Recently I decided to enroll myself in a 7 week life drawing class because I wanted to improve my observation skills and wanted to learn how I could be more efficient with my drawing process (that means mastering the good ol’ gesture drawing!). As I have mentioned in a previous post, I paint/draw slow because I tend to get caught up in the details and lose focus on the main “picture.”
Prior to the class, I had only been improving these skills by using online resources like “Figure and Gesture Drawing: Tools for Self-educating Artists.” However, I felt like I needed more direction and decided to enroll myself in a class. What I had enjoyed about the class is that the teacher encouraged you to draw in whatever style you want and there was no right or wrong way. To me, it felt good to get back to that sense of freedom where it didn’t necessarily had to be perfect (just as long as the style stayed consistent in the drawing though!). This class consisted a diverse group of people who were at different skill levels and a class critique of our work was encouraged at the end of each class. I found these critiques helpful because it opened my eyes in how I could approach my drawing. For example, at the beginning I was drawing my model in small scale because I think I’ve never actually seen a figure drawing in person and when I had looked at figure drawings online they looked small to me. So, during the critique I would see some of the advance drawers had drawn the model at a large scale. Or instead of drawing a complete outline of the model, some would have drawn an “abstraction” of the model where like the outline of the back or arm was not all drawn in (since the human eye tends to fill in the “missing” blanks). Being among a diverse group of people with their own sense of skill and style helped me develop my own style (which is still something that I’m working at!).
Below, is a sneak peek to a few of my figure/gesture drawing that I did in class:
-This was one of my first drawings I did in my first class. I think these were 1-minute or 3-minute drawings.
-Sample of some of my gesture drawings. Definitely something that I want to improve on more, but I’ll admit they are fun to do. It’s amazing to see how much you can draw in 30 seconds!
If you want to improve yourself as an artist, I highly recommend attending a life/figure drawing class. It’s nice to get back to learning the basics.