2011: Life Drawing

Last year I did some life drawing sessions with a local artist co-op. It had been a long time since I did life drawing back in art school. I forgot how much I enjoyed it, and I discovered how much I had improved since I was a student.


A few days ago, a friend asked to see my drawings. She loved them, she said, “now draw me!” and took off her clothes. I did a few quick sketches in soft graphite, she liked this one the best. I always have problems drawing accurate portraits that look like the model, but despite my very rough drawing, she said it looks just like her.


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She couldn’t sit still for more than about 5 minutes, which makes it hard to fix all the details. But for the short time she modeled, this is a fairly good effort. That was always my problem in the drawing sessions, I wanted to do 30 minutes per pose, everyone else wanted 5 minutes. I like to work longer sessions, that’s probably because of my painting background, I take longer to work out all the details. But it’s hard to find models that will sit for an hour, day after day, until a painting is finished.


This drawing is about 8″ x 14″ and was done in graphite stick, with lots of smeary erasing. Graphite stick is really versatile, but alas, you can’t see its best qualities just from a low rez scan. It can be shiny or matte, smooth or rough. In a lot of these forms, I’m trying to just “suggest” the form rather than make it clear. This type of drawing relies more on the energy and expressiveness of the line and shading, rather than accurate draftsmanship. I captured a few important anatomical features that help create the shape, but only as minimally and as sketchily as I can. I am rather pleased with this drawing. I can see a few things I’d like to fix, but inevitably, I always ruin a drawing by trying to fix it after the fact.

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