I took a couple weeks off from blogging early in July because there was a bit of travel going on (it’s hard to write on the road) and because I got really engrossed in practicing my drawing. In the last week or so, as I’ve been dipping my toes back into writing regularly, I’ve realized that drawing, while a very different activity, seems to pull from the same creative well as blogging. I was feeling a little bummed about my writing output until I had this realization, but now that I recognize it, it’s okay. What it means in the long term is that I expect I’ll have a slightly more sporadic posting schedule on the blog depending on how much I feel like drawing at any given time. I hope what that means is that when I come back from little hiatuses like the one in July, I’ll have some new art to share, which is definitely the case this time.
The major development with my drawing practice of the last month has been attending life drawing sessions at a local art studio. A frequent piece of advice I run across when I’m reading about visual arts is that the most efficient way to get better at drawing specific objects is just to draw them a whole lot. Because I’ve spent much of the last eight months focused on learning how to draw bodies with relatively realistic proportions, life drawing is a huge boon for getting to do exactly that.
The place where I’ve been going does three hour sessions with a model where they begin with fast gesture poses meant to be drawn in only a minute or two and then gradually extend the time spent with each pose to allow artists to develop more and more detailed pieces. In the five sessions I’ve gone to, I’ve noticed that there’s been a definite improvement in my confidence with sketching out the forms of the body; the last session I went to was unusual in that I found myself with significant amounts of extra time at the end of the long poses to play around with shading and coloring where before I typically was working right up to time just getting everything to look the way I saw it. Below I have some of the sketches that I like best from the last month.
At the same time that I’ve been having so much fun with life drawing, I’ve also been playing around with more comics-influenced stuff. It would be silly to pretend that I didn’t start drawing at least partially because I want to be able to draw my favorite superheroes, and one frustration I’ve run into regularly has been the fact that pencils just don’t pop in the way that an inked picture does. With all the practice from life drawing, I’ve noticed an uptick in the quality of the imagined poses that I do on character sketches, even if the anatomy of them remains significantly more simplified than when I’m drawing from a real subject. Rachael gave me a pocket sketchbook that has some really nice card stock paper in it, and I’ve been using that to play around with a few superhero drawings that I then inked. I have a few of those below, of varying qualities.