Life Drawing

I recently participated in Sketching in the Atrium, one of the Free Summer Saturdays program at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, so I grabbed a bunch of pencils and hopped on the Metro.

Basically it was just free life drawing. A (clothed) model posed on a box for ten minutes at a time, and we all drew. Unfortunately, we were sitting in those awful folding chairs where the seat and back are just strips of canvas, and by the break at the halfway point my butt was pretty sore. After about two and a half hours of sketching (with only a half hour to go) I decided I was too tired to continue, snapped a quick photo of the model, and headed out.

Our beautiful model

My drawings didn’t turn out spectacularly, but considering they were each done in ten minutes or less, that’s not so bad. (Of course, I probably would have been happier with mine were I not sitting next to Edgar Friggin’ Degas, who was making masterpieces with – I kid you not – RoseArt colored pencils.) Here are a couple of my favorites:

This was my first time drawing from a real live model. All my previous “from life” drawings have been inanimate objects (and a few sleeping cats), mostly because people tend not to sit still long enough. Yes, I know that’s the idea behind gesture drawing, but I have yet to master that. And ten minutes was just enough time to get down a good solid sketch without having time to obsess over perfecting it.

Free life drawing sessions are extremely rare, and I’m glad I took advantage of this opportunity. There’s another session in September I’ll probably sign up for.

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