Life Drawing for Everyone

Written by the tutor for our life drawing workshop: Chris Dobbs

Drawing techniques for life drawing

First technique: Counting heads

The first illustration could be called counting heads. It is suitable for standing poses where the artist is establishing proportion based on the division of the figure into head units.

Second technique: Box grid

The second method is the box grid. By dividing the paper into equal squares complicated shapes can be constructed square by square.

Third Technique: Angular Poses

The third method is useful for angular poses where straight lines copying the various limbs can help to untangle the maze by assessing the angles where the lines dissect.

Forth Technique: Negative Space

The forth method is called negative space. The space around the figure is shaded and then gradually nipped in to form a silhouette.

In all of these methods the traditional tool is the shaft of the pencil held at arms length towards the figure and level with the paper.

There are of course many other methods and we welcome constructive criticism and debate in aim for improvement.

To practice these techniques or to try another one to draw a body along to one of Voyage Arts life drawing workshops. This is a friendly drop-in session running on Thursday evenings (7pm to 9pm) at the Voyage Fair Trade Shop, 11 Somerset Place, Teignmouth.

Life Drawing with tutor, Chris Dobbs, offering advice

The sessions are relaxed and informal and artists of all abilities are welcome. A typical session will involve the model providing various poses of the duration of 5, 10, 20 minutes and up to 50 minutes. There is no formal tutoring but established members are happy to offer help and guidance if required.

This is very much a class to encourage artists to find their own method and style. Your efforts will not be subject to critical judgement unless you want them to be. The value of the session is as much in the mental exercise of creation as it is the final result.

A drawing of a life drawing model

For those interested you are welcome to come along or you can contact us if you have any other questions. We will be exploring techniques to obtain proportion and shape. There will also be exercises in tone and shading and other challenges.