How to start your own Life Drawing/Life Painting session?
This started off as a response to a post on the speed painting thread and didn't seem appropriate for that forum. Any feedback from veterans or otherwise on what you need for an open drawing session and how to make it a good one would be appreciated. Comments on models. equipment and format would be great.Pictures of your set ups or other peoples set ups would be helpful.
Any talk about your own sessions or sessions you attend would be great. What do you think works? Doesn't work? How could it be made better? Cost? Things to watch out for?
Mostly I need help to show that it's doable and well worth doing,combined with good instruction, good books,and hard work it's a great way to take it to another level. Anyones feedback or questions is welcomed on this.
Because of the nature of this post there's some nudity below.
Originally posted by eljay Bojee - thanks! Thats a good idea, theres a college on the otherside of town from me and a dance school acros the street. I think I could get enoughf people to go in on this where it might work. What do you pay your models? How do you go about setting it up? I mean, did you make flyers or somthing? I think I would feel awkward just showing up at the dance studio and just asking around... hummm .. I gues the flyer thing sounds good... Thanks for the idea, I think im going to try it.
eljay- We pay our models 15$ an hr. You need to have a clean open space, we rent the basement of a Co-op gallery for $25 a session used to be$20, they helped us out until we got established, we store all our equipment
there during the week. If you had it at say the Art department of the college maybe you wouldn't need the equipment. You need a model stand to get your model off the ground, about a foot tall and say maybe 4ft x 6ft wide, cover the top with carpet(something neutral). Space heater for the model in case they get cold, maybe fan in the summer.
The more you you get established you'll need drawing benches or easels that suround the model stand and then your going to need lighting, something you can adjust.Maybe a couple of stools at different heights for longer poses.
If you get into painting TV trays are great for holding up your palletes to the right height ( they're cheap too), and props and drapery are helpful and can lead to different places. A lot of this can be makeshift but you'll start to know what you need as you go.
It sounds like a lot but just start small and work your way up. Flyers or anything printed works best for getting models cause it makes you look more professional/legit. If you talk to the people at the dance studio just explain what your trying to do and why, and your looking for people that are comfortable with their body, move well, and that are able to express emotion or character.
Know the format of your drawing session ahead of time, meaning the timing. This'll help you to get established as well cause people will know what to expect and start to come back on a regular basis, include the schedule on anything you hand out or post. A contact # is helpful too. http://www.hipbonestudio.com/htmls/opendrwg.html
Here's an example of our format.
Life Drawing Sessions
Lyle Silver,and Aaron Coberly are now coordinating life drawing sessions at the Gallery. For a very nominal fee, a professional model is provided for three hour sessions on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The Saturday session is held from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Aaron Coberly has scheduled a monthly rotation schedule for the Saturday sessions:
$6.00 for a three hour session!
Call Aaron Coberly at 206.285-**** or
Alan Rushing at 206.284-**** for information.
The popular Sunday session runs from 10 AM to 1 PM. For additional information, Lyle Silver can be reached at 206.246-****.
Lyle Silver's Figure Drawing Session
Sundays 10 AM to 1 PM
30 minutes of 2 minute Gestures
1 20 minute pose
4 22 1/2 minute poses
This is a great opportunity for all levels to improve their drawing skills. Drop-in artists are welcome to participate.
Always looking for models, actors, dancers, gymnasts and anyone who can portray strong emotion. Must have energy and attitude!!! Please call Aaron at 206.285-****
This is an idea of what we have on our flyer and what's on the website. Prices vary all around the country but everything else is similar. Depends on your costs, but try to make it accessible to everyone.
I've included both classical set ups and newer set ups in the pictures so you get an idea of the range of posibilities. Some of these are ideals.
Pictures of other set ups would be great. Please post them here. I'll post pictures of ours soon.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by Bojee; September 10th, 2004 at 03:50 PM.
Hey bojee that would be awesome if you started your own life drawing sessons. That's how Watts started about 10 years ago. Jeff and about 4 other guys (Ron included) got together to draw in a teeny little room, and now its about 150 students strong.
heres our setup:
hope that illustrates the setup, its just a quick 3d diagram, but thats basically what it looks like.
As for how to get it going I really wouldn't know much about that cause I've never done it before, but I think you should go for it.
pandawhipped- Actually I already run two sessions with a friend of mine "abcart" and sub a lot for the one on sunday. Been doing that for the last 5yrs. That's our schedule above. What I'm looking to do is start a tutorial so other people can do it.I've travelled around the country looking for them and very few places have as many as seattle. Since your drawing all the time I thought you might have an opinion. Thanks for the layout and the help.
ohhhhhhh i see. i just kinda skimmed through everything cause i was on my way out and i wanted to reply before i left
For our workshop we start out with warm ups. These are usually 4 5 minute poses, or 7 3 minute poses (about 20 minutes) Then a "leader" determines which pose the model should take, sometimes just coming up with one from their head, other times looking through books of life drawings from the masters, and having the model copy a pose. They'll hold this pose for the remainder of the class in 20 minute sessions, with 5 minute breaks in between. This lasts for about 2 and a half hours or so.
We use a direct lighting approach with minimal bounce lighting due to the black background, and dark grey carpet on the stage.
Bojee - :eek: Holy welth of information! Thank you much! *makes copy of page*
Now I just have to have to find some more people who want in on this. Right now its just me and 2 others. But luckly I live right inbetwen two cities so it wont be too hard. Thanks for such a helpfull reply you madman, lol I realy appricate it
Eljay- My pleasure man. More people will definitely help, especially at the beginning stages, you might want to have some people model for you ahead of time so you can work out some of the kinks before you get going.
Keep a calendar, and schedule your models a month to two months ahead of time. Always give your models a call a day or two before to confirm.
If you have people your working with then it's not a problem if you have to go out of town.They also can help with the money when you don't have enough people to cover costs. This'll probably happen for a while until you get established.
Stick to your format once you figure out how you want to approach it , long poses , short poses, or something in between, it all has it's value. Once you've got it though be consistent for at least a year so you can build up regular clientele/patrons.
I'll post more as I think of it. I hope you do it, it's been a life changing experience for me.
Bojee dont get mad at me for
posting just my comments and no
good information for you, but this
is great man i have a Session on saturday
only and its 3 hours long
What i like of this session is that since
we are a very small group i can do my
sequence analisis - the model makes
a pose for 15 - 20 min and i like to
rotate around the model to catch the
same pose in fast skectches to analise
line behaviour and rotation of volume mass
even if i only use pure line (outline i mean)
I dont know if this thing already exists
but i am working on developing
a portable-table-string-backpack thing so i
can put around my neck a string or something
that supports a firm base of wood or anything
light in my stomach so i can put my sketchbook
and walk freely around the model
Start with 3-5 min warm up poses, followed
by 15 - 20 min poses all along 3 hours because
we are doing anatomy studies and not finished works
my partners dont get mad at me
rotating around , dont affect they
concentration, but what do you think Bojee
would it be wrong to do in a strangers session
By the way i saw your works in that photo
i recognized them instantly
I wish i was there man
Information____is not Knowledge Knowledge_____is not Wisdom Wisdom________is not Truth Truth__________is not Beauty Beauty________is not Love Love__________is not Music Music_________is------------------->THE BEST!
Winjer- lol, don't know if you were serious or not but actually pretty good advice if you break it down, prayer to me equals focus or your ritual that you go through every time to get yourself ready.
Having everything sharpened and ready to go saves you time during the session, I had a teacher that used to say that "a samurai would never let his blade go dull", they're our tools of the trade and we should treat them as such". I also like to feel like I can pick up anything and make it work.
Coffee to keep you alert, but careful you don't over do it or you get the jitters.
Gabriel- I've got lots of friends that do the same thing except they just carry a smaller sketchbook around the room with them, no special apparatus. IF you wanted to build it then I say go for it but it might be a little awkward. I think simple is better so then you can take it anywhere. I think you should work the way your working for a while until you feel comfortable with it and then change it up and work on something else so you stay fresh. You could also set up say 2 to 4 different stations through out the room and then move to each one depending on the pose. It all depends on your set up, that dictates a lot of what you can and can't do. That's the reason I was trying to start this thread, so people could start their own drawing session and work on whatever they wanted to and get people to fund it. Hope this helps, ask more questions if i need to clarify. Getting excited for Austin??
I thought this had a lot of potential but never got off the ground so I thought I'd try to bring it back. If there are any professionals out there or people running their own sessions who have opinions on this, I'd love to hear from you.
Last edited by Bojee; September 10th, 2004 at 03:53 PM.
"absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and keep what is essentially your own." - Bruce Lee
Whoa I mistakenly thought this was how to START YOUR OWN LIFE, wow I must be going crazy, but anyways that's a nice way to set things up, is this what the life drawing class is like, wait a minute those are digital photo shots so it must be your setup.....once again i apologize for my brain.
Last edited by Sok N. Wett; September 10th, 2004 at 04:38 PM.
One thing I like about some drawing sessions is that they have music playing while you draw, like from a little boom box or stereo. And the different people bring in their different cd's and you get a nice variety of music, and get exposed to new stuff. I remember one time I put on some techno videogame music from a Need for Speed game and through that got into a conversation with the model. Maybe some people prefere a silent room for concentration, but I think music is good for a drawing session.
I've also done a drawing session with my friend as a model who does martial arts. Going to a dojo to find models may be something you can do also.
And the theatre arts dept. or any play house may be a good resource for models, (actors are trained no to be shy!), and costumes to boot!