Art Imitates Life

Recently took a life drawing course with Joe Manifold of the Julian Ashton Arts School. The class was a ten week night coarse with a live model. Usually we would start each class with some gesture drawings to loosen up. Joe encouraged me to focus and consider the fluidity of the line. We used three simple circles for the head, chest and hips. Arms and legs could be depicted with lines with triangles at the ends. A center line could also be drawing to note basic the direction and angle of the form.

Next we tried to expand on this concept by using simple geometric shapes to represent these anatomical forms. Instead of using circles we drew the three main body regions as cubes. The arms and legs became cylinders. The hands polygons and the feet triangles. The approximate leg radius became a circle. Some measurements and refinements were done to try and illustrate the correct proportions relative to each part. The three dimensionality of the cubes is meant to indicate direction and angle.

From there we continued to build, by trying to understand composition. Juxtaposing curved lines and straights. Letting the mind fill in the details, rather than trying to draw it all in. We also began to use shadow shapes to describe the inner form. Still very simple squares and straight lines, and filling them in with tone. We learned about hatching to indicate the direction of the light source. Our model for the class was Abby. Over all it was good to do some longer poses with a skilled instructor.