Thursday, January 12, 2017

Nude or Clothed, It’s All Practice

1/10/17 brush pen (1-min. poses)
I’ve talked about how people who look like they are about to flee are good practice for making as few lines as possible to convey the essence of the person. Tuesday at a Gage life-drawing session, I realized that what I practice regularly in coffee shops could also be applied to those one-minute poses. I suppose I do it intuitively in life drawing because the clock is running, and I know roughly how long a minute lasts (I don’t have to guess whether the man at a table is just waiting for his drink or whether he’ll stay and check messages). But Tuesday was the first time I thought about it consciously and decided to use the same principle to draw the model: Use as few lines as possible to convey the gesture.

1/10/17 brush pen (2-min. pose)
Although I always prefer sketching in real life to the artificial setup of a life-drawing studio, I have to say that my brush pens make much more esthetically beautiful lines to express this model’s body than the hooded jackets I see around town. Still, there are many challenges to both – the creases and folds of fabric are just as challenging as the muscles and skin of a model.

During the 15-minute poses, I had the luxury of pencil, just like I sometimes do with certain “victims” in the coffee shop. I’m fickle and change my materials all the time, but right now my favorite pencils for life drawing are Derwent Drawing Pencils, which have a soft, creamy, thick core and come in a range of muted, neutral hues that work well on toned paper as well as white.

Do I go to life drawing to prepare for sketching in the field? Or do I sketch people at Starbucks to prepare for studio life drawing sessions? Nude or clothed, it’s all good practice.

1/10/17 brush pen (1-min. poses)

1/10/17 Derwent Drawing Pencil (15-min. pose)
1/10/17 Derwent Drawing Pencils (15-min. pose)


  1. You are really doing well with the figures. I especially like the ease of your ink line quickies!

    1. Thank you, Joan! Life drawing is always a challenge but one I really enjoy!


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