Making Progress in Life Drawing (or at least trying to)
I’ve been doing pretty regular life drawing for a few years now. At first I made progress relatively quickly, having done quite a lot of life drawing when I was in my twenties. But in the last few months I just couldn’t seem to do any decent drawings, and found my mind wandering, my interest waning. It`s easy to find excuses – I don`t like the model, the pose times don`t work for me, it`s too hot in here….Of course I never actually bought into any of those things, but they do sort of float through your head when the drawing isn`t going well.
One thing I`ve tried to push forward is posemaniacs – last year I filled pages and pages with 30-second figures – and this is an excellent way to get your speed up if you are disciplined enough to do it – which I haven`t been this year.
I also tried working through several life drawing books – most recently figure drawing by Michael Hampton. I filled pages with hands and feet (the hard bits for me) but again, I lack the discipline to work through it systematically.
And then, one evening as I felt myself wondering how long to the break, I decided to switch to my left hand. This has been the most useful tool yet. It forces me to concentrate, which focuses my interest – I find myself really enjoying myself and I like my drawings so much more. They have a certain truth to them, even when they`re not particularly accurate. Here are a couple of 2-minute poses – not much time for drawing with the non-dominant hand.
Here are a few of the longer ones from the last three sessions – mostly 5-minutes but sometimes as long as 10 minutes. Once in a while I switch back to my right hand, but I`m not sure anymore which are which. I didn`t always have time to finish, as you can see. While the drawings may not look generally better than what I was doing before, I can see definite improvement in things like hands – and I`m having so much more fun doing it, which is the main thing for me.
That`s what`s been working for me – and you? I`d love to hear about what`s been working for you!