I have just spent the weekend with Colina Grant (and ten other artists!) learning how to do life drawing. Quite a few of us were newbies to life drawing, but that didn’t matter as we had a great teacher and model.
Saturday was spent sketching. We started out on butchers paper with one-minute sketches, and then moved on to two-minute, five-minute, ten-minute and then finally twenty minutes. We started sketching with just charcoal, but by the time we were spending ten minutes we started using some greys and whites to add tone to the sketches. And we moved on to using better paper, including Colourfix, and some more flesh tones if we had them. Our model was really great. She was an artist herself and knew what poses would give us all good sketches. I am sorry we didn’t get more time with the model.
Sunday we worked from the sketches (no model). We started, on Colourfix, using ink to map in the darks and shapes. Then using pastel we fleshed out the sketches. This was interesting, but my tendency, which I had to fight, was to block in the flesh colours and cover the body with skin. But that wasn’t the intention of the activity, so I had to hold back and play in a different way. I was starting to get a feel for this near the end of the day.
I will have to try and talk My local art group into running a life drawing/sketching class or group. I think my drawing would benefit greatly from this. (You were right, Bruce!) It was interesting to see how the sketches turned out for other members of the class – the different views of the model turned out some really beautiful sketches.