Vân c: (asiancloud) wrote,
Vân c:

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[Reflexion] First life drawing session ever

Hi there !

Remember that blog post I made back in 2005 when I graduated ? I was complaining that 8 € for a 3-hour session of life drawing was super expensive ? Well, I take that back : it's super duper cheap. After 20 years drawing on my own, I've taken my very first art lesson ever and -if we forget about the epic fail explained in the previous entry *cough cough*- it was AWESOME.

LIFE DRAWING 2016 05 03a LIFE DRAWING 2016 05 03b LIFE DRAWING 2016 05 03d LIFE DRAWING 2016 05 03e


1. Challenging myself

I kind of knew it would be harder than drawing from photos and I came with no expectations as for my results. My goals were :

  1. to see what it's like with no pressure ;

  2. to bring back material good enough to be used as references afterwards ;

  3. to gain observation experience and get a better sense of human bodies.

In gesture drawing, I focus on the line but for that life drawing session, for some reason, contrasts picked my interest. In addition, I FINALLY found my artist pencils and they're pure bliss to work with so I went for it.

2. Report

Although I'm used to timed gesture drawing, whether it's from Posemaniacs or Quickposes, I was still relieved the model was female to be completely honest ! As you can see, I didn't do much during that time, still being reserved when it comes to new things... And as mentioned in my previous post, I forgot 3 sheets in the art room, it's SO EMBARRASSING.  The theme for this session was face expressions, poses lasted 15, 5 and 25 minutes, with 5 1-minute poses in the middle. I never time myself so I have no feeling for how far I can go in 5 or 15 minutes, so everything ended up really unfinished. The teacher would see each of us in turn and make suggestions as we were sketching. A student was pretty impressed by my sketches but I suspect that's because she had the wrong idea that I never drew anything rather than I never drew from life (and she probably thought I was 10 years younger than I really am, but that's an other matter).

I already LOVE having music lessons and I loved that life drawing session as well. The model even asked in the end if everything went fine since it was my first time there, it was so sweet ! My cello teacher is awesome (if you'd like his contact info, drop me a message ! He'll be very happy to have new students !) and that art teacher is as well. He noticed that I like details and that I was working on contrasts so he did 2 things :

  1. lend me bigger paper sheets ;

  2. lend me a piece of charcoal.

Drawing bigger makes it easier to work on details and charcoal is nice for shading. It's easily spread so you can cover large areas pretty quickly and you can achieve dark tones as well by changing your grip. I said I never used it but I actually did when I was 10 or 12. That was merely playing around though. I am curious by nature and I love learning new things but I will never be a full time student anymore, I need more space. Private music lessons are perfect for me because the teacher adapts to myself and Mr Van De Louw did as well. He confirmed that my anatomy was good although self-taught and thus focused on expressivity.

3. Soul searching

3.1 Finding myself as an artist

"It's nice that you prepare your lines and stuff but you can use bolder lines too."
"The more you prepare your sketch, the less it feels spontaneous."

You know, those words, I've already heard them. I hear them from my music teacher who regularly asks for "more sound" and I heard them from that art teacher I met while job hunting 11 years ago. It's crazy how much you express not only in your art but also in the way you do it. I am a reserved, detail-oriented person and it's baffling how it's impossible to hide. Maybe I'll be an extrovert in my next life but for now I'm an introvert of the intoverted type and I doubt that'll change *laughs*
Being reserved is not being shy. I just need to feel comfortable to fully express myself. In addition, I can now say confidently that deep down, I'm a passionate person. Passion is about doing things wholeheartedly (such as leaving my hometown for a job opportunity 7 years ago, quitting my day job 2 months ago) but that's pretty scary to others, especially on the emotional side. I think that's why until I know the limits, I'm veeeeeeeery reserved. If being myself causes discomfort to others, I'd rather refrain from it than being a nuisance, you know what I mean ; it's all or nothing. Non-conformists attract bullies and ignorants, and sometimes, I just want to be left alone.

Drawing in my free time and being good at it does not make drawing my passion. Each time somebody tells me "Oh, it's  nice to have a passion like that", I'll correct them immediately and say "It's not a passion, it's a hobby". (They would keep calling it a passion anyways but that's an other story *facepalm*.) I still think it's not a passion and at the same time I have some hope to make it my day job. I can do it with passion but that doesn't make it a passion. However, I didn't draw much for the past 2-3 years and I really struggled expressing anything in music. Although my technique is still obviously beginner level, my cello teacher says I have enough to express something and I am convinced it is the case. However, I haven't been able to. It's broken inside, I feel it. In convention, I keep bringing with me those 2004 sketches and they're still very popular. Seriously. And I even know why : there's something emotional about them that reaches people. I cannot turn back in time, I'll never be the me I was 10 years ago and I'm reasonable enough for not chasing after it. What I want to do is looking forward and "becoming myself", including those scars that hurt so much inside.

So, the result of this session is the current me on paper and it's okay. I'll draw empty drawings until I feel something inside, until I am able to open up myself, until I am able to pour myself into a drawing again.

3.2 Freedom

I don't know if it has to do with being an introvert or not, but I have a very hard time gushing over something on the spot. Unlike my sister who gets excited very quickly and gets bored just as quickly, I need time to realize and accept that I appreciate an activity. And that life drawing session was no exception.

Once home, although it was past 10:00 pm and that I didn't have dinner, I didn't feel hungry at all. When the session started, my mind and body focused on drawing and I forgot everything. It was like a bubble in time and what I felt was not joy. I remember my music teacher asking me "What is joy ?" and I also clearly remember that I struggled answering. To my mind, joy is something lighthearted and I don't feel lighthearted very often to begin with and the last 2 years being quite horrible, it's definitely something that I don't experience on a regular basis.
That feeling wasn't joy, it was freedom. My mind went blank, no idle thoughts polluted the process, I just drew the model as she changed poses and that was it. Freedom is extremely important to me, I didn't expect to find it there and it helps letting go my worries. For example, since I've quit, I've been worrying about my diet because I tend to lose weight fairly easily. I grew up fearing hunger and homelessness, it's deeply engraved in my mind. However, keeping the rhythm I had while working makes no sense and it ruins my natural pace. For instance, I wouldn't dare starting anything past 11:00 am because I already began to worry about cooking  lunch. Not feeling hungry when I came back home made me realize that I should keep doing what I do best : listening to my body. I proud myself in being disciplined when it come to eating but I don't have to have my meals at fixed hours anymore. As long as I have my carb intake, having a consequent lunch à 3:00 pm and a light soup at 10:00 pm is totally fine.  Moreover, I've never been in protein shortage while being unemployed so there's no need to store more meat in my fridge than I can cook, it's OKAY, I can stop caring about hunger. The nutritionist I met in October will probably scream if she reads this because she advised that I split my meals to gain weight. I can't eat breakfast just after waking up, I'm tired of trying and having my stomach upset so I'll do what I think is best for and which doesn't stress the s*** out of me !

3.3 Wondering about teaching

It's something I've been thinking about for a few months already.
I think I never blogged about that origami table which I animated in November during that small Japanese event. Somebody asked "How long have you been teaching origami ?" and that was stunning because :

  1. it was my first time actually leading an origami workshop ;

  2. I've always claimed I was the worst teacher in the world. I have that friend who I admire deeply and who's really good at teaching although he has no more teacher training than me, and I think that's an ideal I've set, thus it feels unreachable.

I've been asked countless times about teaching art from the visible results of my own practise, from the drawings people saw. Since I've attended lots of free stuff lately, I meet a lot of people and every single time someone asked about it : during the manga workshop, the watercolour workshop, the alcohol marker workshop last year, both urban sketching sessions, etc etc... But being asked specifically about my teaching is new. In addition, I've been sort of intensively teaching for 3 months when handing over my tasks to my adorable substitutes who praised me for it and now I'm seriously considering it. Without formal training, I'll never be on the same level as my music teacher or Mr Van De Louw. I've never been taught myself and I have a hard time imagining how I would teach somebody else. However, there's something I'm very good at and that I feel able to share through games : drawing from imagination.

I'll keep my options open for now and see how far I can go c:

4. Information

L'art à Lille, 15 rue de Seclin, 59000 Lille, FRANCE / Life drawing on Tuesday evening / 25 € for 3 hours, taught by Romain VAN DE LOUW

Le 188, 188 rue Faubourg de Roubaix, 59000 Lille, FRANCE / Life drawing on Monday evenings / 8 € for 2 hours, no teacher

By the way, I've added a Resources page on my website where you'll find all the links above, please check it out and tell me what you think ! Constructive critcism will be much appreciated c:

Tags: 3615 mylife, ?life drawing, art: traditional, i quit my day job, me myself & i, medium: stylo à bille, pencil, sketch

Posts from This Journal “i quit my day job” Tag

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