Life Drawing

After feeling inspired by my children’s artistic efforts in an art class we recently enrolled them in, I decided to join the adult life drawing class. I wouldn’t consider myself an artist in so much as I’ve never invested any significant time in pursuing art or drawing, even though I can probably get by so far as sketching goes.

The class is small, only about 10 people, and the tutor is very encouraging, jump in the deep end and see what happens. As such I started with charcoal just so I could grasp the concept of light and tones. Looking around at the pastels and oils I can see why this concept and understanding is so essential. To some degree everything we see is about light and contrasts.

What struck me significantly was how stark a contrast there is between society’s normal taboo and obsession with nakedness, and this situation where nudity was completely irrelevant. As if it was an everyday occurrence that we see all the time, and being naked in a room of clothed people was an everyday occurrence. No doubt in artistic circles and art classes it is.

When you study the human form to draw it, you fully appreciate how insignificant the breasts and crotch are by comparison to the rest of the body. Before you is a seamless form from head to toe, and what is most striking are the angles. The way the shoulders angle in relation to the hips and head. How the spine curves to unite the two. How the limbs interact with that form.

I’ve always been mystified by social attitudes toward nakedness, but this confuses me even further. How can people be so absolutely hung up about the naked form in everyday circumstances, and yet, be so nonchalant about it when it comes to art or drawing.

I’ve posted a photo ( )of my efforts. I’m looking forward to developing the skills to produce some reasonable work. As it is within a single class I picked up a huge set of techniques to correctly frame things, get the creativity flowing etc. Once my hand can produce what my brain sees, I think I’ll be getting somewhere.

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