Oh, I love me this figure drawing.  I just went to my last session in San Miguel, but San Francisco offers plenty of opportunities (albeit several dollars more per session).  I need to find a session that includes a couple of really long poses.  The longest we did here were 15-16 minutes.  It was frustrating, but forced me to work faster, which is a discipline of its own.  I also realize, looking at the drawings, that I unconsciously compensated for the brief time by focusing on one thing in one drawing, one in another.  So some of these have the gesture just right but I didn’t do anything on the hands and feet; some have a lot of shading in one area, a limb completely ignored elsewhere; etc.  Still, I look forward to some 45- or 90-minute poses so that I can really get into more detail and not have “not enough time” as an excuse.

It’s good to see these all in chronological order–I realize I really am learning something.  It’s reassuring, because at the beginning of each session I feel all thumbs and it takes me several drawings before I can get a gesture down on paper to any kind of satisfaction.  They are very short poses, of course, but the source of the problem is not that I only have two minutes, it’s that I need to get my hands and eyes and brain all into drawing mode afresh.  Well, right, that’s why life-drawing sessions always start with these warmups–because centuries of art students have had the same challenge, and their wise teachers have figured out that making them do long, “supposed-to-be”-more-polished drawings when they aren’t warmed up is just going to frustrate them.

Here are some of my favorites from each session.  You can see larger versions by clicking on the images.