My sabbatical hasn’t officially started yet, but I’m not waiting to get my skills up to par. I haven’t been to life drawing in quite some time, so I started with that as practice. Luckily for me, the Plains Art Museum right here in town holds life drawing sessions in their studio. At time of this writing, they only hold life drawing once a month but that’s still good for practice. Anyway, my traditional tools for life drawing have usually been pencils and graphite sticks.
For life drawing, I prefer to work big. I use a 14 x 17 inch sketch pad along with both wooden drawing pencils and graphite sticks shown here. Besides a HB stick, I have a few softer & darker pencils like 2B, 4B and 8B.
But anyway, some of you are wondering what good is life drawing for comics. It won’t teach you storytelling, panel layouts, character design or fancy costumes. But what it will teach you is how to draw and help you improve your skills. No matter what your own skill level is (neophyte, novice, expert, etc), everyone needs life drawing. So how do you find life drawing lessons or sessions? Ask around. Some art schools and colleges may have such lessons available. If that doesn’t work, why not asking someone to pose for you like your mother, your brother, a neighbor and so on?
Anyway, I had quite a time at life drawing today. The professional running the class showed me and the other arrivals (one was a guy studying sculpting) a few things like holding a pencil different ways and establishing values (that’s light and dark). The model we had was a good one and I did quite a few good drawings, applying what I learned years ago at the School of Visual Arts and the talk on values at the start of the session.
This second drawing was the best of the day’s drawings that I did.
The other artists worked with charcoal, colored pencil and inks. The instructor (Andy I think was his name) was actually impressed not only with my drawings but my use of contours (something I learned from Stephen Gaffney at the School of Visual Arts) and the values he was talking about. I was careful to really look at the model and get a feel for where the light and shadow fell on him.
All in all, I’m definitely going back in May for another round of life drawing. These life drawings combined with my planned self-study should really help propel Sunnyville ahead.