A peek into the Day Job – Life Drawing Classes

As I’m sure many of you are unaware, I’m a teacher. However, I’m a teacher who’s lucky enough to teach A Level Fine Art and Textiles at a 6th form college! At the moment we’ve been doing our annual intensive 2 week life drawing classes which, while quite a learning curve for the new students and old alike, is tremendously rewarding and it’s a genuine pleasure to see students who have never drawn the figure from life really engaging with the process.

It’s also a great opportunity for me to get some practice done, since I don’t draw from the figure anywhere near often enough. Today I’m posting a selection of example drawing which I do at the beginning of classes in order to talk the students through the techniques and processes which they will be using during the lesson.

Firstly some very quick drawings in pen:


Now in pencil paying careful attention to measuring and proportion:


On one of the days we were without a model, so we pinched a skeleton from the Biology department:


Poster paint applied with bits of card along with some fingerpainting!:


and then the obligatory Charcoal drawing:


All in all it’s been an enjoyable couple of weeks with alot of students, who were pretty terrified at the start, growing in confidence and produceing some great work. I’m a bit old fashioned and believe that observational drawing is the foundation of almost all forms of visual art and a very immediate way of communicating ideas.

Interestingly enough, many of the common dificulties that I find that people have when drawing from life is that they over think the transition from 3D form to 2D representation. My students get fed up with my constant entreaties to “Stop thinking!” and train themselves to look, measure and make a mark. Measuring is the key to accurate drawing, and the easiest way to overcome our brain’s desire to rationalise the conversion of a human figure into what is essentially an graphite abstraction.

Anyways, I could ramble on, thanks for looking and I hope to be getting some more sculpting and painting up soon.

A peek into the Day Job – Life Drawing Classes

2 thoughts on “A peek into the Day Job – Life Drawing Classes

  1. This is all so good. I used to draw a lot. Cartoons and characatures mostly. I really like the skull and the poster/finger painting of the chap with the beard. I’ve saved the pic of the skeleton. I hope that’s ok.


  2. Glad you like the pictures! You’re welcome to save whatever you like, it wouldn’t be up on the interwebs otherwise.

    I used to draw a lot more, particularly very realistic drawings of books and magazines from the 1970s, then drawings of old drawing boards. Oddly enough I started to find it very stressful, and got rather over obsessed with it so had to take a bit of a step back. Now I just enjoy teaching it, and the textiles classes are utterly mad but great fun. Making and painting miniatures has turned out to be much more relaxing and enjoyable than serious drawing and painting ever were.

    Thanks for looking.


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