This week in art portfolio class we did life drawing, i.e. we had to draw a nude model from life. I’ve only done life drawing once, and at that time the model was a hot young female with a firm body. So you can imagine that when I walked into the classroom and saw a 70 year old man ready to throw his robes off, I got a bit of a surprise. Also, I have always only drawn females, and thus I know where all their curves go. Men on the other hand, are a real challenge! As my mom said: “70 year old men have curves too…just in the wrong places”. It turned out to be a great experience though; for once I had to look at the actual body and study it, rather than letting myself draw on auto-pilot.
The class was really intense – we had to do around fifty 1 minute poses, with several overlapping each other on the paper in the style of Muybridge and Marey’s motion study pictures:
The point is to capture proportions and movements, rather than details. I tend to draw stick figures and help lines first, and then add flesh to the figure. Will probably use this one for my portfolio:
At the end we did a 30 minute pose, in which we had time to further capture details, curves, shading etc. I tried to alternate between light and heavy lines in order to make the drawing more dynamic:
It is always amazing how quickly one goes into a professional mode and forgets that there is a nude man in front of you flashing his private parts from all possible angles. In the end you just start seeing the body as a combination of shapes, rather than an actual body.