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"Drawing Live Models", 23rd Sep 2010, 9:22 PM #1
Ferix
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Ive already discussed this at length with my various cahootigans, but I felt like asking what the general community thinks about this. I'm enrolled in a 2 year Fine Arts course at my college and among classes on painting, colour theory, english and Art History the main class is "Drawing from life"

Now so far we've been doing your standard still life, photo references and all that but next week we are moving into using live models. Now, i've already gotten over the initial awkwardness of well...hanging around a naked person, but there's still the fact that I feel like I need to do someone who has the balls to do that for a class some form of artistic justice.

What do you think about it?
23rd Sep 2010, 9:24 PM #2
MadTarnsman

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Ferix:Ive already discussed this at length with my various cahootigans, but I felt like asking what the general community thinks about this. I'm enrolled in a 2 year Fine Arts course at my college and among classes on painting, colour theory, english and Art History the main class is "Drawing from life"

Now so far we've been doing your standard still life, photo references and all that but next week we are moving into using live models. Now, i've already gotten over the initial awkwardness of well...hanging around a naked person, but there's still the fact that I feel like I need to do someone who has the balls to do that for a class some form of artistic justice.

What do you think about it?


Well, I went through this very thing, Ferix and lemme tell ya what's gonna happen. They're NOT going to get the nubile li'l thang you've been drooling over in class.....no...they're gonna get the cafeteria lady who makes Moms Mabley look hot!!

IF YOU'RE LUCKY

If not...they'll get some severely liberal, prolly limpwristed guy who wants to advance the arts and you'll be drawin' his little shriveled Nazi.
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23rd Sep 2010, 9:29 PM #3
Frosty
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MadTarnsman:IF YOU'RE LUCKY

If not...they'll get some severely liberal, prolly limpwristed guy who wants to advance the arts and you'll be drawin' his little shriveled Nazi.


This.
That's what happened in my Concept Art class last year. It was awkward for the first week or so, but we got used to it.
It was actually pretty funny, because the radio was on, and some slow song was playing that we weren't really paying attention to.
And then, the singer softly sang "You gaze upon my posture..."
The entire class, including the model, broke down in a fit of giggles, and it was at least five minutes before everyone had recomposed themselves.
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23rd Sep 2010, 9:41 PM #4
Ferix
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MadTarnsman:

Well, I went through this very thing, Ferix and lemme tell ya what's gonna happen. They're NOT going to get the nubile li'l thang you've been drooling over in class.....no...they're gonna get the cafeteria lady who makes Moms Mabley look hot!!

IF YOU'RE LUCKY

If not...they'll get some severely liberal, prolly limpwristed guy who wants to advance the arts and you'll be drawin' his little shriveled Nazi.


Well... I wasn't really looking forward to this as a sexual thing... more like I dont want to look stupid by creating some miserable failure of a drawing RIGHT IN FRONT of the person i'm drawing.

I don't care what the model looks like.
23rd Sep 2010, 10:22 PM #5
geekgrrl
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I've actually found that, for some reason (or at least for me) just even HAVING a live model does wonders for your artwork. We used live models in my art class (CLOTHED, they were just other, randomly selected kids in the class) and I made some drawings (mostly in chalk and charcoal) that I am VERY proud of. And I can't even remotely get that quality with my pencils at home from a reference photo.

That's probably not true for everybody, but I don't think your live figure drawings will look near as bad as you think they will. Just remember to be fluid.
23rd Sep 2010, 10:49 PM #6
MadTarnsman

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Yeah, but I hate drawin' stretch marks and liver spots......
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24th Sep 2010, 6:27 AM #7
NarcoticVenus

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I remember the life drawing classes and err, the male was ummm not very desirable at all, a tummy that flopped over and a tiny weeny. He was gross, why couldn't we of had some young buck with sturdy muscles, ... I prefer to draw muscle than fat.

And then the woman I had to draw was so skinny with her ribs (i guess that's better than fat), but I was put off so I went onto the internet and found me some nice samples. I only like drawing stuff I like. Also I don't like total nudity, but prefer it if they drape something around themselves, evoking some sort of mystery, or show various parts and then cover the rest (i guess a bit burlesquey) just reveal what I need to work on and then cover the rest and move on to the next part, and kind of more subtle than so in your face! Maybe if the body is good I'd be different, but then I might get side tracked and really muck up on what I'm meant to be drawing.

Having said that I like drawing their eyes and lips with as much precision (possible choice of wrong word there) as possible.
24th Sep 2010, 6:45 AM #8
HolyLancer

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I went to an art school, and, well, classes where you draw a nude model are pretty common there. Drawing/seeing something nude is about as common as drawing a tree, or a chair, or something.

I suppose in the very beginning, it's a bit awkward, because you really don't know what to expect. However, (for us, at least) we did several warm-up exercises where we only have like, 30-60 seconds per drawing. That was more to get the "animation" or "fluidity" of the pose, and work on proper proportions in a very, very sketchy manor. So, when it came down to the real reason you were there, it was more of a focus on doing the actual motions of drawing, rather than focusing on the model's boobs, or something.

Really, in those life-drawing classes, the model became just another "thing" to draw in the composition. Since they were usually placed in a sort of mock environment, and it became more of an exercise of drawing a person in relation to what is around them.

We also rotated models in and out fairly frequently. I'll admit, there were a couple of nice looking, shapely ladies that we got, but that was pretty rare. Even then, you were so focused on doing the actual work, so it ultimately didn't matter. We still got some really bleh models too, so I guess it all evened out. =(
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24th Sep 2010, 6:55 AM #9
Ferix
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I somehow feel like the point of this has been lost... I dont care about them BEING nude, its the fact I dont want the draw some terrible picture right in front of the person and everyone.

I want to do the model SOME flavor of justice
24th Sep 2010, 6:59 AM #10
HolyLancer

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Oh.

Well in that case; they're there for you to improve and practice. Not to impress them.

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24th Sep 2010, 7:10 AM #11
Shaggers
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Ferix:I somehow feel like the point of this has been lost... I dont care about them BEING nude, its the fact I dont want the draw some terrible picture right in front of the person and everyone.

I want to do the model SOME flavor of justice


Haha well Ferix, if I was modeling for a class to draw me I wouldn't really care if they drew me poorly or whatever, I mean a) it's a learning experience, so yeah, its there for everyone to get better, you have to start somewhere. And b) its all in the eyes of the beholder anyway, people see you differently, and that's a lot of what art is about, IMO. different people's perspectives.
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24th Sep 2010, 8:30 AM #12
smbhax

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In the classes I took, the model never seemed to pay the slightest attention to the drawings/paintings being made of them. While posing, they aren't looking at anyone, because that could distract them from holding their pose. And they didn't hang around when class ended. I think you'll find that this will be a non-issue for you.
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24th Sep 2010, 8:32 AM #13
Kelly Ann
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Like I said on MSN, I learn through photos.

And I like drawing fat girls better than skinny. Dunno why. :\
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24th Sep 2010, 9:35 AM #14
NarcoticVenus

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Yeah, well I like drawing girls that have some meat on them too, you get the curves better. I got surprised that the models were so skinny. I prefer to draw women that have more on them, than not, it's more true to form.
24th Sep 2010, 9:36 AM #15
Arden
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Ferix:I somehow feel like the point of this has been lost... I dont care about them BEING nude, its the fact I dont want the draw some terrible picture right in front of the person and everyone.

I want to do the model SOME flavor of justice


As smbhax said, the model is not going to be interested in what your drawing looks like - I've never known one to take a look and furthermore, you shouldn't be interested in what it looks like either.

To qualify that, if you're thinking about making a 'nice' looking drawing, you won't make a good drawing and you won't be concentrating on the task in hand. If you're doing it right, you'll be lost in shapes, lines, volumes, negative spaces, centres of gravity etc, and what's left on the paper aftyerwards will simply be a means to an end.

In fact, if you just forget about it altogether, you'll likely end up with a bloody good drawing, instead of a timid one that's trying to be pretty. This is what your tutor is looking for and he/she will stamp on any attempts at prettiness anyway.

24th Sep 2010, 11:20 AM #16
MadTarnsman

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Ferix:I somehow feel like the point of this has been lost... I dont care about them BEING nude, its the fact I dont want the draw some terrible picture right in front of the person and everyone.

I want to do the model SOME flavor of justice


They'll NEVER see the drawings, Ferix!
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24th Sep 2010, 3:52 PM #17
JimiRaffety
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My experience is the same as what everyone has been saying- the models never stick around to look at your drawings. All you really have to worry about is the instructor, and occasionally the other students looking at your work. You're going to have some good drawings and some bad ones, but you will be better after everything is said and done. Don't even worry about it.
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24th Sep 2010, 3:53 PM #18
Whitney M
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They can't see you drawing either, because the fact that the drawing won't be facing them. So the whole time they are sitting there, they couldn't see your drawing even if they tried. And supposed you get a spot directly behind the person? Then they definitely can't see it.

Like what's already been said, it's not about whether it looks good it's about just getting down the shapes and flow of the human body. So no worries. It's all for practice, not for show.
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25th Sep 2010, 1:05 AM #19
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Ferix, think of it this way-- if the models are willing to volunteer to pose nude for a drawing class, then they probably aren't so self-conscious that anything you draw will offend them.

Besides, you're a great artist, so this should not even be a problem
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25th Sep 2010, 6:16 AM #20
Micah

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I usually end life drawing classes by slaying and devouring the model, sometimes raw. In which case the drawing is forgotten in the feasting and revelry.

Part of becoming better at art is learning to accept that your current level of skill is acceptable, and that it's more about constant learning and development than it is about producing a "perfect" product. In any case, the models get paid, so... I don't think they're standing there thinking "Gawdammit, I hope SOMEBODY produces a masterful rendition of my buttocks today."
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