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  1. #1
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    Beginning drawing from a live model - follow the class

    On Tuesday I'm starting a summer semester class, beginning live model drawing.

    It'll be a very fast moving class, three days a week, 8 hours a day, for about a month. I'm very nervous about it, I seem to have a mental block about drawing humans, I psyched myself into thinking it's infinitely harder then other kind of drawing, and that I'll fail miserably. (probably very irrational on my part too)

    However, my neurosis aside, if there is sufficient interest in here, I'd be willing to make this thread a blog of the class of sorts... If people want to see how it unfolds... There's probably going to stuff we can learn from it
    Last edited by Conniekat8; June 23rd, 2011 at 10:34 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Relax, don't worry, pay attention to anything they teach you, take deep breaths, and just draw.

    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post
    I seem to have a mental block about drawing humans, I psyched myself into thinking it's infinitely harder then other kind of drawing
    It kinda is, simply because you're drawing something really complicated that we all see every single day.
    Get that teapot in your still life 2 inches out, add more windowpanes on a building nobody else has seen, couple of extra branches on a tree that you just moved six feet to the left, nobody will notice, get a nose 2 inches out, yeah, they will notice..

    The good news is that it's really good practice and.. fun!

    From your description, I would love to have access to a class like that again.

    You'll learn loads, try not to stress and just go with it.

    /mildly jealous


    Edit: generic life drawing advice..

    -pencils, conteh, etc all sharpened ready to go.
    -spare putty rubbers / tape / board clips, things like that.
    -bottled water / drinks as life drawing rooms tend to be excessively hot.
    -get there early, nick a good seat or easel.


    Post a blog, stuff like this is always cool to see.
    Last edited by Flake; June 19th, 2011 at 10:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    just moved six feet to the left, nobody will notice, get a nose 2 inches out, yeah, they will notice..
    That's exactly what worries me!
    That I'll keep messing it up, and that I will get so neurotic and pedantic (oh yes, I'm quite capable of it) that I will drive myself crazy.

    And then... eventually I'll end up in an art class where I won't get an A or be best in class, and my ego will ... I dunno, I'll end up beating myself ten times harder then I already do.

    But, I can't wait for the class to start. Especially since I found out that more then half the faculty at my local community college also teaches at one of the top 50 art programs in the country.... and they teach the same curriculum.... and poach transfer students.

    I'm still not sure of I'll go for a full degree, we'll see what happens when I get past fundamentals. So far I was right years ago, I'm way better at this then I was at engineering. Not that I was bad at it, I just never had the passion for it.

    Anyway, I'll keep posting about it
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    Don't sweat it - when doing gestures just be loosed and feel the model's pose yourself - always start with a gesture even for the longer poses. Don't think of the model as "OMG, I'm drawing a person!" Squint and think in simple terms of shape and value. Have fun.
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    ConnieKat8
    You should be fine in your life drawing class.

    Your sketchbook displays ability; I see the civil engineering background coming through, especially in the contour drawings.

    Honestly, there is a little bit of leeway in figure drawing, as an arm or leg too long is barely noticeable.

    However, in portraiture, a nose too long ruins the likeness, and by consequence the drawing, completely.

    Portraiture requires much more accuracy, figure drawing requires just enough to be human; don't stress too much about being too accurate here.

    Noah Bradley said above:

    Relax, don't worry, pay attention to anything they teach you, take deep breaths, and just draw.
    Yes. Do what Mr. Bradley said. This is good advice.

    Or as Mark Twain once said:

    I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
    Or as Julius Caesar said:

    Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.
    Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post
    It'll be a very fast moving class, three days a week, 8 hours a day, for about a month.
    This is truly every artist's biggest fantasy.
    Good luck!
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    As all the others said, it's going to be fun.
    No one will laugh at you drawing whatever it's like unless they are a complete arsehole, and in the remote case of that happening they will be ostracised completely by the rest of the class.
    People are very helpful in these situations and very friendly - you are all struggling with the same problem!

    Couple of tips for ya:

    1).Get familiar with what the spine is doing in each pose and try to kee it in mind as you draw everything else.
    2). When you get to the head don't think HEAD! Keep all the elements of the drawing going at the same time and in constant relationship to each other.
    3). Use elements in the room behind the model to help you with relationships within the model's body.

    But best of all RELAX and FORGET YOURSELF in the act of LOOKING.
    Good luck!
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/
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    It's a class, right? So there's a teacher. Don't fret about not knowing what you're doing, that's why you're taking the class - to learn enough so that you'll eventually know what you're doing.

    Take advantage of the fact that there's a teacher, listen to what they say, let them guide you, they're there to help. If you mess up (and messing up is part of learning,) the teacher is there to point out how you messed up and how to make it better. Let them do this, go with the flow, and it'll all be okay...

    And yeah, just focus on looking and drawing. Usually these things are so fast-paced you soon forget your inhibitions as you scramble to draw everything. Don't think about results or final grades - if you show willing and its obvious you're trying hard, your grade will probably be fine. The only thing you can do really wrong is slacking and not listening to the teacher's advice.
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    THANK YOU GUYS FOR THE TIPS AND ENCOURAGEMENT!!!!!

    We got the syllabus today (class meets tomorrow) and a supply list - YAY, I get to go art supply shopping, love that!

    Here's a class description, for those of you who are going to be follow it:
    Art 85, Drawing from the Live Model is an introductory studio course that will focus on drawing from the draped and nude model. Emphasis will be on representing accurate proportions and structure while learning to draw with a variety of illusionary methods and processes. Various drawing techniques, and media will be employed to achieve convincing representational depiction of the human form on different two-dimensional surfaces. Both quick sketching and sustained drawing will be explored by means of gesture, contour, value modeling “chiaroscuro”, structural manipulation of volume through measuring, sighting and anatomical studies.

    An introduction to skeletal and musculature systems, as well as, surface anatomy will serve as the foundation for further study in drawing the human form. The basic drawing elements and principles such as line, shape, texture, value, color, mass, form, composition, visual weight, rhythm, etc, will be used in conveying the expressive factor of drawing from the figure.


    Recommended texts:
    Brown, Clint / McLean,Cheryl Drawing From Life
    Loomis, Andrew, Figure Drawing for all it's Worth
    Reed, Walter The Figure: An Approach to Drawing & Construction
    Vilppu, Glenn Vilppu Drawing Manuel
    Hogarth, Burne, Dynamic Figure Drawing
    Last edited by Conniekat8; June 20th, 2011 at 07:45 PM.
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    This is our professors short bio:

    Vito-Leonardo Scarola is an accomplished artist and is currently a full-time professor of Drawing and Painting at Saddleback College. He has been teaching visual arts for over thirty years. Formerly, he served as Dean at the Art Institute of Southern California currently the Laguna College of Art and Design. He has also been a member of the faculty at California State University Fullerton, California State University Long Beach, Fullerton College, Orange Coast College, and Irvine Valley College.

    Mr. Scarola is a native of Italy and has lived and studied in France. He holds a MFA degree in Painting from CSULB, a BA degree in Painting from the State University of New York, Brockport and an AA degree from St. Gregory’s College. While in France, he earned two French degrees in Language, Art History and Civilization from La Sorbonne and L’Universite de Caen, respectively.

    Mr. Scarola has been instrumental in organizing and leading successful art workshops and study tours to Europe since 1984.
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  17. #12
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    I think you're in for a great time. Just based on the reading he recommends, you can tell he's got pretty good taste.
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    Todays class highlights.... some of the questions that came up:
    Why do we want to learn Live model drawing, if we just want to draw 'from imagination' or do computer animation?
    -because without experience of closely examining and understanding what we are looking at, and how to draw it, we are extremely unlikely to be able to draw what we want, and have it come out exactly like we see it in our head... and also, to present it professionally, where we can sell others on our ideas. It's artistic visual stuff, presentation matters - very much!!!!

    Today we did some 'spaghetti drawing' it's a lot like gestural drawing, but without lifting your pencil off the paper. Lot of 1-2 or 5 min gestural sketches, and several 15 min gestural sketches developed into a silhouette. Tomorrow we focus more on proportions.

    Here are sketches from today... sorry about image quality, these are photos from 18x26 drawings.
    Last edited by Conniekat8; February 26th, 2012 at 07:13 PM.
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