Friday, 28 September 2012

The body in motion

Last Friday to Sunday I participated in a life drawing course which was entirely focused on the moving body. I.e. the model didn't stand still for 10-20 minutes at a time as is normally the case in a life drawing class. Yes, it's as difficult as it sounds and, at times,extremely frustrating. We had an excellent teacher - Georg Kleber - and I really felt I had learned a lot by the end. The downside is that not many 'pretty' pictures came out of the learning, but that's not really the point.

We spent quite a long time 'warming up', doing stick figure drawings of the moving model. The idea was to draw the direction of the movement rather than the actual model. Next we did kind of 'sausage' figures. The model posed for 30 seconds at a time. We had an amazing model who is a dancer. She moved so gracefully and was so flexible that quite often I wasted the 30 seconds with gawping and wondering how she could get her foot behind her ear. (Incidentally, I found concentrating on doing only one thing all day - without any interruptions! -  quite a shock to the system after being in 'baby land' for so long. On the first day I was so exhausted I had to go to bed 2 hours earlier than usual).

We filled sheets and sheets of these kind of sketches

The model then did a constant sequence of three movements and we had to draw the three poses. Here's one example:
 Next we were told to stop concentrating on drawing the outline of the body and focus on mass and the direction of movement. If we had time, we could add definition lines. I didn't realise how obsessed I am with drawing outlines until that point! Again, the model created a mini choreography of movements which she repeated over and over again for about 5-10 minutes. I worked with pastel/conté pastel to get the rough movement. And then, yes, in an almost OCD manner, added definitions lines....ok, I outlined the figures. Couldn't help myself!

 I did manage to move away from outlining (a tiny bit) as the course went I'll show in my next post.
What a cliffhanger!


  1. Oh lovely! Sounds like you had a great time :-)

  2. Yeah, was nice to get out of the house and use a different part of the brain for once.