Life drawing sessions

We are happy to announce that the life drawing sessions at JAG has been so successful that another session has been added. We now do a session at the gallery every first Monday evening and every first Thursday evening of the month.


Date for our next session: Monday 13 and Thursday 16 April.
Time: 6.30 – 9 pm $20.00 per person/
limited numbers. Please phone Val on 0416 192 234 to register.

 Why Life Drawing?

As I was getting ready to post the photos of all the various artists’ drawings from the previous session a thought came to mind. What exactly is life drawing?
The definition at for life drawing is simply “the act of drawing the human figure from a living model”
But it is so much more than that. I can go all technical here but enough is said about the “how to do it” all over the internet and in hundreds of books. I want to talk about the magic of it.

You have in front of you a person who is a three dimensional living creature in a three dimensional space and you are aspiring to replicate that which you see on a two dimensional piece of paper or board. Taking into account that there is a lot happening around the figure (all the other people in the room and all the paraphernalia in the room), the model moves (no matter how comfortable a pose is there is always some slipping, slumping, flexing or head turning happening) *Just a note here to all the great models I’ve drawn in my time, I am not complaining, just stating a fact.*

And somehow you never get that perfect spot in the room.  It is very daunting, not just for a beginner, to be confronted with the dreaded foreshortening. A knee pointing straight at you and now you have to make that leg look like a leg and not a keg of beer attached to a beautiful slender girl.

One of the questions when somebody contacts me about life drawing sessions is “I am only a beginner, can I do this?” Absolutely yes! Drawing the figure from life, nude or clothed is the best tool to understanding form, shape and proportions. When you draw the figure you are continuously assessing those shapes, forms, angles, proportions and balance that makes up the human being. And it doesn’t end there. You will take what you learn in a life drawing session into your other work.

Whether you do architecture, paint landscapes or still life, art is a representation by an artist of the shapes, angles, form and proportions that makes up the visual message we present to our audience. Wow, that sounds pretentious. But really when you break down a painting or artwork isn’t that exactly what it is. A series of shapes, angles, tone etc. put together in a way to represent an image.

I am sure a lot of artist won’t agree with me but when I look at a model I try to abstract the person. To see merely a form made up of angles and shapes. I look at the relationship of those angles and shapes to each other and to the background. I look for negative shapes which helps tremendously with correctly seeing dimensions.

And then I bring it all together using tone. When you take away the idea that this is a person and see it purely in the abstract you take away the preconceptions. If you focus on the abstract you will be amazed at how the form takes shape and presents itself as a drawing of a human being at the end.

And that to me is the magic of it all.

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