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I'm about to start classes which encompass 15 hours of drawing live, nude models. The class includes no instructions or direction; it is simply an open studio with a model.
I've never attended a formal art class like this, or done any drawing of live models. Are there any tips or tricks I should keep in mind. Does anyone have any advice that could help me get the most out of this course?
These things would be quite appreciated. Thanks in advance!
This makes no sense to me. What art school would throw a beginner student into an open life drawing studio without having taught some basic life drawing first. If there is no teacher, how do they plan to grade you on this course? Are you sure you didn't misunderstand the course description?
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It could be an evening class outside uni. I done a few of them, because they are so cheap. BUT I say just go have fun, its only 15 hours, and then you spend the $$$ and go to a class with an instructor. Its worth it, especially if you have never doen it before. Its also very easy to get dicouraged, because its quite a challenge. Bring a shitload of materials and cheap paper (I use A3 print paper, or a large Kraftpad. You will go through lots of paper, and most will prolly end up in the trash.
Another tip is go large. Let the figure take up the whole page. Use large gestures and work with your arm, not wrist. By an oil bar and get agressive!
Alot of people I managed to persuade to follow me to one or two classes didnt return, because they didnt like what they produced (after ONE class, hehe) They forgot that figuredrawing isnt about producing masterpieces (to begin with anyway) ever time, but its like practising scales on the piano. What you learn there you apply to other stuff. So keep a cool head, and dont worry when you feel like you shouldjust give up. Its a bit like learning a foreign language. At first you dont understand a word, and you think what the point. After a few months of understanding jack, youll wake up one morning and all of a suddden, its like a sheet has been lifted from your mind.
Stick with it and good luck!
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Who is up for a Life Drawing Instructional/Demo thread? Nothing really elaborate, just something to build up a lexicon of idea's, terms, examples, processes etc etc.
I for one would really appreciate this! Just getting started with life drawing myself.
Err ok I don't know what's your level but here goes. Try to use a plumb line when drawing your model. It'll help you "see" what falls in line with what. For example, the downward curve of the shoulder lines up with the inside of the ankle, etc. It helps put guidelines in your head that are not obvious on the first glimpse. Obviously, a plumb line will always give you the same kind of parallels with whatever you decide to line up and get a reference of/from. (just a string with whatever attached to one end of it will do)
Hmm another tip would be to extend your arm with pencil and measure what you see with "head heights" ; A head height being your base unit. I'm sure you've seen this in all cliché pictures of artists where they close one eye and stick their pencils at an arm's length, waving it around measuring something. For example, a forearm would be X amount of units. The length of a thigh Y,5 units, etc. It’s a ratio you can reproduce on your paper, depending on what size you initially drew the head. Speaking of which you should try to put down the head first along with the general limits of your figure in order to avoid going over your paper limits or wasting paper space.
Oh ! One last tip : try to draw at the same size you see something. It’ll help keep your proportions correct since you won’t have to “zoom in” or out of the model. If the model is too far from you, get closer and at an angle (so that others behind can still see). Usually if you’re using an easel, try to have your drawing hand on the opposite side to where you are looking. It’ll prevent you to look over your arm and have a more open posture.
Don’t be afraid to close one eye when fleshing out your proportions ; it helps “flattening” things out. I know it sounds like a dirty concept when it comes to drawing from life but it’s just for the roughing stage when you’re struggling to have correct proportions.
I can’t shut up…
Timpaatkins is right on the course type. I'm still in highschool, so I'm just taking this course to help boost my skills when I eventually have to make a portfolio (about a year from now). I took this class because their figure drawing class with an instructor is filled until December. Anyway, sorry for the lack of information.
Timpaatkins - I'm generally pretty vicious when I find things I'm bad at; I get a little addicted with practicing until I'm better. Regardless, I'll keep your words of wisdom in mind. Bringing something other than pencil is a good idea, as well. I'll have to get my hands on some vine charcoal.
Egerie - Wow, thanks for all the info!
First off, I have no idea what a plumb line is. I don't know if this is a faux pas, or if I know of it under a different name or what. I'm pretty sure I've done the same type of comparisons with sighting, I've just never jotted it down on paper as a physical line. Correct me if I'm wrong here, heh.
Luckily, I knew a lot of the sighting things you mentioned, so I can relax a little in thinking I'm entirely unprepared. Though, you've reinforced a lot of old rules I don't always hold true to (drawing large, with arm, etc) and let me know of a few new ones.
I really appreciate the time you put into writing that, and I'm sure it'll help me out a lot. Thank you very much.
Another thing I'm really apprehensive about is time limits for poses. I'm worried I'll draw something too slow and not finish, or too fast and end up wasting time. Has anyone had a problem with this, or am I just over-analyzing things?
Just a string with a weight on it so it hangs straight. Easy to make yourself.First off, I have no idea what a plumb line is.
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Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy
I know Rebecca Kimmel (sorry if the name is misspelled) has a VERY nice and in-depth figure drawing "class" going on in the CG Society forums. A quick search for "open figure drawing" or something to that effect should help you find them relatively easily. I would love to see something like that started up here.
First block in, so if the pose ends before you're done, at least your page is filled. After a while you could even try to fill in shadows and details during the break. And that's definately not the only reason to first block in .
Take a look at mentler's thread, I think he mentions somewhere to always make a few sketches before doing the longer pose, to get familiar with the model/pose.
If you're too fast, just draw it again. For that purpose, I always have several pages tucked to my easel: take the first off, and the next is ready to draw on. I also always have a smaller sketchbook around, if the pose ends after drawing 3 strokes, at least I didn't ruin the big paper, lol, and it's also easier to go stand somewhere else end draw the same pose from there, helps to understand the pose better.
As Elwell reiterated, a plumb line is really just a string with a weight.
I was also concerned with time when starting to draw from life. What helped was to do a warmup at first. Just doing 10 / 15 poses of 2 minutes or even 30 seconds. It forces you to focus on the form and flow of lines FIRST. It’s so easy to freak out and quadruple check everything that sometimes you need to step back and just let it sink in.
Alright, guys. I'm off to my class tomorrow.
I really can't thank you all enough for the advice. You guys are awesome.
here's my advice. Bring charcoal and an erasor and a big pad of paper and do many many 30 second sketches. And remember, the belly button's always the center of the figure (unless he/she's deformed or something). Try to do some enlarged sketches of hands and feet, if you get bored.
Another great idea is to bring a Calvin & Hobbes book, pick some wild expressions, and try to place them on your figures - I have some great examples.
Also, never throw any of it out. Keep all your work. Especially if you become a teacher, you can use all of this to talk about art to your students. If you ever have kids you can use them to teach art to them too.
Thanks for the mention of the OFDWs and the kind words! Much appreciated!
I just happened to stumble onto this thread, and saw that the Open Figure Drawing Workshops were mentioned ~ anyone is welcome to join in (you just have to be a member of CGTalk, which is free) ~ new members must post 2 text posts which need to be validated, then you are free to post images there at will.
I run a free online Figure Drawing / Painting / Digital / Traditional Workshop called the Open Figure Drawing Workshops. So far, we have had 12 of them, each lasting 2 weeks in duration, and they have been highly successful, with some beautiful work being produced!
Our most recent OFDW is OFDW 012, in which we are doing a Master Copy. Due to the complexity of the piece, this OFDW 012 will last at least 2 more weeks, if not 3:
Open Figure Drawing Workshop - William Bouguereau Master Copy - with Rebeccak 012
All OFDWs can be found linked here:
Open Figure Drawing Workshops with Hong Ly and Rebecca Kimmel
Hope to see some of you guys and girls there ~ anyone is free to hop in at any time.