Exercise: Three drawings

Yesterday I did a life drawing session from 10am to 4pm at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury, Suffolk and I am going to use the my sketches for this exercise. They only broadly match the brief but I think I would have made myself a bit unpopular if I’d tried to  dictate to an established group what the postures and timings should be.

This is my second life drawing session at Gainsborough’s House. The first was a month ago and I was fairly pleased with the outcome. But somehow I don’t think things came together tremendously well for me yesterday. Perhaps I had too much expectation of improvement when in fact a learning journey inevitably has ups and downs. Anyway, I enjoyed the class. The model was called Blue and she had a penchant for dramatic ‘Greek tragedy’ poses just to make things even more difficult for me !

I did not have a lot of foreshortening to contend with yesterday but I did at the previous life drawing class so I feel I have not avoided this challenge.

As a comment, rather than an excuse (!) the light was difficult with grey daylight from windows on either side of the model and no clear directional light. It was hard to see reflected light on the model’s body.

I’m uncertain as to which medium has worked best. Sometimes I like the fragility of a simple pencil line. At other times charcoal and pastels seem to work well and make it easier to put in some shading quickly to create a sense of form. Later at home I did some experimental drawings from my sketches using ink and bamboo dipping pen and I liked the direction these were going.


Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to draw a long standing pose but we did do several quick sketches.


Three-two minute poses. Pastel (A3). There is an oddness about the high pink arm. In fact the model was using her right hand to hold up her left arm.

Three 10-minute poses, pencil + Conte pencil (A3). Left hand image has a major problem with the centre of gravity!

Two minute pose, pencil (A4)


















30 minute pose, charcoal and Conte crayons (A3).

10 minutes, pencil (A4)

Two minutes, pencil (A4)









Lying down and ‘draped’

40 minutes, pencil and Conte pencil (A3). The pose involved a twist in middle which I’ve captured but it’s not necessarily aesthetically pleasing.

40 minutes, graphite block and Conte pencils (A3). Great difficulty with the light which has resulted in a flat body. I’m not a fan of this kind of pose, preferring more natural positions, so I was disappointed that this was one of the longer sessions.

10 minutes (pencil), A4. Another one of those poses! In real life I’d be very distressed if I came across anyone sitting like this, and I imagine they would be too!


























Ten mins, pencil (A3). And here we go again with the dramatic poses. I would have loved some poses of the model sitting naturally on the  floor or on a stool or chair.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s