The first time trying life drawing is an unusual experience but once you relax into the drawing process Life Drawing requires a careful process of looking, marking the paper, looking again, making marks. The careful consideration of the model’s form and trying to accurately represent it leaves little room for other thoughts making it relaxing and a way of switching off/disconnecting from our busy lives.
I struggle to meditate, find mindfulness a bit confusing but when I’m life drawing I can find a place of conscious thinking which is also a little unconscious. Sometimes I sit back from my drawing and I wonder where it has come from and how that came about as the many small marks become a whole representative piece.
Non-judgement of the drawing during its creation calms the mind, slows the breathing and allows for an enjoyable process. I use the thought that ‘with practice the drawing will only get better’, so I try not to judge the drawing but let the process of practice deal with my development.
I first tried life drawing 13 months ago, here are the drawings from the latest session. This session began a little differently as the model was wearing a satin gown, so we could try to capture the texture and folds of the fabric. This was inspired by the ‘Robes‘ series of artworks by American artist Jim Dine created over an almost 50 year period as a form of self portrait from 1964 onwards. (Bizarre concept but fab colours)?
It’s a very pure form of art that has remained the same process for hundreds of years.
You can use whatever medium you wish for life drawing in this session I worked in Quink, my favourite pink drawing ink and also at the end of session oil pastels.
The drawing is valuable practice in representing form of all kinds and aids observation skills, so it’s beneficial to all art work. If you’ve not tried it, and like me forget that you were trying to meditate or be mindful, then maybe try life drawing to achieve calm.
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