Drawing from life is one of the best ways to study and improve one’s skills. Recently, I came across a figure drawing class at the Society of Figurative Arts near my home studio and decided to join.
It has been quite a while since I did figure drawing from life! It’s so very different than drawing from reference, since one can see the interaction of light and body. Additionally, one can walk around the model and see more than what usual reference images would permit. The movement of light and shadows on the model allows an artist to understand the form better. Besides these classes, there are drawing sessions from a live model at TSOFA that one can attend whenever and pay per session. That’s a great way to practice in between classes, but if even that is not enough, there’s always the Internet.
Figure Drawing Reference Resource
A great resource for capturing the pose, anatomy, and proportions is PoseManiacs.com. It offers a large selection of poses with all the muscles visible, and it is free. One can select a particular pose for reference or click a random pose just for practice. The website also offers timed drawing exercises, where one could choose a desired time for each pose and practice away. Once the time is up, the pose would change automatically, so that the artist would not be tempted to spend just a little longer on it. There used to be a Random Pose App for smartphones, but unfortunately it looks like they took it down. PoseManiacs.com website is made on Flash, so it doesn’t work on all phones. In order to use it on the go, I take screenshots of the poses on my computer, and then save images to a smartphone. While nothing can replace drawing from a live model, this is a good tool to strengthen the acquired knowledge. Practice makes it perfect!