open studio figure drawing workshop @ J Sargeant Reynolds

I got this far with it in 20 minutes.

I got this far with it in 20 minutes.

When I picked up their flyer, one thing made me like them before I met them. The flyer says, ” Participants are free to work on whatever they like during the sessions, allowing total artistic freedom.”  I said YES! I LIKE THAT SPIRIT!!

I always took charcoal and paper to figure drawing in the past, but sometimes you read where oil paint is forbidden because of the toxic fumes, which makes me laugh, because I like the smell of oil paint and Maroger Medium.  Anyway, charcoal is easier to work with, but if there’s restrictions, I’m not interested in going.

Now that I’m looking at this drawing, I can see places that don’t look right, but it’s just practice. Sometimes you get a sketch you can use later. Sometimes you can’t get the good view of the model or the good lighting. Sometimes the model can’t stand still. This time the model was good and seemed graceful. It wasn’t too hot in there, and not too crowded, so I could move around. I’ll try to keep with this group, but it only meets once a month.

Now, the next step, if you want to get serious about drawing, is to check if you have the anatomy and proportions correct. You need to open up the old human anatomy for the artist book and look at the pictures. Lay a piece of tracing paper over your figure drawing and draw in the bones and muscles on the tracing paper, according to how they look in the anatomy book. Then, label your tracing paper with the names of the bones and muscles, so you can remember them. That was our homework at YAA.  I don’t want to do it, but that’s how we learned. It was difficult and Tom Wise kept us at it every week for 3 years. And yet, no matter how much you practice, there’s always room for improvement. This is my best sketch out of 7 or 8 I did today.


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