It is truly amazing that Marywood’s art student have the opportunity to work from a live model on a weekly basis. The human form is so intriguing and sometimes complicated but it is one of my favorite things to paint or draw. I can remember how excited I was about it my first year as an art student. In high school we had some projects were we had to draw or paint a classmate or a self portrait, but that was nothing like this. Working from the model was serious. You are now trying to understand and study the human form in a new way.
Big, small, tall, short, the human form is so interesting. Drawing or painting from a figure allows people to see movement in your work. You are not looking at someone in a photo or a mirror so now you are capturing a whole new dimension. Still lifes are similar to this but sometimes relay a more static appearance than the model. Also, when you are painting you can see all of the colors that make up how we see human skin. Even the temperatures from the lighting on the figure become more apparent. Working from the model has forced me to really look at painting and drawing from life more carefully than I have in the past. The human form is beautiful and recreating it in art only glorifies its beauty and complexity even more.
It’s important to remember that sadly we won’t always be lucky enough to work from a model once school is over. When our instructors mention this most students don’t think anything of it, including myself, until you start to get less time with the model. In the upper level painting classes we don’t really have a model scheduled everyday because the classes are more independently designed. I still have Figure Drawing II twice a week working from the model and I still wish I had more time to work with them. It really is a luxury that I take for granted sometimes and I shouldn’t. Take advantage of being able to work from a model and learn as much as you can while you have the chance.
Sketchbook Drawing of the Week: