It's been nearly 8 years since I've done any life drawing. I found one here in town and dove right in. I'm pretty sure you can find me at the Argos Gallery every Tuesday from 6:30–9:30pm from here on out because I had a great time.
The format is pretty casual, and they mix up the length of the poses from several quick 1 minute poses to longer 40 minute poses (broken into 2 twenty minute sessions where the model closely matches their pose for the second 20 minutes making it effectively 40 minutes in the same pose.)
What I learned
Drawing requires some warm up time. It's pretty much impossible to pick up a pencil and make something awesome without 30 minutes or so of quick sketching and drawing exercises.
This was a great opportunity to test out different mark making tools (brush pens, pencils, ect.). Next time I'm totally bringing some charcoal and if I can figure out a way to set up some ink and water I'll be doing that too. You can see I mixed some brush pen with marker and pencil. I think the results were interesting but since this was my first time I didn't bring ink/brushes/water ect.
Somehow by the end I settled on pencil exclusively. For the 40 minute pose I ended up using just pencil and my blending pencils to create value. I had the control that a 40 minute pose demanded. But honestly, I feel like the first 20 minute session where I used the brush pens was much more interesting.
What I will work on next time
I plan to really focus on value next week. I want to really play with bright highlights and blackest blacks to really push those values to their extremes and see where I land, but also ensure that the mid tones are right. I think that will add a lot to the dimensionality of my work.
In the meantime
Life drawing is great, and there is a lot I'm going to get out of it, but between now and then I plan on implementing some of the lessons I learned this week into my own illustration style. I'll be sure to share that with all of you of course!