Tips for the nervous Life Drawing artist
Nudity can be art, so don't be shy
Aug 24, 2017
I’m going to a Life Drawing party this weekend and I’m more than a little bit nervous just thinking about it.
Despite having studied the human anatomy through paper, I’ll admit it’s a little odd to be intimidated by the prospect of seeing the naked body of a man or woman in a life drawing set-up.
What makes it odder is the fact that I’m not even the one who’s posing naked. If anyone should be nervous, it should be the model who’ll be subjected as an object for the good part of the evening. Yet, there’s a shyness, a hesitance, and a good amount of fear that comes with the prospect of being exposed to that much of a person.
Other than that, what scares me the most is feeling lost as an untrained artist during a life drawing session. During these sessions, the model holds their pose for a limited amount of time, and if you’re new to drawing or sketching, then brevity and speed might be a challenge for you.
To encourage myself and other aspiring artists to get out of our comfort zones and take this extra step to better ourselves as artists, here are six quick tips on life drawing for when you decide to give it a try.
The first rule of life drawing is that there is no one definite way of doing it. There isn’t one specific technique you’re required to follow when drawing someone naked. It might sound vague, but just follow your instinct because that’s the best way to bring out your own style as an artist.
Since models hold their poses for one quick second (sometimes literally), another advice is to draw big. Don’t be stringent and take over as much space as you can on your sketch pads. This helps make your sketches feel complete, rather than turning out as odd bits and pieces of small doodles.
Don’t fixate on separate parts of the body when you’re drawing. Beginners usually do this in the misguided belief that drawing body parts individually would result in the picture of a whole person.
On the contrary, this doesn’t end to a cohesive whole. To achieve that goal, the best thing is to try and draw the entire body with one single stroke. Try and capture the lines of movement of the body. This will give you a better and more cohesive picture.
Outwards not inwards
Following tip number three, here’s a note on the lines of the body. An observation only the seasoned artist will take note of, the lines of the human body are convex, not concave. While drawing keep in mind to direct your lines outwards, not inwards.
Head and Weight
If you’re feeling lost and need a starting point, begin at the body parts bearing the weight of the model or simply start at their head.
I don’t know about you but I find it easier to divide and conquer for any task that I do. It makes anything, even drawing the naked human figure, more manageable and less daunting. So, if you’re going to divide the human body, the advice is to treat the pelvic bone the clear divide.
Try out these tips and face your uncomfortable fears this Saturday at WHOAREMARO’s The Lifedrawing Setup in Warehouse Eight, Makati. Check out their details here.
Photos courtesy of WHOAREMARO
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