Life Drawing

Life Drawing Reflection

Before previously, my understanding  of life drawing was that the objective was to learn the anatomy of the human body and how to replicate it perfectly in a drawing, however what I did not expect was the heavy emphasis on form, perspective and gesture. I had never taken a life drawing class before my first day and was previously not fond of the idea of drawing what I observed as I felt it was too limiting. In this brief reflection, I will look at some of my work and evaluate any improvements I have made as well as any I feel I should make in order to better my understanding of drawing the human form.


Human form used to be a very hit and miss area for me, and any time I felt like I was improving I would discover something else I was inexperienced in drawing. The key word there is ‘inexperienced’ as I feel that enough informed practice in these areas will help me overcome my weaknesses in them. I have taken a preference in drawing digitally for the past three years and as a means of convenience most of my learning has been done online also.

Looking back at the first week I can already see my earlier style of approach to drawing the human figure (fig.1) and how flawed it was. In the lessons I have learned to indicate things like the ribcage and pelvis that are anchors to the rest of the drawing. Something I particularly enjoy when sketching in class is imagining the curvature of the spine as it connects the nape of the neck to the pelvis. The ways it can twist and bend can do a lot to influence an emotion or gesture within a pose; especially when exaggerated. Looking below at the image of one of my first stabs at drawing in class compared to my digital art of around the same time I can see a similar, unrealistic structure of the body. While yes I understood the idea behind drawing shapes to construct the body, I was unsure of proportion and how to connect those shapes.


Fig. 1 – March 2016 – Basic technique was there but lacked informed anatomy.


Fig. 2 – October 2016 – First week of Life Drawing, sketches were too precise and anatomy was off. 

Heads are an area I have ALWAYS struggled with, and while I would say I have a slightly better understanding to their structure I would practice them a lot more so as to be able to draw them more fluidly. Similarly, drawing my poses in boxes to mark perspective needs more practice. I can visualise the planes that the body falls across, but I have trouble drawing them as my eye perceives and instead tend to draw what I imagine.


Head Studies – 10th November 2016

As I go on, I want to practice drawing heads from various angles, as well as get better at drawing more dynamic poses with gesture curves. A level I’d like to aim for is the ability of ‘dCTb’; an online artist I’ve followed for a few years now.


Animated GIF by CT Chrysler –


Life Drawing has taught me to make my sketches more sketchy; something I’ve been struggling to overcome. Now to find a café to sit in to sketch those who wander in.

Some of my personal favourite life drawing outcomes.



Life Drawing – Week 6

So this week was similar to Dirk week with one small difference, the character was the marvelous mad Madame Mim. But this week was directed by M. Night Shyamalan because it had a slight twist; Jackie was late so Robert was our cute little old lady for this week. We started with the usual warmups to get the flow going, and then moved on to drawing Mim.


Mim’s shape was difficult to grasp for me, particularly with the head. I couldn’t find the skull amongst all that animated skin and found her proportions difficult to capture because of her small stature. However, I am very pleased with the fourth image shown below as I think I captured Robert’s pose well and replicated it through Mim. You  can see my gesture sketches of Robert next to Mim so I could understand how to translate the pose to her proportions.


Life Drawing – Week 5

In week five we were given the rather fun task of transforming the anatomy of Robert in to that of Dirk the Daring which was quite the challenge. Dirk was still quite human sized proportionally, he was just squashed and stretched in parts of his torso and limbs. This week was tying together the techniques we had learned about capturing gesture and proportion to translate these in to a character with different anatomy.

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Life Drawing – Week 4

During the fourth week we did a rapid fire round of fifteen second sketches and I think I can say that my 15 second sketches had more informed gesture and shape than some of my first week sketches which to me shows clear progress. We also followed up our previous homework with some head sketches which is another area I still find myself struggling with but slowly improving.

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Practicing drawing the ‘Superman’ head.

Life Drawing – Week 3

When the third week rolled around Robert was sitting on, with and, in some cases under a chair. I found this concept difficult to capture as I still don’t feel like I’m able to visualise a box around a figure accurately, so imagining the planes of the chair in front me proved a more difficult task than I’d first imagined. The first two images were one minute studies and the last was a ten minute study which I am fairly happy with. Mike had told me that he felt like he could see the figure sitting in the chair and I’d captured it well.

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Practice drawing Molly, Alistair and Yazz.

Life Drawing – Week 2

Week two and I was beginning to try and grasp the idea of drawing the ribcage and pelvis first so I can fill them with that gooey squishy centre. I was beginning to better understand the fundamental shapes of the body a little better, even though the first one looks like something out of Attack on Titan. I was quite happy with the third one as it’s the first where I seem to have loosed up a little while sketching.

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Winnie the Pooh Practice Sketches

Life Drawing – Week 1

From the first week of figure drawing I was fairly shaky when trying to understand where to even start when drawing the figure. I was still stuck in the way I had taught myself previously which was building the skeleton first, however this led to me ignoring things such as proportion and movement especially when only given a time of one minute (which I was NOT used to at all). It’s not evident from the first two images you wouldn’t be able to tell, but the model for this week was Jackie.

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Perspective Practice