A First

I am about to enter a battle. Tonight, it is on. 7-9pm to be exact. I have my arsenal in order, pencils – check, charcoal – check, paper – check, confidence – still searching.

Tonight, I go to my first life drawing class. I have only drawn people from books so I am nervous but excited, der. What do I do? I’m so scared. It is a class and I have this horrible vision of me regressing into a 13-year-old giggly girl. No, I don’t giggle (usually). How about a pouting snob as a defence mechanism to hide my flipping fear waiting to ravage me to the point of absolute paralysis so I end up drawing a nude the size of an ant? Hmm, that sounds quite likely.

Do I promise to show my work upon my return? No can do. I do promise however, to self medicate, before and after.

Well now it is the after and although I knew mankind wasn’t depending on my efforts last night to live another day in the atmosphere, the pressure was still ever present in my ‘can I take criticism without turning violet’ head.

To avoid the possibility of feeling and looking elementary I averted my eyes from the drawings by fellow students. As such, I have walked out feeling quite pleased with my efforts for a first timer (what I don’t know won’t hurt me right?).

We started with 30 second poses. WHAT? I haven’t even finished pondering the starting point in 30 seconds. Nevertheless, I managed to get something on the page …

nude charcoal 30 second drawing

30 second

Nude 30 second charcoal drawing

30 second













Then we graciously increased to 1 minute … it is double the time previously but 1 Minute? Come’on….

1 minute charcoal nude drawing

1 minute

3 minute nude drawing

3 minutes












Finally we progressed to 8 minutes … but somehow I wanted to go back to 30 seconds again so I had the excuse of ‘not enough time’.

8 minute charcoal nude drawing

8 minutes

8 minute nude charcoal drawing

8 minutes












By far the most enjoyable exercise we did for me was the blind drawing. We could only look at the model which means no peeping on the page. I loved this exercise and the results were … lets say ‘interesting’.

blind graphite drawing nude

blind drawing

I’ll be going back next week ‘for sure’. I may even peek at fellow students drawing … I think I might be strong enough to take that step.


22 thoughts on “A First

  1. Awesome!! Your drawings are excellent! Life drawing classes get easier the more you attend – I had a year of life drawing at uni, and an array of models (whom we gave nicknames to…). Our “favorite” was a woman who persisted to talk the entire time, thus constantly shifting in her poses and creating an added element of difficulty for us aspiring artists. After awhile though, it really does change your perspective towards nudity!

  2. For your first life drawing class you’ve done exceptionally well!! The energy in your line for the 3 and 8 min poses is fantastic. Good work.

    1. Thank you, so happy to hear that. The two you pointed out have turned out to be favourites from a number of people.

  3. Wow Simone, that’s amazing. Your drawings remind me of mums. Something about the movement in your lines. I wish I could of seen you at the class. Keep it up, life’s too short to be afraid!

  4. They are great, what a good idea to give you a short amount of time and then ‘blind’. I think they look fantastic. Yes, agree that the more you do it, as with anything the easier it becomes. ENJOY!

    1. I was surprised to hear the 30 second poses. Not only is there little time to draw each pose but you have to move on to the next pose so quickly. Loving it though.

  5. I agree with generouscurves – the 3 and 8 minute ones are really great. You should be proud of yourself for having done so well at your first class. You’ve reminded me how much I used to enjoy these classes when I was at art college all those years ago.

    1. Oh I wish I did it at college all those years ago. My teacher was telling us he would do life drawing 6 hours during the week and then all day on Saturday. Practice practice practice, just like anything.

      1. At college we used to do one minute poses with a series of 2m square sheets of paper, a stick and a pot of black paint! It was terrifying but the short timing really improves your skills of observation and mark making. You’re right about the practice, practice, practice. I’m busy doing the same.

  6. Nice work! And quite impressive for your first time doing short poses – you captured the balance, femininity and weight of the model in a few confident strokes. Keep going to the classes, don’t stop 🙂

  7. You are a true artist and no matter if you are a ‘giggly’. You have a sense of volume very admirable . Have you read ‘Art, perception and reality’ of E. H. Gombrich, J. Hochberg and M. Black? I remember an artist as Kokoschka made portraits with yearning to embrace and emulate not only the pose of his models but step into their shoes, with their feelings. Congratulations and encouragement, your ‘life drawings’ are a good present and promise better future.

    1. Thank you very much, the giggles that didn’t eventuate thankfully were just me being scared of other artists seeing my work. That was my main concern as I have always worked alone and am not used to feedback however it was a wonderful experience, one I hope I can continue in Peru. This book you mention sounds interesting, it will go to the top of my book list. I had a look at some of Kokoschka’s work as I had never heard of this artist and I am so glad I did. I don’t know about you but his work looks like a combination between Van Gogh and Picasso.

      1. Sure, you know it is that right, and also, what you feel when you’re drawing, will reflect on paper, and that difference is what make different each artist, you’re unique, you only must to squeeze your own essence, but don’t miss your laughing, because that will be a part of your work. Sorry for my english. Have a nice day or a nice night.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s