Friday, April 24, 2020

Not-Quite Life Drawing

4/18/20 20-min. pose

As has become all the rage for many activities, “life” drawing (if it can be called such) opportunities are now available as live video streams. I had been seeing other sketchers share their drawings made from live streams, and I wondered what the experience would be like. (Unlike some sketchers who routinely sketch while watching TV, I’ve done this only once: When I sketched the televised presidential debate four years ago from an appropriate “throne.”) It’s obviously not “life” drawing, but it’s not drawing from a still photo, either. I’m not sure exactly what it is.

Just as I was pondering this question, one of my favorite Gage models, Shawna Holman, announced that she was offering the same. Curious, I decided to participate. Using the Zoom platform, Shawna gave us two hours of the standard Gage short-pose sequence of 2-, 5-, 10- and 20-minute costumed poses. The harsh lighting was uneven compared to a studio spotlight, but that made it easier to see values.

The videoconference platform is interactive, so during the breaks, we could give Shawna feedback about positioning or lighting, and her response improved the later poses. It was also fun to see and chat briefly with other participants that I know from Gage.

4/18/20 2-min. poses
Here’s one interesting observation I made: At Gage’s studio, every participant has a slightly different view of the model. In a live stream, we all have exactly the same view, which immediately became apparent during the breaks when we shared our work.

No, it’s not the same as real-life life drawing, but it’s also not the same as drawing from a recorded video, and it’s definitely not the same as using static images. I wouldn’t choose to do it if Gage’s studio was available, but I truly appreciated the opportunity for the life-drawing practice that I’ve been craving during these stay-at-home weeks. Shawna is offering sessions regularly, so I’ll be back for more.

One major benefit of online life drawing is that it’s not limited to those who can commute to the studio! If you are interested in giving this kind of life drawing a try, contact Shawna through Instagram.

4/18/20 10-min. pose

4/18/20 5-min. poses


  1. You are right, it isn't the same as live drawing, but definitely an activity that is really important for our sanity now.

    1. Indeed! Not an ideal experience, but not too bad, either.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...