Monday, September 17, 2012

Doodle 048 - Figure drawing (Some artistic tasteful nudity)

Today was a good day, sure, it is Monday, it is raining cats and dogs and there is a raging storm outside which is threatening to leave us without power momentarily... haha! I hope I finish this post before that happens, but today I did something I have been struggling to do for months.

Yes, today, I went out and interacted with a bunch of people I have never met in order to attend a figure drawing session with a live model.

There is a cool art community here in town, the epicenter of that community is a small complex of studios and galleries next to the railroad tracks, it is called Railroad Square because of the location. It is a funky, quirky place filled with odd and fun shops and cafes. I go there on time to time to visit the second hand shops etc.

One of the gallery owners started having figure drawing sessions a while back, I often tried to make it out there, but work or my own fear of meeting strangers, plus my painful shyness made it an uphill battle. Finally, over the weekend, I made it a personal goal to get out there and draw.

I had a long day between the doctor's office and work today, so by the time I got home I had forgotten, I went ahead, changed into house clothes, and I was about to start fighting with myself over working out or not (it is always a fight... "Get on the elliptical!" "Hmmm... I dunnooo" "DO EET!" "NEVERRR!"), when I remembered about the session. I changed right back up, grabbed my largest sketchpad, portable easel, my little pony bag and got on the road right on time.

When I got to the art studio there were several people setting up and getting ready. I sorta walked in and said a very shy "hi" and started to set up my own stuff. Everybody was sort of introverted as well, so that was kind of cool, after a while people started to come over and say hi and ask what my name was and to see my drawings, so I felt more comfortable as the session went on.

Our model was awesome and did a great job even though it was her first time, I always have a lot of respect for models, overall when the session is on the nude, like today's, plus she was very sweet.

All in all, I had a blast and I am very happy I made it out there and didn't let my fears keep me away again.

So, to begin with, I found some old doodles I made with my brush pen when I first got it on the front of my pad, I took a couple of quick pics:

Random doodles - brush pen on plain sketchbook.

Random doodles - brush pen on plain sketchbook.

And now, a word of warning: the following drawings will have artistic nudity, it is, after all, the only way to really get better at anatomy.

First we started with quick warm up sketches, these poses were 5 minutes long and they were perfect for me to get my feet wet again. This page is an example of what my drawings looked like at the start of the session:

5 minute figure drawings - graphite on plain sketchbook. Aprox 5 mins. each
As you can see it is mostly structure. We then moved onto longer poses of 20 mins each:

20 min. pose - graphite and brush pen on plain sketchbook.
This was my first long pose. I decided to be bold and tried my brush pen to define the figure. I was struggling with the hands and face, but I didn't give up.

20 min pose - graphite and charcoal pencil on plain sketchbook.
I changed my approach for the next pose and pulled out my charcoal, my lines were getting a bit looser and I was feeling a bit more confident.

20 min pose - graphite and mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook.
After a break the model did the same pose, so I switched my angle a bit to get a different perspective.

20 min. pose - graphite and black prismacolor pencil on plain sketchbook.
The final pose was more relaxed (my arm was starting to kill me). I accidentally grabbed a black prismacolor pencil instead of my charcoal one and that didn't allow me to make as many corrections as I would have liked, but I forged on ahead and continued with the drawing.

I feel rather proud of myself, I haven't done any figure drawing since college and I really need to study anatomy in order to get back into real drawing shape. The sketches weren't as bad as I thought they would be, the atmosphere at the studio was great and I will definitely be back to work on my artwork next week.


Leigh Ann said...

Congratulations! I have social anxiety and I know how hard it is to get out there among people even to do something you really want to do, so three cheers for you!!

I Love seeing your drawings unfold. You're so creative.

vas said...

Woohoo! Great job on your fist class back!

LeAnn Woodward said...

GREAT JOB! :) I love how I can almost feel you loosen up as you go along. :) Congrats on getting your feet wet again! :)

Doranna Benker Gilkey said...

Kudos for getting out there. I really had to laugh when you had a moment to choose working out or being terrified, and it didn't take a second to say "let's go be terrified! Yes!" I absolutely relate! I really enjoy your sketches, and find your stories about putting the effort in, even when you don't feel like it, very inspiring.