For many artists, life drawing may seem like a task undertaken for understanding human anatomy, a rigorous bit of practice forced upon ourselves to ‘get better’.
While that certainly can be the case, for my ability to work with anatomy has grown tremendously from when I was a younger artist, the greatest gains from these sessions stemmed more from ‘seeing’ what the human body could do – the positions it could take and the shapes created from diverse viewpoints, perspectives, AND lighting.
Once I opened my eyes to this aspect of life drawing, then sessions no longer carried that heavy burden of ‘what did I learn’ and became ‘what did I discover!?’ It was exciting to move around the studio, not to find a ‘perfect’ place to draw the ‘right’ anatomy and make a pretty drawing, but what new angle hadn’t I seen before? How about THAT foot? Look at those shadows!
With the pressure off to ‘get better’ my learning accelerated, and open new doors and tools for me to use in my commercial and private projects.
Here are a just a small sample of life drawings from the sketchbooks: