Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wine, nudity and drawing.

I have begun to go life drawing again. I haven't done this in years.  I used to teach life and observational drawing to art foundation students. So I should know what I'm doing right? Wrong. Not a clue. It is taking a while to get back into the swing of it but as the sessions are held in a local pub, there is music, wine and a very relaxed atmosphere. Which helps.

Here is a selection of my drawings. Mostly ink applied with a brush or dip pen. Though I have been using a felt tip pen too. No pencils or crayons. You can't be fearless with those (too easy to rub out and start again). Committing your marks to paper is surprisingly difficult sometimes in a public setting. But ink is my favourite medium and requires you to have faith in the lines and marks you make.

Last night my drawing started off very tense, I was worrying about proportions. I don't think I was really looking very well ( and I am convinced that life drawing is 2/3 looking  and 1/3 drawing). So I did some quick sketching, not looking at the paper. They aren't perfect (hardly- I've added some pointers to the right drawing so you get the idea) but I like the energy in them.

She looks cross doesn't she? In fact her face is a cross, now that I look at it. Last night I thought these two drawings were disastrous but they have rather grown on me. They are starting to get a sense of where the stresses and weight of the body is. And the loose brush style is new to me, so maybe I am learning something.

It is a weirdly stressful exercise, but one that I am really enjoying ( maybe that is the wine!). Refreshing too. I am always drawing with an end use in mind, so to draw for drawing sake is such a pleasure. I'll definitely be going again.


  1. Wonderful drawings Esther... I have never EVER heard of life drawing classes in a pub! Maybe here in Italy we could try it in a 'pizzeria'.

  2. I love a bit of life drawing. Getting back to it is on my 2013 to do list! I have found a pub based class...just haven't been yet, so well done to you for going! they're not half bad either, I like the quick one on the left the best.

  3. These are amazing! I would like to take up some classes again, as a textile design student I have got out of drawing people so much! But I used to love it. I love the last drawing in your post, of her back. Really lovely. x

  4. Really like the mark making in the last one. It's beautiful. If that's you being rusty I can't wait to see when you get back into it! I used to love life drawing. Combined with a pub sounds even better!

  5. these are very expressive, esther. your hand seems to know what it's doing, even if you don't:)