Life drawing, or figure drawing is considered an essential component of an artist’s education. It is the act of drawing the human figure from a living model and the model is always in the nude. A living person has a very different energy to it than an inanimate object.
It is when we engage our right-brain. It is the side of our brain that enables us to draw, a non-verbal action and takes place mostly outside our conscious awareness.
It is considered to be essential practice for the aspiring, or professional artist. It trains your ‘eye’ and your hand. Often the poses from the model are dynamic ones (short), this means that you have to draw very quickly. This enables the artist to ‘loosen up’. It enables your analytical brain to disengage itself and your creative brain starts to become liberated from any restrictions.
What are the benefits of life drawing?
- Life Drawing teaches you how to see
- Life drawing teaches you how to draw what you can see
- Life drawing enables you to develop your own style of drawing
The type of representation is wholly subjective. It may be highly detailed, anatomically correct interpretations to loose and expressive sketches. For those new to figure drawing, or those who have not used their skills for some time, it is beneficial to have some guidance. Jan Harvey shares her experience and knowledge at our al fresco Life Drawing events
What also makes a life drawing class easy to follow and participate in depends very much on the life model being used. Life models come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Arthur Lowe, the Creative Green life model has been posing for several decades now. The number one criterion though, is the light. Using the correct type of lighting make a huge difference to the model. In a studio this will be artificial and can sometimes be quite harsh. Using an al fresco setting, such as the woods at Clue Hill Farm, ensures a distinct subtlety in the lighting and there will be clear light and shadow patterns and much more of a distinction between light and shadow. One of the most important skills to learn in figure drawing is the ability to accurately observe light and shadow patterns. This should result in some impressive drawings.
It has been said the ‘drawing the human figure for an artist is like a musician practicing scales’. All pianists, whatever their ability, practice their scales and this is the same for any artist. What better opportunity for scale practice than an idyllic woodland setting. There are not very many locations in the UK where this is available.