To improve my drawing skills I decided to take part in a life drawing class. Life drawing is a great way to learn to draw the human figure. I created a series of observational drawings in charcoal with different uses of line and shading. These drawings are all on A1 sized paper and show a female figure in a variation of different poses. I made both line and shaded drawings with hopes to create a comparison between the two and discover which appears to be more effective and which would be better suited to be displayed in an art gallery and has a better social context and relationship with the viewer.
Above is the first observational drawing I made of the model in a lying-down position. This was to be a simple line drawing of the figure using charcoal. As it was my first drawing, the proportions to not appear totally accurate and the lines are quite messy and rough. I struggle to draw hands and feet and find them very time consuming and as this was only a ten minute pose I chose to focus more on the figure itself, use of line and accuracy of the proportions of the drawing. This is not a drawing that I could see being displayed in an art gallery and consider to be more studio practice leading up to more successful drawings.
However as an artwork on it’s own, I feel this to be quite a lonely piece of work which communicates a sense of isolation with the viewer in a social context. The figure is faceless and the body appears to be floating without any indication of the table beneath the model. I consider it to be a minimalist drawing with little to no detail or shading.
Here is my second life drawing, another line drawing and again with the model in a lying-down position. I tried to be more precise with this drawing by using thicker more broad lines without taking the charcoal off of the paper when outlining the figure. Before creating these bold lines, I used the charcoal to lightly map out the proportions. I do feel like this is a more inaccurate proportional drawing than my first, however I do feel as though it is an improvement of the use of line and drawing as a whole. I drew more of an indication of the hands this time as opposed to hands on my first drawing. Again I could not see this being displayed in an art gallery. Maybe if it was in colour, I could consider this to be an abstract piece with the wavy inaccurate lines and cartoonist outlook.
In a social context, again I feel this to be a very lonely drawing for the same reasons as my last life drawing, being faceless and a floating figure. I felt after this piece that maybe my next life drawing should include a little more detail and I should spend some more time mapping out the proportions before applying the thick lines to the drawing. I also feel that drawing a face on the model would create a stronger emotional social context between the viewer and the drawing.
Here is my third life drawing which I feel to be a lot stronger than the other two. This drawing consists of a lot more variations of line using a combination of heavy and light lines depending on the body feature. I had a little longer to create this life drawing and therefore after spending a lot longer time on the proportions, I decided to include detailed feet, a face and also a background. This is possibly the most difficult pose of all my life drawings and took a lot of thinking out before applying the more prominent lines to the paper. I do feel however that it is the most proportionally accurate and most detailed line drawing I have made in this life drawing session. The background consists of lighter faded lines to create a sense of depth and distance between the model and her background. This is actually a drawing I could see being displayed in an art gallery. I could see it in a white cube environment in a gold frame exhibited alongside a collection of other drawings/paintings of the human figure.
I feel that this drawing would have a very strong emotional connection with the viewer and in a social context would show the female’s vulnerability in this pose but also a sense of playfulness in the model’s positioning. With the added detain of a background and face, this drawing to me feels a lot stronger. Although my previous drawings leave a lot more to the imagination, this drawing allows the viewer to focus on what is displayed within the image rather than think about what is not there.
I went on from simple life drawing to making a more complex abstract drawing of the figure. I messed up the paper with charcoal before drawing the model which made me feel more free to make mistakes and not worry about the drawing getting a little messy. The model was in a lying-down position but this time curled up into a ball, again showing a more vulnerable image. The lines in this drawing all overlap to trick the eye and confuse the viewer. I personally believe that this is my strongest life drawing overall for it’s originality and complexity. This is a drawing I could see in a white cube art gallery displayed alongside other abstract drawings and paintings.
The social context of this drawing is again vulnerability. This does appear to be a very vulnerable pose and could also communicate loneliness, isolation and sadness with the female covering her face. To me this is a very emotional piece of artwork and I am very proud of the outcome.
My last life drawing of the session is a lot more detailed than the rest but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a stronger artwork. I used shading to define the figure and concentrated a lot on the proportions as well as the smaller features. I excluded a detailed background and chose to spend as much time as I could on the figure itself. I feel as though the top half of the body is very proportionally accurate where as I struggled a little with the legs and feet. This is a less vulnerable pose and shows the female as a strong character in the way that she poses.
I could not see this drawing displayed as a solo artwork in a gallery, nor a drawing in a collection of work unlike my last two drawings. I feel that the other two life drawings possess qualities that this drawing does not. Their proportional accuracy is a lot stronger and simplistic lines leave more to the imagination. This, to me, feels like “just another line drawing” and is not very original.