A No Hovering Drawing

Clothed Model in the Classroom
Graphite on Paper, 5×8.5″

This drawing was done in the class room while my students were working. I decided to keep the model clothed because students need to be able to draw people with clothes as well as without clothes. One usually does not encounter people who just happen to be naked during the course of one’s day. It also gives a rationale for practicing drawing fabric.
That, along with hands and feet, can be challenging to draw. Beginners often avoid drawing them because they are terrified of them. I address these fears head on and very early in the semester. They must draw hands and feet and the context in which the model resides including fabric. It’s like throwing someone into the deep end of the swimming pool to teach swimming. But, no one is in danger of drowning. And no one goes without instruction.
Actually, Ican’t teach anyone how to draw. I can only offer advice on an approach that might be helpful or offer advice on an approach that is not. I do that based I upon my own experience. I offer my own discoveries and let each student determine what works best for her or him.
Observational drawing is a skill set. It is a practice in seeing and a practice in applying shapes, areas of tone, and marks in such an arrangement as to create the illusion of space on a flat surface. And in the end, each drawing is only a bit of charcoal on a piece of paper. Each of us have an infinite number of drawings in us. There is no such thing as a failed drawing or failed painting. There is only a learning experience. The learning factor is tied to how well we pay attention and how well we apply the newly acquired knowledge. That’s wisdom.

December 21, 2012