What I love about untutored class is it’s so relaxing. It’s like leisurely shopping without the hassle and cheaper, like a bath for my brain.
I won’t say ‘I can’t draw’ that phase is overused and not true but I will say – I can’t really draw portraits. I did go to a 6 week course once and learnt the basics a bit on proportions, drawing hands, shoulders, shading. Some of that has stayed in my brain and I use it but mostly I just draw the person in front of me and stop when the timer is up.
Life drawing is like win win too, the person gets paid, they exube confidence getting naked in front of everyone and talking to students during the break in a robe. People get the opportunity to draw a real life model. Win win.
Here are the prompts I go to before and during class:
1. When packing supplies I keep it simple, there are so many ways to make an expression on paper however I only bring mixed media if it’s a half day drawing course. Most are 1-2 hours. In today’s class I used my sketchbook, some back paper and a sheet of brown packaging. I took my usual sketching supplies pencils, pens . I took a white uni pin pen and a pink watercolour pen and used them too.
2. Chose a part that you want to draw are words that come into my mind at the start, I used to think I had to draw everything I saw and sometimes I find I have but I always start with an area of interest just incase I just do a drawing of an arm and a breast or two feet. It loosens me up, like the 1 minute, 3 min drawing exercises. I feel grounded – Remember there are literally are no rules and you may have to do some inner work on school/other teaching experiences to really know that!
3. If I am going to draw the model entirely I start with a loose outline, usually starting with neck, collarbones, the face shape. I carry on drawing like this with all limbs and seating arrangement. Then, only if I want to, I add facial features but many don’t and it can be really distracting and just not work. Keep it simple, your drawing doesn’t ‘have’ to have a face, you don’t have to do anything!
4. In breaks or at the end look at other people’s pieces, for inspiration purposes. If u sigh ‘I wish I could draw like that’ or compare ‘My drawing is no way like that’ you will miss all the goodness from people around you. Turn it around! The only way I knew to bring black paper to class also was because in one of my first classes I saw the style of drawing black on white was really interesting so I tried it myself! Today the person in front of me drew in a small sketch book with biro pen wonderful line work then I saw how they did monopronting! Sure there are going to be others who excel in drawing portraits, share the joy instead of resenting, we all need more joy!
I came to class today at almost 29 weeks pregnant and feeling it, the type of tired where you may fall asleep while walking or convinced you have a bad cold ahead. I sat in class (taking my pink yoga cushion as sitting down can give me agony at the moment) really relaxed and drew. I left feeling glad to have had the opportunity for a break and a trip to town, I’m doing a lot of staying in, I’m a bit like a creative hermit crab at the moment!
Todays life drawing was organised by Jelly who offer non tutored classes once a month, before this organisation there was no Art meet ups for adults or children in Reading town! They are an inspiration.
Yours Truly Taran