Speed Life Drawing
“Speed Life-drawing Session”

Today we embarked on a nice intensive Life Drawing session. It wasn’t your traditional life drawing session though. For one, this was ‘speed’ life drawing, so we didn’t have the luxury of spending an hour at a time gazing at our ‘models’. Secondly, all our models remained fully clothed at all times –which was probably for the best, if the vision that confronts me in the bathroom mirror of a morning is anything to go by.

Before we started, I gave the students a talk on centre of gravity, balance and using the the head as a unit of measure when working out the proportions of the human form. Also, since we were doing ‘Speed Life Drawing’ I asked them to concentrate on these elements: pose, balance and proportions, rather than worry about creating an accurate likeness of the person they were drawing.

We started with 10 minute poses, then dropped to 5 minute poses, then 1 minute poses, then 1 min 30 sec poses involving two people and finally, just to make things really tough, 1 minute poses where the subject was moving around. 

All in all I think it was a pretty good session. The students seemed to enjoy it, we had a lot of good banter going between posers and drawers and we all produced a pretty hefty pile of sketches by the end of the day.

10 Minute Poses

5 Minute Poses

1 Minute Poses

1 min 30 sec Poses with Two People

1 Minute Poses with Subject Moving

On reflection, I was a bit disappointed with my efforts. I think I managed to capture the essence of a reasonable percentage of the poses in the 5 minute and shorter sessions, but my ten minute drawings were pretty awful. It was just too long to get away with a rough sketch, but not long enough for me to produce anything halfway finished looking, as I’m not the fastest scribbler in the world. I really need to try and speed up on that front.

The main lesson I learnt from today was that I need to practice drawing people from life a lot more. And, as I always like to share my pain with my students, you lot can therefore look out for more Life Drawing sessions in the future.

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