Friday, August 12, 2011

My First Life Drawing Session

My dear friend, Nancy, found out that there was a life drawing class in Jackson yesterday and she and I attended. First of all let me say I was blown away by her charcoal sketches. She is even better than I thought she was - and that is saying a lot. I am hoping she will share hers with you on her blog.

I have never been to a life drawing class and didn't quite know what to expect. We were warmly welcomed by the Jackson Civic Art Association members that were present and made to feel right at home. The model was the daughter of the association treasurer and was a very pleasant and good one. She held her poses quite steadily.  I began really tight - I was nervous, but by the last post (there were 5 in all) I was fine. There were no 1 minute poses as warm ups. All the poses were for 20 minutes. For what it is worth, I will show you my sketches in the order in which they were produced. I apologize for the quality of the photos, but if you click on them I think you will be able to see/critique them better.

I can see that I need to really work on my skills. I don't seem able to get the figure correctly. I am quite pleased with parts of these, but the body seems to be bunched and hunched forward. I will continue to work on this. I am planning to attend the next session which is scheduled for August 25 at Ella Sharp Museum (the same place as this session).

I am having some serious issues with my internet access and have been for some time now. This morning I called and they diagnosed some kind of equipment problem on my end. They will be sending a technician some time in the very near future and were kind enough to waive the fee. I will post when I can and hope to get a bit of painting done this weekend to share with you on Monday.

Tomorrow I am teaching my Intro to Repurposing Books class from 9 to 4 at Small But Mighty Arts in Haslett and am looking forward to it. I will be scheduling a repeat for some time in September when most of us have simpler lives and more time to engage in this kind of activity. I will also offer a more advanced class with an open decorative binding some time in the Fall. Stay tuned.....

Meanwhile, I did start a watercolor yesterday following along with a lesson I purchased from Annette Raff. If you don't know this artist, I highly recommend you check her out. Right now she is having a wonderful deal on her lessons in pdf format. They are only $2.20 each - a steal to be sure!

I am having some issues, but will show you what I have so far:

My biggest problem so far is that I didn't read about a beaded wash on dry before putting the first layer on the church and I have made a mess. I will try later to lift a bit of color to see if I can improve it a bit before continuing. I think I must have "charged" color overtop previous color instead of beading. Last evening I watched the video about this process and get it now. I haven't thought about that phrase "RTFM" in a long time, but think it is appropriate here.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I am planning to have lots to share with you on Monday.



  1. Hi Vicki, great effort with the life classes. Don't be too hard on yourself, the human body is really difficult. Next time maybe try using charcoal. I find it makes you much more liberated and less stiff and its great to make a mess with.
    I remember the first life class I did, the only male amongst 7 women. The model was female and naked, when she took off her robe I dropped my head in embarassment,saying to myself, "they'll think I'm looking at her",then vey quickly realized that if I didn't look at her I couldn't draw her.

  2. Phil's story is quite funny! I think you did a really good job with these! Phil is right about drawing the human body - it Is difficult to do. Thanks for the sweet compliment about my drawings - you're a wonderful friend! hugs, nancy

  3. Vicki you did very well for a first time. Body proportions are difficult to master. Phil's story is very sweet!

  4. Nice sketches! I do live sketches really badly unfortunately. I like that WIP also, love the blue of the sky

  5. Great start Vicki! Keep after it. And remember Phil's advice...look at the model!

  6. I think you did a great job Vicki - especially as this was your first ever class. I would have been very nervous too. As if life drawing wasn't challenging enough, you then dive straight into a watercolour! I love the way you take on these difficult subjects - very inspiring.

  7. Trying something new or again is always a challenge, and I'd like to acknowledge you for showing up and doing the sketches, then posting them. It's always such a treat to see people publish their imperfect work--and you never know who you are giving a boost of courage!

  8. I'm that one - the one that received the boost of courage! I'm trying to be brave about posting my learning curve efforts and trying to silence my inner critic long enough to get something online. It's tough. And my subjects are MUCH easier than yours!

    I think you've made an absolutely fabulous start and should be proud of yourself that they are clearly recognizable as people!! :) Can't wait to see the results of your next effort!

  9. Keep going with the life drawing! And I agree with Phil, get yourself a less tight implement--charcoal, a conte crayon (I like the rust-colored ones)--and go to town! Don't worry about getting the likeness, just appreciate the lines. Life drawings are for exercising your mind, your hand, your eye--let go of self-consciousness and have fun. And then show us!

  10. Oh my gosh, I can see improvement in your sketches from first to finish! I love the one with her curled up in the round chair, and your last sketch is really striking!