Thursday, 12 February 2009

Final Uni Session

This week saw my last morning of the life-drawing teaching for the University. I'm rather sad, as I have enjoyed it enormously.

The students have all worked hard and I have felt as though I've really been able to help them to 'see' better, and so improve their drawing skills a little.

One big trick with life drawing, is to learn when to draw the 'negative space' instead of the actual body. A perfect example of this is the sketch at the top: so much easier to judge the triangles created by the legs, than the legs themselves.

Unfortunately, for the first two weeks, there was some mistake and the life model wasn't booked for me, so I had to bulldoze the students themselves into taking turns posing (see
Teaching Students).

Then last week's classes were snowed off, so out of 4 morning sessions, this last was the only one where I got to teach with a bonafide life-model! It didn't matter too much - we coped fine, but it did detract from the drama of it, especially for those students who had never done life-drawing before.

The model was lovely, but incredibly tall and thin - an extra challenge, as her arms, legs and even her torso were a lot longer than you would expect.

I taught for 3 hours straight, with 2 different student groups, end to end: quite tiring, as no time for breaks (though I took my flask, for sneaking sips of tea!).

We did mainly 15 minute poses - short enough to keep things lively, but long enough to allow beginners to get something down. I took a little sketchbook and started each pose by drawing along with the students, just for the first 5 minutes, while they got going.

This worked really well. I got to do loads of really quick drawings: my favourite. It was also useful for helping me to advise the students, as I knew the possible pitfalls of the poses first hand!

These drawings are all from that morning. I played around tinting things with my watercolours when I got home, just experimenting really, for fun, but colour really does seem to help accentuate the body shapes, don't you think?


Maggie Rose said...

I'm amazed how you can get so much information down in such a short time. great work!

Doda said...

That seemed to go by very quickly!
Maybe they'll ask you back again soon!
I'm so impressed by your sketches!!!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Hey! I'm really glad you posted this. I taught my 2nd of an 8-week drawing course yesterday and a demo class two nights ago at local school. I teach drawing every session at the local museum and in my studio. Not life but everything else. It's great to read your experience. I draw along with the students as much as I can (though usually rushed as I try to keep an eye on progress of each) - it brings to mind VIP issues and reminds me of the main point and potential struggles. Just happened to be working on demos of negative space yesterday morning!

Buskitten said...

This is really cool, Lynne - I've always been terrified of Life Drawing, but seeing what you've done, and reading what you've said - I think it would be good to give it a try! I'll see what Adult Ed classes there are tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration!

April Jarocka said...

Hiya Lynne. I hope you don't mind receiving another award, becuase I've nominated you for my passion for painting award. Hop over to my blog to collect it.
All the best

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you so much all. It is wonderful that you are inspired to go to classes Buskitten - go for it!

April - thank you for your award. That{s lovely! Sorry I{ve not been around to respond earlier - I{m on holiday for 2 weeks and logging on from Costa Rica!!

Shirley said...

Wonderful posting! Love your figure drawings and the odd splash of color. Hope you combine that lecture and your figure drawing class and make it an ebook for all of us!

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you Shirley. It has been in my mind to put together a little print-on-demand book...

Will keep you posted!