Previous posts in the series
Relating the organic shapes of tree branches to curves and lines of the human figure

Evolution from tree to human figure - Learning from the masters - A can of worms

3 - Time to make up my Mind
"Reverie" and "Shangrila" Semi abstract painting - Bigger is better

Don't touch that paint

After a few flops of trying to paint the human figure it became apparent that I needed to start at the beginning - and not at the end as I was doing. I signed up for my first figure drawing class at Langara College in Vancouver BC for a duration of 8 weeks.

Off I went to purchase all the materials I needed for the course. It was time to put the paint aside for a while.
Each class was 3 hours long and was divided into 3 parts. Each class we studied a different part of the body.

1. Anatomy of the human body 
Skeleton - names, size and location of bones and joints
2. Anatomy of the human body
Muscles - names, function and location of large and small muscles
3.Practice - sketches using a variety of drawing tools
Life Drawing - female and male alternating - 2 hours each class

Please note the above posts and video is not from the course I attended, just find that they describe the ambiance and materials covered.

Here are a few sketches of the female models I did during this course

I know that these drawings are not brilliant. Some areas are disproportionate, some parts are too small/short or too fat/elongated and some are not even where I wanted them. The instructor walked around the room and pointed out areas which did not measure up or were well done. He also mentioned the "good" parts. It was a relaxed, comfortable and noncompetitive environment. Poses lasted from 5 - 15 minutes.

Oh yeah I wish these were my drawings - have a long way to go to even come close to Klimt's quick sketches. Klimt's wish was to have these drawings destroyed but they obviously surfaced. These sketches reveal the artist's work of passion rather than a the technical interest in form and anatomically correct measurements.

Here are some sketches of poses from our two male models .

I found it difficult to capture the maleness, unlike Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, true head masters of the human figure.
In general masculine curves are as we all know hard edged, bulky and heavy and represent strengths, power and stature, contrary to the female figure which symbolizes sensuality; and that is what I’m after.

So lets leave it at that - It is not my place to talk about the ins and outs, the do's and dont's about the male figure and the human figure in general when it comes to "Art". I leave that to those who have dedicated a life time to the subject. My purpose is to tell my experience, my struggles and my thrills while exploring the drawing and painting of the human form.

I hope it will encourage others to try it. If the figure is a topic you feel drawn to as an artist, if it is something you always wanted to try but never dared - I say to you: DON'T WAIT - GO FOR IT -  follow your inner desire - pay attention while you hear the calling.

Stay tuned for next week's post:
"Just couldn't resist"

1 comment:

  1. Hi Therese,

    how awesome! I haven't pursued anatomy studies in a long time, I guess the last time was 10 years ago. Occasionally, I went to museums to sketch bodies from sculptures which I always enjoyed doing. Except that visitors always want to see what you're doing and I don't like that so much -being watched..
    I like your sketches (the male butt certainly caught my attention, yum :-))

    Great inspiration,
    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress