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.
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?