Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Observational Drawing Challenge: Drawing from the Model

Students in all grades practice drawing from people from observation each year, as people can be very challenging and an important subject within works of art. Drawing from complicated poses help students to understand how shapes and forms within the human body relate to each other in a drawing, as well as in reality. The most thrilling part for most students is the opportunity to pose voluntarily for their fellow classmates. This is also an important part of understanding the artist's process and a chance to experience the other side of life drawing, from the model's perspective. 
Before beginning, students are reminded to approach the drawing in the same manner as drawing anything else from observation, particularly inanimate objects which students find infinitely easier to examine. Students were reminded to draw only what they saw in the pose from their specific viewpoint, giving careful consideration to shapes, lines and textures as they appeared.

Fourth and fifth grade students are given the added layer of practicing a special kind of warm of drawing called gesture drawing, which are quick exercises that force the artist to look at the entire pose by eliminating time-consuming detail in order to loosen up their limbs and see all parts of the body as a sum of the whole. A demonstration was done with the teacher, a student volunteers to see how seeing and continuous drawing for 30 seconds will help train the eye to see more. A series of fast poses and drawings are sketched before moving on to a final, "long", ten minute pose.

A typical gesture drawing by a student

Student models are encouraged to choose high-action poses, or other poses that would be too difficult in a long pose, as gesture drawing rarely last longer than 1 minute. Once adequately warmed up, students were ready to focus on a long drawing, adding detail as time allowed. The following examples are from grade five students.