Friday, November 9, 2012

The Figure Drawing Groove

11/8/12 Nero pencil (10-minute pose)
11/8/12 Pitt Big Brush Pens (3-minute pose)

I spent another morning in Gage’s figure drawing studio. It was my third session there in as many weeks, and I think I’m finally getting into the groove of the figure drawing process – warming up with a series of loose, gestural, three-minute sketches, working up to longer sketches, adding details and shading when the pose is longer. I’ve figured out that I like to use markers for short poses because they are conducive to speed and loose lines, and I like to use Nero pencils for longer poses because they make shading a pleasure. I am starting to see tiny incremental improvements in my work separated by piles of sketches that belong in the recycle bin (although on principle, I retain them in my sketchbook). As I’ve found time and time again, my progress is not progressive. It’s a frustration I’ve come to accept as part of the skill-building process, at least as far as drawing is concerned. As usual, it’s about continual practice.
11/8/12 Pitt Big Brush Pens (5-minute pose)
I’ve heard that the Great Masters kept up their regular figure drawing practice their whole lives. We have to assume that behind all those breathtaking paintings now hanging in museums are piles and piles of 3-minute/5-minute/20-minute sketches that the masters discarded long ago. We have to also assume that if they hadn’t kept practicing, they would have eventually gotten rusty, so practice they did. For the rest of their lives.
11/8/12 Nero pencil (10-minute pose)
How annoying is that?
Fortunately, life is full of figure drawing practice waiting to happen – market buskers, pizza vendors, audience members. And in between, there’s always Gage.


  1. Hi Tina, I really relate to your comments about progress. It makes me think about all the years that I didn't take time to sketch. Your blog is good reading!

    1. Thanks, Peggy! I appreciate your comments. I, too, think of all the sketching I missed... and now I am making up for it double-time. ;-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...