28 November 2015

Drawing Life and Death - UCL Art Museum

A three-hour session at UCL Art Museum on a Saturday afternoon, 20 people there, starting out sitting in a circle, getting up to draw an object, sitting down to discuss it a bit; coffee break, and then a life model. It packed a lot into that short time, and I really enjoyed it. Excellent facilitator, Chiara Ambrosio, lecturer in the history and philosophy of science.
Photos of the group's work are here.
First task: get some drawing materials and choose something in the room to draw. I chose a (wax?) model of a brain and tried to distinguish one lobe from another, or perhaps to make them identifiable by someone who knew something about the structure of the brain. How would a knowledgeable person approach drawing this object? How would they "see" it?
When I raised this point in the discussion, fortunately there was an anatomist present, and she talked about what sort of section it was, and what functions the lobes controlled, balance for one thing (I was struggling with labyrinthitis at the time!), and that the brainstem was also shown.

Next task, draw something 2D - I looked intently at the fine lines on an Albinus etching (1749) and tried to render them with my clunky pencil. Then, draw something 3D - the hand of a skeleton. Different approaches to the same subject, bones; during discussion some people felt the 2D artist had already made all the choices for them, whereas with the 3D drawing they had more input and interpretation.
 The model did several 2-minute poses and several 6-minute poses. Life drawing is ... challenging ...
 He ended with a shoulder stand -

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