I’ve made scarcely any mention of it on my blog but last year I did a fair amount of life drawing at my college and have just begun attending again for the new year.
Being completely honest; my sketches in these classes have been at best mediocre and at worst, terrible. As presentable pieces they’re pretty poor and it certainly highlights my weaknesses in observational drawing. Making comics has likely furthered my artistic skills in many respects, but it’s also resulted in a procedural habit of making up details as I go along, filling in the gaps with my imagination and exaggerating as required. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but as I got back into life drawing I found myself instinctively approximating details rather than actually looking at the curves and shapes in reality.
Excusing my work by saying its ‘stylised’ can only be taken so far. In my final graphic I don’t intend to go for straight up realism, however even the most abstract art tends to have an element of reality to it. What it all comes down to is the danger of playing it safe, failing to push myself and admit that I can do better.
The drawings above aren’t particularly great – the fact that anatomical differences on the same model are so evident is testimony to this – but it’s uplifting to see that there’s a marked improvement over what I did last year. On the smaller scale I could consider these to be failures, but it’s my hope that they’ll assist in my long term success.
Look at it this way, the more mistakes I make now the less I’ll make in the final project…