtions (more or less) right, scribble away, and produce something like this:

Life drawing class 21st August 2007

People in the class are usually quite complementary about them (perhaps they’re just being polite). However, for me it’s a rut and I then look a other people’s lighter and more delicate drawings and wonder How do they do that??. Anyway, after the 30 minute pose above, I was determined, suddenly, to really truly give it ago. To think about where I put my lines, and how hard I pressed and – most importantly – to not be lazy and use my eraser when needed. So, in the one hour pose I chose the lightest pencil I had on me, used my eraser, and produced this:

Life drawing class 21st August 2007

This, I think, is the best picture I’ve drawn in the class so far. It was about three or four weeks ago and, while I’ve tried to emulate the style in the one hour poses since then, I don’t like them as much as this. Being minimalist is really hard!! (for me, anyway)

I guess the other thing I’ve learnt is use the time you have. It is perfectly possible to draw a whole person in 10 minutes. Taking the time to slow down and complete the picture in 30 minutes or even an hour takes a bit of discipline – certainly at first. I’m getting better at knowing how quickly I need to draw to finish a 30 minute pose and an hour pose without looking at a clock. It’s all about practise.

(Next step? Working on a drawing for several hours, over a period of time. I’ve already done this once, but it’s time for more, me thinks)