Life Drawing Classes
Drawing and Painting the Live Model via Zoom
Join me for a wonderful opportunity to learn to draw the figure from observation. I’ll be using an experienced life model for each of the 12 weeks, studying the human form using various drawing media and acrylic paint. There’s something exhilarating and deeply satisfying about studying the human body in all its graceful dynamism, especially using both drawing and paint media. It is a worthy endeavour that has been an important part of many artists’ training throughout the centuries. Although a difficult skill to master, mistakes become an integral part of the learning process; it is a discipline that will improve your observation and your appreciation of the challenges of drawing from life. The sessions will begin with a variety of shorter ‘action’ poses, which will be executed mostly in pencil and charcoal. These quicker sketches, or gestural drawings, help with loosening up and getting students familiar with working from life, whilst also enjoying the process of observing the figure in dramatic poses. Gestural drawings are about capturing the essence of the pose, a sense of movement and flow, without the burden of details, or even accuracy. As the course progresses I’ll extend the poses, giving students more time to appreciate the nuances of the figure, light and shadow, facial features, and other details.
Life drawing class techniques
Throughout the course I’ll cover techniques like gestural drawing, blind contour drawing, subtractive drawing, building the figure from simple shapes, adding tone, studying proportions (both the body and the face), foreshortening, adding details like hands and feet, facial features, observational measuring, and line weight variation for more expressive sketches.
I’ll start slowly, covering the basic fundamentals that make up a life drawing. This makes the course suitable for beginners, but also for those who want to continue to improve their observational skills.
As an addition to the advice I offer via the online class, each week I’ll make a feedback video going through all the drawings made by the students in class. And of course I’ll be able to answer any extra queries via email should the students require it.
Life drawing class materials
As for the materials recommended for the course, a selection of pencils (B, 2B, 6B), charcoal(compressed), putty eraser, soft pastels, pastel paper pad, sharpener (I tend to use a blade), acrylic paint (black, white, red, and yellow ochre), and plenty of paper (newsprint pads are great for drawing media, acrylic paper for the paint) are all that are needed.
Drawing from a live model is an exhilarating activity, deepening your understanding of the human form and improving your observational skills. You will definitely make mistakes, but every drawing, even the bad ones, bring you closer to being a better draftsman.
With regards materials for the course, ordinarily I would provide most of them. However, we are of course in extraordinary times, so for the Zoom format you have to source your own.
To make this a lot less daunting a task, I’ve collaborated with Cass Art and created a recommended ‘basket’ of materials that you can purchase via the link below. As an added bonus there is a 10% discount on any purchases. Also, you can add or remove any items to the current list. Happy shopping!
About the Zoom Art Classes
Zoom Art Classes are fairly new for us. Back in early April this year, when I knew the May semester would not be going ahead as planned at the venue but instead would be conducted live via Zoom, I was concerned. There was so much uncertainty with taking all the courses online, I’d never used Zoom before (I hadn’t even heard of it before then), and honestly I didn’t know if this format would work.
Well, I’m pleased to report that all the online art courses for the May semester were a success. The students found the Zoom format easy to access and user friendly, and it’s free to download.
The live art tuition follows the same structure as the classroom setting, which always begins with an introduction to the theme and the materials, followed by a demonstration by me to get everyone up and running. I still provide plenty of individual feedback during the online art class, with the added bonus that the Zoom sessions are recorded.
After the live video class, the students receive a recording of the session, which only they have access to, and can be watched as many times as they wish. During the Zoom classes, the students are also free to share their work with each other, offering ideas and encouragement.
After each lesson, as an added bonus, I’ve been making group feedback videos on all work produced in class, which has proved very popular with the students. This is in addition to feedback during the lesson itself, as well as individually via email.
The Zoom art classes were initially forced upon me, but have proved an excellent short-term solution to an unprecedented situation. The priority is for everyone involved to feel calm and safe whilst creating beautiful art, and Zoom is proving the ideal vessel for that.