5th March 2018

After trying out a couple of female figures in ink, I decided to try a You Tube video by The Royal Academy of Arts which I’ve had saved for a while.  I’ve never done life drawing before so was interested to try it out in the comfort of my own home before going to an actual class.

Firstly, we did some 2 minute poses to warm up.  I found it really difficult to get proportions right that quickly, especially as the model chose some tricky positions.

I think my drawings definitely improved as they went on. With the final warm up sketch I tried to make enough time to add shading rather than just the outline of the figure which helps to make it more realistic and gives it some depth.

After the warm up came a 15 minute pose, so I decided to try going larger (A2) and using charcoal which I thought would be a quicker medium to use.


The face looks like a caricature and it was difficult to get the back leg in proportion as it was raised onto a higher table.  I also found it hard to make delicate lines, even with the edge of the charcoal and I was smudging with my fingers for speed, which again meant that the detail was lost.

The final piece I did was a 20 minute pose.  I chose A2 paper again, but this time I used a coloured paper with charcoal/chalk in grey, black and white to try and portray the light and shade a bit better.


I really light the highlighted areas which I think contrast really well especially on the right arm and torso.  I made the mistake of filling in the background when it was really not needed, and I should have left the majority of the background in the natural colour of the paper and just shaded the bottom half around and under his legs.  I think the rough black strokes detract from the stillness of the figure. Another question is whether I need to draw the full figure too.  When the detail of hands and feet are hard to master with a block of charcoal, these could have been left to the imagination or simplified right down to a simple contour drawing and have the detail then focused more on the torso.

There was another pose for 25 minutes which I might go back and do at some point as I can see the improvement throughout this exercises and have plenty of things I could work on. I really hope this will be the first of many videos like this, as it was great to be able to do it in a relaxed environment as a beginner.


Life Drawing Live