Archives for posts with tag: art

I haven’t taken a figure drawing class since college (and even then I’m guessing it was a workshop, not a full semester), so to say it’s been a while is an understatement. So when a friend let me know about a drop-in figure drawing class, I was both excited and nervous.

The daunting challenge of drawing people – or worse, drawing faces! What is it about this that is so intimidating? The face is the connection with the inner soul of another, and so capturing that seems to be of the utmost importance. And it stands to reason that the face also seems to be the most intricate (intimate?) part of the body – lots to capture in that drawing, explicitly and implicitly. Good thing I didn’t think about any of this before I started going to the class.

Also, I brought some tools with me that I learned from a past art professor, Robert Spellman. The most important instruction is to not worry about the outcome, but instead enjoy and experience the process. The second is a cool tip that I like because it helps me get started by going through a “back door” of sorts: keep your eye on the thing you are drawing at all times, don’t look at the paper, and practice really drawing what you see, instead of what you think you see. Harder than it sounds. Sometimes this means that the drawing doesn’t look “realistic”, but they tend to look “real”.

I use Prismacolor markers – I have a gray-scale set and a color set, and I draw on 60lb paper. In a three hour session, the model takes breaks about every 20 minutes (the position is marked with tape), and I flip through my sketchpad doing about 5 to 14 sketches in the whole session.

I also enjoyed drawing hands, so I’ll upload some of those images in an upcoming post.

I recently learned about this cool interactive effort: The Sketchbook Project. For $25, the Art House Coop will send you a sketchbook that you get to fill – in any way you want, as long as you pick a “theme” – by early January and return to them. All sketchbooks will go on a national tour, and for an extra fee, you can have yours scanned in and shared digitally.

This could be a good way to get the drawing muscles activated, and I’m typically motivated by deadlines. The key is to be flexible with the “theme” – be creative as you follow the path and investigate all meanings of the words/concepts of your theme.

And a great follow-along would be this art blog on the NY Times! James McMullan is providing a lesson every week for 12 weeks on DRAWING, which could provide great fuel to the actual practice of sketching.

I just need to order my sketchbook now…

(Followup, added 10/27/2010 – I didn’t order the sketchbook after all, since I think I have my hands full with starting this blog, and with a figure drawing class that I’m taking. Next year?)