Friday, January 21, 2011


Learning how to draw is a very tricky thing. The truth of it is, you never STOP learning. It's an ongoing process with no end. In many ways it's not about the destination, but the journey. No matter what, the more someone draws, the better they get. That being said, there are right ways to draw and wrong ways, depending on what kind of art you are intending to create. If you are intending to become a commercial illustrator, regardless of whether it is in comic books, advertising, or book illustration, you have to know how to draw a human being. One way to learn this is through books ( a recommended list of books I use will be featured in an upcoming post), but that's only part of the puzzle. In order to truly understand the figure it is essential to draw from a live model.

There are different ways to draw real people. A life drawing session is when a live model will pose and be drawn. This happens primarily in schools but there are also places that offer figure drawing workshops or open studios where people can draw from a model for a few hours. Here in Chicago there are two places that I go to - The Palette And Chisel Academy Of Fine Arts and The Drawing Workshop. Both places have quick sketch sessions and long poses. A quick sketch session starts with one minute poses and works it's way up 45 minute poses. A long pose is when the model will hold the same pose for about 3 1/2 hours.

These poses where a minute long. Although this is the 
normal first poses time, The Drawing Workshop starts
their poses at 20 seconds, which is very challenging.

These poses were 3 minutes long.

 5 minute poses.

10 minute poses

10 & 15 minute poses, respectively.

15 minutes

These were all about a half hour each.

I drew this pose for a little over an hour. The drawing has an unfinished 
look because the model moved a lot, which was a huge problem. 
Although there is a little bit of movement that occurs,
usually when a model takes a break, too much movement, especially
during a pose, makes it impossible to get an accurate drawing.

This drawing was about 3 hours long. Usually the model 
is unclothed, but this was an exception.

I have found that no matter how much drawing I've done, it is a requirement for me to return to drawing from a live model. If I don't, I not only stop learning, but it's more likely that I will forget things. I want to be the best artist I can be, and tomorrow I want to be better than I was today. This is one of the ways for me to get there.