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Life Drawing

November 12, 2007

I just noticed that Ronell has posted her drawings from the same class.

I’ve been under the weather since Thursday, so I’m just now getting around to posting drawings from last week’s life class. It was frustrating because the model was new and the teacher has a hard time keeping to the times we decided, so we didn’t get much done. When she’d announce a 5 minute pose it would often stretch to 15, but we had no idea when they would end. Also, everyone was rusty after a few months away. I’m glad just to have the opportunity to draw models, even if it’s not perfect, but the future of the class is in question. We’ll see what happens…

These are all fairly short poses, the first two are probably 5 to 10 minutes, and the last ones 2 minutes, if I remember correctly. Charcoal always looks better in reproduction, but I like working with pencil and line as well. There’s really not time for shading though.

If you attend life drawing classes, I’d be very interested to hear how they’re organized, because we’re thinking of asking for a little more structure this year. I know classes I’ve taken in the past always seemed to follow a strict schedule (such as 2 minute poses to start, then 5 minutes, then 15, then 1 hour). What’s your experience?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2007 5:09 pm

    Your sketches are really great. I love to see the simplicity of charcoal. Yet it is so dramatic…. yum, I love it.

    I was in a life drawing class about 5 years ago. The classes were 3 hour class. It started out with 1 min. poses, 5 min., 15 min. then ending with four 30 minute poses. It was a wonderful way to start to seeing.

    Where I live now is too far into the city to find a class …. poor me.

  2. November 12, 2007 6:38 pm

    Casey your sketches are beautiful. I love restated lines. Dying to do some serious Life drawing sessions.

    The first Life Drawing session I attended was in college where the pose was held for the week. we moved around and changed spots as and when we were done from a position. The week that followed was always painting using the same pose. Sessions were from 11 to 5 with breaks and lunch, 5 days a week!!

    At the Art Students League a similar procedure was followed. The model held a pose for a week and you could draw, paint whatever you liked. Also 5 times a week for two ‘n half hours in the evening. 20 minute poses with a 5 min break.

    More recently I attended 5 sessions over a month in June/July. The Life drawing part was for one hour and the poses were held between 10 and 15 minutes. This was the first for me after TASL two years before and so i found this new format very tough. The idea was to base the drawing / composition on the model and not try and get a likeness.

    I think whichever the method one needs to spend time using that format to get comfortable. I would still prefer the one where we get to choose. I dont like being under pressure 😀

  3. November 13, 2007 12:26 am

    These are fabulous, the last reminds me alot of Degas.
    In my experience (just the one class and oone leader) we start with short 3 and 5 minute poses then move onto one 15 minute then two 25-30 minute poses with a short coffee break in between.
    I get impatient if the coffee break takes longer than expected and I ADORE my coffee. I always feel we can chat after rather than while a model is being paid. However, I am happy to announce that this has happened just once and it was to discuss a possible one day life class marathon, so it was worth it.
    I can imagine how infuriating it would be to be told 5 minutes only to find it has become 15. I think you work differently to the time schedule you have, at least I know I do. I mis-heard once and thought the pose was a 5 minute job, it was actually a 15 minute pose and I couldn’t understand why I had ‘finished’. Rather than add to the sketch I felt was ‘done’ I made a further study with the time I had left but I still knew I had 10 minutes left…To not have any idea how long you have must feel like an awful waste.
    I would certainly address this issue and perhaps take a timer along to prompt the conversation?

  4. November 13, 2007 3:02 am

    Oh Casey! How great sketches, no doubt you were next to Ronell at the same class, hahaha. In our classes we change all the time. We don’t have a special structure. Sometimes we tell them to do short poses, sometimes both short and long poses. In some classes the model changes her pose every 5 minutes moving slowly for about 40 minutes, it’s fun cause the students many times (almost always) don’t know what they’re gonna have to do) is challenging and they enjoy it very much. It also depends on what materials they are working or some speacial task to do, like during the last class that we put a stong light on the model and turned off the lights, they draw in a dim light and they asked for more poses! (you could see that in the couple of quick sketches I did last saturday). You can talk to the students and alltogether tell the teacher what you want to do and see what can be improved. Lots of luck!!

  5. November 14, 2007 1:45 am

    I love your line quality here. Figure drawing is sooo hard for me. Hope you are feeling better. Sounds like you and Laura and Ronnell will be drawing together! Have fun. We are applying for pass ports so some time in the future, maybe I can go with you all too!!!

  6. November 14, 2007 2:57 pm

    These are great – and I love the fluidity of the line in the one where she is curled up. Really makes me miss life drawing class…the heat, the sound of charcol and pencils scritching on rough paper, the peace of a room full of focused people…. sigh. In answer to your question, the classes I took were always very structured. 10 – 15 1 to 2 minute poses to warm up, 3 5s, and 2 20s followed by a short break. Then a long 45 minute pose to finish up. Worked great for us.

  7. November 14, 2007 5:44 pm

    my favorite is the last… has a very Degas feeling to it! I wish there was a figure class that I could attend but our monthly sessions at the museum are just that…no lesson involved. I get fustrated sometimes because I think they do too many 1 and 2 minute poses and by the time we get to longer ones I don’t feel much like hanging around. But I’m not sure if it we cut back the quick poses if I’d feel ready to do longer ones. Does that make any sense? LOL.

  8. November 16, 2007 5:15 am

    As always, I love your fiure drwings, casey, especially the last two..

  9. November 16, 2007 6:58 am

    Wow, these are great! It’s really interesting how different the feel is though the position is the same between yours and Ronell’s. Yours seem spicier, vibrant, full of life and movement, while hers seem softer and more emotional. I hope you’re feeling better now. Re: life drawing structure — I think it’s important to know the time in advance for each. Does the model not use a timer? Having someone (the leader or the model) announce the time before each pose and having the model set the timer is how it’s always done here. The actual structure of 1 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute, 20 minute poses is the method where I usually go, but there are other timing structures that are common too.

  10. November 16, 2007 6:35 pm

    Love to see the different ways to get the some movement and person. Like them.

  11. November 18, 2007 6:31 pm

    So good, Casey. I’m speechless. Beautiful, particularly the last two.

  12. November 26, 2007 9:40 pm

    these are nice sketches. Just keep drawing. I have been drawing the figure for 30 years and still only come up with one or two good ones after a two hour session. I think drawing shorter poses is best to capture the spirit of the pose. Personally, I tend to freeze up when it’s a pose over 5 minutes.


  1. Figure sketches « Africantapestry

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