Aesthetics Projects

Life Drawing

Wednesday night was the second life drawing session I’ve been to at The Glass Onion. I got two drawings done, and during the second drawing something just clicked and I remembered how to draw from life. Last time I was struggling to get everything in proportion and ended up with some drawings with accurate individual sections that did not come together to form a whole that could be appreciated by anyone other than Victor Frankenstein on a bad day.A book I hadn’t read when I first did life drawing (getting on for 20 years ago now) but would recommend highly to anyone who’s convinced they will never be able to draw is “Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain”. See if your local library has a copy.”Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain” is concerned, amongst other things, with the skills of sighting ratios and angles. The skills of sighting ratios and angles are Renaissance mercantile and civil engineering skills. They have a class/social origin, a historical origin. Does this make practicing life drawing in the age of relational aesthetics socially irrelevent, mere historical nostalgia, civil war re-enactment for aesthetes? I don’t think that it does.Charcoal remains in use for drawing despite the many more modern alternatives that are available because it has a useful quality that is very hard to surpass.  Photography or actually arranging people in a gallery do not have the same quality as life drawing. It is a different investigation, a different way of relating to the subject. Life drawing is a record of protracted consideration and representation of understanding of the human form that you can’t get any other way.

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