life drawing

Drawing from direct observation – written by Mike Lamble

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike LambleWhy some are afraid of life drawing?

We all inhabit bodies of different shapes and sizes, sit at any street cafe and observe how we watch or even perv at people walking by. In so many ways we are fascinated by are own species. Why then are some so afraid of life drawing?

I often ask my students “Do we really observe what we are seeing we have an idea of how the human body looks but only an idea?” We have more awareness of the human body than say a flower or a simple every day object like a cup so it’s more obvious, that’s the difference between what we draw and what we see, thus our mistakes can be obvious and we feel it’s too difficult, so our tendency is to avoid the challenge of drawing the human body.

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

The class

However, from the ancient times till now the best artists and illustrators I know have endevoured to do as much life drawing as possible. What we are doing is discovering the essential appearance of a body by close study. The training of how to see the body comes first the result, you will draw it better.

I introduce a variety of ways or drawing in class, for example, the students will draw on but not looking at their paper the focus is to study carefully the body’s shape. At first students feel insecure especially the control freeks but this exercise frees them up to look and face there fear of “making a mistake” For the same reason, I let them draw with their non dominant hand as well as quick poses where students have to work quickly with not too much time to think this breaks down old established patterns of thinking .

The beauty of life drawing is it trains us to see by drawing from direct observation to represent what is seen in front of us the gap between what is observed and what we know is there in stark reality on the paper before us, this can be disconcerting at first especially for beginners but also for those of us who are more experienced.
Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

BEGINNERS

I use a number of exercises to help (beginners in particular) draw what they see (objectively) with persistence and enthusiasm even my rocket scientists have learned to draw with understanding,clarity, and realistically.

EXPERIENCED

To my students who have reveled in my life drawing classes for a number of years, it still helps them to resolve ideas and focus the mind on enquiry. In theory to draw the figure, knowledge of what lies beneath the surface is not an essential, if the planes and valleys of the body are closely represented the underlying structure will be evident, although some knowledge of anatomy will be useful.

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

A little history of life drawing

It wasn’t until the Renaissance do we see a flourishing of figure drawing,detailed studies from life particularly Michelangelo and Leonardo. Leonardo had to flee Italy to escape the wrath of Pope Leo X he was accused of witchcraft for cutting up bodies and studying them at night but what artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo and many others who were to follow was to extract from their models information required for their paintings, this has become standard practice in all art schools since then, in a similar way students who do life drawing notice the rapid improvement in their ability to express their ideas in paint.

Anatomical studies of the shoulder by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1510-1511

Anatomical studies of the shoulder by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1510-1511

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Study for a Nude by Michelangelo Buonarroti 1504

Review of “Saturday Morning Anatomy Life Drawing Class”

The anatomy /life drawing class was quite unusual in respect of the model I used thought it was a good idea to show some of the underlying structure of the skeleton and muscles so we arranged a special Life drawing class for a Saturday morning. It took me almost two hours of drawing on Amber before the class started and even then I ran out of time before I completed the job, as you can see the class was full half of my students were doctors. There is no limitation when it comes to life drawing.

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Anatomy Life Drawing Workshop

Some observations of my students

“It was great to have a sense of what’s underneath it certainly helped with my drawing.”
“It makes a change being able to draw the bones and muscles on a real live human instead of a cadaver!”

Life Drawing Class for All Levels

7 – 9pm Mondays
$275 per Term (10wks)
$35 per Casual Class

Why don’t you join our Monday evening life drawing class? If you are not sure, try it out as casual first. Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions about the life drawing class. Email: info[at]art-art.com.au / Phone: +61 (0)2 9968 1233 / Download Enrolment form


Hunter the model

“Two Identities” – written by Stephen Dernocoure

Life Drawing with iPad

Life drawing with iPad & Procreate App by Ako Lamble

STEPHENWritten by Stephen Dernocoure
Drawing the life model seated in a chair unlocks so many creative and observational possibilities for the drawer. When instructing the life drawing process I have observed that the student may fail to fully consider the chairs relationship with the seated body.

I can think of few structures that carry such specific relationship with the human body, in fat it is no one relationship but several, so let us look at several of these relationship.

Life Drawing with iPad

Life drawing with iPad & Procreate App by Ako Lamble

Firstly, when I observe the model seated in a chair I am immediately instructed to be mindful of context and relationship. The body is held, suspended, cradled in the chair and if we observe the chairs anatomy with care and sensitivity we may also observe the models postural details with greater context.

Secondly, the concept of a chair advises the drawer to observe two identities the person and the chair. Perhaps this council offered to the drawer is also appropriate to ones engagement in daily life where discernment between one factor and another is essential.

Thirdly, a chair is a most profound sculptural form. Chair design reminds us of our humanity and it further reminds us that we are here now, held and suspended. For when we leave a chair we might imagine something of ourselves still held in the form. Perhaps this could be a duty of design.

Fourthly, the chair and the body partner a story about emotion suspended or fatigue satiated. We might say the chair is our silent double, a sentinel marking our relationship with space and time. The chair metaphorically calls the drawer to see the chair and then the sitter, the here and there all in one gaze or multiple tiny gazes. We might ascribe a kind of duty to the chair indeed a loving duty at least for those of us who have the eyes to draw humanity cradled and held for a while.


Life Drawing with iPad

Life drawing with iPad & Procreate App by Ako Lamble

Life Drawing Class for All Levels

7 – 9pm Mondays
$275 per Term (10wks)
$35 per Casual Class

Why don’t you join our Monday evening life drawing class? If you are not sure, try it out as casual first. Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions about the life drawing class. Email: info[at]art-art.com.au / Phone: +61 (0)2 9968 1233 / Download Enrolment form

Ask Our Teacher – Stephen Dernocoure (Life Drawing Monday 7-9pm)

STEPHEN_SHOWCASE_1000PX

Name: Stephen Dernocoure
Teaching at NSA: Life drawing class (Monday 7-9pm)
Joined NSA since: 2008

NSA: What doodle / drawing / painting did you do in your early life that you were the most proud of? How old were you?
STEPHEN: Speaking truthfully I cannot think about art in this context. I am more desirous of reflecting on my development as moments observed, threaded upon a string of experience and no single drawing holds dominion over my desire to look, feel and wonder.

NSA: Have you been always artistic / creative? if so, in what way?
STEPHEN: Perhaps our being artistic and creative is really a way of life and I am inclined to look for these qualities in many areas. Survival as an artist in daily life is certainly a creative proposition as is our quest to distill feelings and ideas out of paint, words or film.

NSA: What made you join NSA? Where did you hear/find about NSA?
STEPHEN: I became a teacher and a learner at NSA simply because Mike offered me the delightful opportunity to be an instructor in life drawing.

NSA: If you are allowed to have any famous painting in the world on your wall, what would it be and Why?
STEPHEN: Again I am not inclined to think of art in this context. The choice would overwhelm me. I prefer to explore the world of art consign the experiences to heart and mind and then give my attention to this strange and immense world that surrounds me, minute by minute.

NSA: What are you working on your creative activities right now and what would you like to achieve with your art within a year?
STEPHEN: When I am asked about my current projects an easy answer is not available because my art is not related to a project theme. However the one single subject that continues to enthral me is our human condition and this can morph into many patterns and processes. My work as an artist in medical contexts provides me with immense fuel for heart, mind and creativity.

NSA: why do you teach art, or what do you get out of it?
STEPHEN: Teaching is always a condition of learning for me. One can reverse this statement and it remains valid. However, love doing is vital the process.

NSA: Finally, would you design a T-shirt for Mike to wear in the class?
STEPHEN: This is from my sketchings and words for Mike.
Designed by Stephen Dernocoure


mike lamble faceMike said “Reading Stephens words was a good reminder why I asked him to join the Northshore School of Art. Many years ago I attended his life drawing class at another college and loved his way of teaching and interaction with his students, being a teacher myself for more than twenty years I was acutely aware of this, and always wanting the best for my students. decided to share my life drawing class with Stephen I knew we would complement each others way of teaching,broaden my students experience perception and appreciation of art in general Life Drawing in particular. ”


ako lamble faceAko said “I thought I should say something about Stephen. I am responsible for those 7questions to ask our students and teachers but I realised that Stephen had so many things to say which is so sophisticated and doesn’t fit in the questions I prepared. Damn! Don’t worry our dear readers, I asked Stephen to become a regular contributor to our blog, so you will see his sketches, art and words that is interesting and inspiring. I particularly adore his sketching habit. He always carries his sketch book and pen and draws people, landscapes and so forth. I believe that all of us should adapt this habit to be a better artist. Said enough, will show you the teaser sketches and words of Stephen.”


SD_2012-12-09

It is often asked when did you first start to draw? The answer given is so often unsatisfying.
Perhaps the question could be, when did drawing first see you?
Ah! I can answer that. It was in the luminous line drawn by a snail and in the lines on my fathers darker face drawn by the stylus of time.
We can draw when we are not drawing, that is when drawing first sees us.

– Stephen Dernocoure

SD_2012 6_man

SD_2012 6_man_long-hair

SD_2012 1


Life Drawing Class for All Levels

7 – 9pm Mondays
$275 per Term (10wks)
$35 per Casual Class

Why don’t you join our Monday evening life drawing class? If you are not sure, try it out as casual first. Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions about the life drawing class. Email: info[at]art-art.com.au / Phone: +61 (0)2 9968 1233 / Download Enrolment form

Life Drawing Workshops

 

For all skill levels, this class focuses on the human form. Live model. Sketching times from 1 to 60 minute intervals. Enhance your perception skills through a variety of observation exercises. Explore the tonal values of light and shade. Experiment with different mediums. Full tuition throughout the class.

 

Day & Time

Saturday 10am – 12:30pm

 

Dates in 2021

  • To be announced
 

Fee

$75 per person per class
* Please pay 10 days prior to workshop to reserve your place.

 

Teacher

Mike Lamble

 

Class Limit

12 people