A couple of weekends ago, I had my first proper nude figure drawing class since college. I must say it was a very inspiring session. It was a great atmosphere, with the classroom environment really pushing me to do my best. The three-dimensionality of a live model does make for much more wholy-realized sketches than practicing on say youtube, doesn’t it?
The resources were also superior to my usual set. Instead of a no. 2 pencil and simple sketchpad at home, I could utilize charcoal pencils and white chalk and large off-color paper and an easel, etc.
All in all it took three hours which went by before I knew it. The model was very professional and able to make striking poses while staying perfectly still for extended periods of time, which is far more difficult than it seems.
First, there were the many quick 30-second to one-minute to two-minute poses:
It was very good for getting back into the spirit of drawing. Then, came the poses at about 15-minutes length and I used a tan paper stock so I could highlight the contrasts of light and shadow. After getting the hang of sketching the body, I wanted to challenge myself by drawing a recognizable face as well:
The second-half of the class with thirty-minute plus poses made for more fully-finalized pieces, which I think turned out surprisingly well!
Thinking about the anatomy as a whole and the shoulders-to-waist and forced perspective of the legs, and the shine in the hair and the cloth draped over the chair…
I moved my easel station around to get different perspectives, and found that the backside can be a very beautiful angle. Grey paper, by the way, may be my new favorite medium.
In the final work, I took my time and even did some layouts of the background so the picture could look as complete as possible. My attempt to bring all the elements together: The sense of movement of the body, and the smudged charcoal shading alongside the white oil lighting and here it is–
So, thanks for allowing me to share. I hope these turned out well, and I perhaps I’ll now have the opportunity to sketch more soon!