Life Drawing and Math

Two weeks ago I had some down time when I was at SMFA, so I had the chance to drop into an open life drawing session for a short time. My work hasn’t concentrated on working from observation with a figure for several years now that my focus has shifted to a different direction. At the same time, life drawing has played a significant role in my development as an artist and picking this up again just for a short time was terrific. If you’re one of my students you’ll laugh when you hear this: I had forgotten just how insanely tiring life drawing is. The other aspect of life drawing which I had forgotten about was the insatiability that comes with the experience of life drawing; every mark I put down left me wanting to do more. There’s a feeling of desperation in that process which I really thrive on.

5 Minute Gesture Drawing

5 minute gesture drawing, crayon on newsprint

I had a math teacher once who was the only math teacher I can recall who ever took the time to justify why we had to learn math: it’s not that knowing the quadratic equation will be directly applied into your life experience, it’s about learning how to think mathematically. The same goes with life drawing: life drawing allows you to hone the necessary skills that can be applied within the context of other disciplines in the visual arts. There’s frequently such an emphasis placed on the drawings themselves, but I see the experience of life drawing as being about the process of collecting of visual information through observation, which is then manipulated and interpreted.

5 Minute Gesture Drawing

5 minute gesture drawing, crayon on newsprint

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