Life studies

Some of the most difficult things to draw are people. They are all shapes and sizes, different skin tones, hair colours. So many things to try and get right. Thats why I have started going to a life drawing class again.


I think I’m reasonably good at drawing, but I do sometimes draw without looking properly. The first two pages of drawings here are 5 minute sketches. No real time to think, you have to be spontaneous to try and capture the whole figure before the pose ends.

The more worked up drawing took an hour. It was only after I had finished that I realised either the head is too large or the rest of the body is too small…I was doing something wrong, concentrating in the detail and not looking at the whole picture.

One thing I could have done is put the paper on an easel so that the surface would have been at a better angle. By tipping the drawing pad the top was further away, and there is a tendency to draw those areas slightly bigger. You can sometimes see the same effect if you have your drawing flat on a table, the image will look elongated when you pick it up. Sometimes the image will be skewed to one side if you drew with the paper at an angle. It’s all a learning curve. No pun intended.

The final picture was painted on a black canvas. I think this helped make it more interesting. The lower thigh is very foreshortened. I would have used the drawing of the pose to rectify this but I dont think its accurate enough. So I will continue to go to life drawing to improve my skills.

I would recommend drawing classes to anyone who wants to get better at sketching.

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