Figure Drawing

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!

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‘Hooking Up in China’ – Playing the field…

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A sketch of yours truly, with Beijinger artist

Dating in China might often be more accurately called Hooking Up in China, and in late 2009/early 2010 that was the kind of thing I was looking for. With varying degrees of success, mostly that is not succeeding, I had a myriad of experiences and lived and learned and notches on the bedpost and so on.

At that stage, I was a bit frustrated. My brief romance was lovely but unfulfilling in one certain way. Meanwhile, all those other expat guys constantly bragged about getting laid. I shouldn’t complain, but I wondered why I wasn’t quite keeping up. Eh, perhaps those guys were exaggerating as us bros tend to do. Really, I rarely saw the guys with a new girl every week, nothing like that. Much would be said in passing, well after the fact. Or maybe they knew better than to take girls out in public? Who knows the truth, the truth is a quantum superposition with multiple perspectives. Men round up and women round down and all realities exist simultaneously.

I’m diverging. Whatever, still I yearned. I asked out girls. Went on abortive dates. The proverbial gold-diggers (who can’t get much out of me, I’m sure not their kind of guy). Bad Christmas parties. Friend-zoned. My schedule sure got complicated. Slowly but surely, I got slightly better at the picking up chicks thing.

And so I began my evolution/devolution into the asshole I am today, or so I’ve been accused.

Here are a few of my so-called successes. Annie. Sky. Lulu. Even friendly Hailey. With so many girls in this post, please let me reiterate that these are fake names…

 

Annie

Annie was a platonic friend, a short Chinese party girl who danced all night with the expats. Continue reading