Today was the first day in over 5 years that I have drawn from a live model. I went to an open life drawing class held at A&C Supply in Seattle. We started out with very short poses, the instructor, Jamie Bollenback gave the model a letter and she had to interpret that letter with her body. The beginning poses were less than a minute and Jamie was trying to get all of the artists to get the entire model within each drawing.
This was very difficult for me. I had to work at a very fast pace, there was no way I could get the proportions correct and all the drawings were more symbolic than realistic. At some points I just tried to get the movement of the models body down in a gestural way, but that didn’t work most of the time. Needless to say the first very short poses were very frustrating.
Eventually the poses became longer, from two minutes to 5 minutes, I still felt rushed. And because of that my drawings were very inaccurate and unfocused. Eventually I had to give in and just accept that currently I couldn’t capture the model true to life in that short of a time span.
I began to think that maybe the most important thing to remember is that each mark must be absolutely important. That was one thing that Jamie said that made a lot of since, and I’ve heard it before by previous teachers. Don’t just play with marking on the surface, decide what you want to accomplish with the mark, see it happening, trace it in the air if you have to, but when you make it get it correct right out of the box. Most of the time speed comes with accuracy, not going fast. The greatest and fastest race car drivers are the ones that hit the accelerator and break at the perfect time, consistently.
Well we ended the class with a very long pose, I think it was a bit more than an hour long. This drawing turned out ok, I had to make adjustments for the models movements but during this drawing I think I was feeling how important it is to see each mark as important as the whole.