Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Life class

Six minutes

For the first time in over 20 years I attended a life class last night. I was a little anxious as I felt so out of practice using a large floor easel and huge sheets of newsprint. I spent two hours in hard labour, going from very quick one minute poses up to twenty minute poses and felt exhausted at the end of the session. Partially from standing and partially from concentrating hard for two hours - 15 pages of newsprint used, some both sides!

This class will continue each Monday night until June 30th and I'm quite looking forward to attending them and getting back into practice once more. However, next week, I'll tackle some crops of the longer poses and see if I can do a portrait. I also grabbed the wrong charcoal on my way out the door in the morning (I can't get home before classes so I take my gear with me to work). I ended up with hard charcoal and I prefer the medium to soft for those nice smooth lines that it produces.

Here are some of the results, ranging from one minute to twenty minutes sketches. Photos are horrible unfortunately, due to bad night lighting. I feel that I did better with the shorter poses and overworked the longer poses in some ways. I blame it on hard charcoal, fatigue and lack of practice! Next week I'll have a plan.

One minute

Two minutes

Three minutes

Twenty minutes


Katherine said...

I think you're doing absolutely fine. Really!

You do forget just how exhausting drawings for 2+ hours can be - but stick with it as it gets easier quite quickly when you've had some previous experience of drawing from life. Less easy of course for those who've had no experience.

I'd highly recommend sticking with the routine and going with the 'pain' as you'll then get a lot more value from the class a lot more quickly than if you make the challenge a bit easier on yourself too fast.

Earn a respite - try bartering with yourself - and be quite tough! Trade choice about 'making a picture' with the quality of the quickies you do. Do good quickies - you get to do a picture. Don't do good quickies, stick with the practice!

The quid pro quo? I always get a very good night's sleep the night of the evening class!

Jeanette said...

Good idea Katherine, the mental challenges.

The addition of 20 plus years since I toiled hard at a floor easel shows me how out of practice I am in that discipline. But, as you say, it will become easier as classes go by and I will stick with it.

The end benefits of better drawing skills and a good night's sleep on class night keep me going!

Tracy Hall said...

These are great Jeanette. Its a long time since I was able to attend a life class (shame!) but always found the quick studies more beneficial even if they didn't look like much. But all that discipline is tiring! Yours look terrific already.