Life Art Session on a Sunday Afternoon

pencil shading byncc

When was the last time you tried something new?

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve tried to channel my ‘inner artist’ or attempted to sketch anything at all. But I say all you really need is an imagination and to enjoy experimenting with what you put on the page. It doesn’t need to be perfect and you don’t need the steady hand of a brain surgeon or the talent of Dali (though it helps).

Well, yesterday I attended my first life art session – ever.

An informally tutored session with a live nude model, open to all levels from novice to pro (aged 18 and over, of course). I know, I know – it’s a very different way for to spend an autumn sunday afternoon. However, it had an intimate and relaxed feel with our small group, model and host, plus, it was much more enjoyable than I initially expected! Let me tell you about my experience and show you some of my… masterpieces…

The session warm-up involved the model moving into 8 different one-minute poses for us to speed sketch the outline. Most of us were novices to sketching, so this really helped to get us more familiar with drawing the basic lines and shapes of the body. One minute never seems long enough, but it really helps to get you out of that ‘perfectionist zone.’ It forces you to get something, anything onto the page rather than torturing yourself to make it perfect from the first stroke of the pencil. Here are a few of my warm-up sketches:



Next, we moved on to a 10 minute pose followed by a 20 minute pose. For each sketch I started off with a one-minute outline, then I attempted to correct the shapes and lines and added some shading. Today I learned hands and feet are very, very tricky to draw. So I’ll just have to be satisfied with the rectangles and triangles I drew to represent them:

20151025_141742000_iOSLeft: 10 minute pencil sketch Right: 20 minute pencil and charcoal sketch

Finally, we had a 45 minute pose. Instead, I decided to split the time in half and attempted from two different perspectives:

imagePerspective 1: 23 minute pencil and charcoal sketch

I quickly realised that from certain perspectives there are just too many complex lines and shapes of the body for a novice like me to capture on paper. But considering the awkward angle I was drawing from, I feel I captured the face quite well in Perspective 1 above (and it deserves a gold star, if you ask me).


Perspective 2: 15 minute pencil sketch

I loved the whole experience! Our model and host were amazing, between the moments of concentration we had fun chatting and sharing our work plus there were refreshments and great music to complement the session. Sessions are held locally and will run either every 2nd or 3rd sunday of the month so I’ll definitely attend again in future.

Why not try something new to get you out of your comfort zone? You’ll meet some very interesting people and will discover something new about yourself and what you can do.

What will you try next?


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