Creative Anatomy

 

Just went to a ‘Creative Anatomy’ Class yesterday from the London Drawing Society – the same place where I do my usual Monday life drawing classes. I majorly enjoyed looking beneath the outer layer and into the structural systems that shape the human body. I definitely make the mistake of drawing the shapes and lines I see in front of me rather than treating the body as a 3-dimensional mass. This was a great class and I can’t wait for the next regular Monday Life Drawing class to apply this to my art practice.

For me, life drawing is very similar to YOGA. By calling the process of joining the mind and body systems into one wholly integrated mind-body system a practice”, Yoga reiterates that perfection is relative and not a specific end-goal. It’s an ongoing journey that evolves as you do.

I also approach ‘Figure Drawing’ as a continuous practice rather than a means to an end. It’s a calming activity that feeds my creativity and curiosity. It’s constantly evolving depending on my present focus, mood, art materials, and environment. This anatomy class was a great addition to my practice to push me outside of my usual drawing approach. I find that if I stick with the same medium or model, I can easily enter an autopilot mindset. (but I guess that’s a general rule about going through life…)

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.
– Les Brown

Let’s make Tuesdays “Life Drawing Day”? (Plus, add a yoga class.)

Sketch

This is a quick snapshot of two pages from my sketchbook: one page includes 5 min poses with pen and the other 3 min poses with markers. It’s been about 3 years since I have seriously and consistently practiced life drawing…. And boy, does it show in my art! Many people assume that drawing skills are rooted in talent (therefore unrelated to practice). That could not be further from the truth… ART IS PRACTICE. ART IS TECHNIQUE. ART IS CONSISTENT CREATIVITY.

Speaking of practice, these poses were inspired by the recent yoga classes I have been attending. Yoga is consistently referred to as an individual ‘practice.’ Sometimes, the classes can have a religious feel with the ‘namasté’ pray at the end (but rest assured it’s more mental and physical exercise than spiritual). Today, our teacher kept referring to the neck as “an extension of the spine,” which reminded me of the principles behind gesture poses in life drawing classes. (Gesture poses are more about capturing the energy of the pose than the actual proportions and details.) Yoga teachers also love to say “Check in with your body today… Listen to your body.” In much the same way, figure drawing is about checking in with the model’s posture, attitude, pain, physique, and form for THAT MOMENT. Too many people draw what they think they see rather than what they ACTUALLY see. Both yoga and figure drawing requires checking in with the body constantly to re-alight the physical level. After the power vinyasa class, I was extremely motivated to sketch… Plus, my sister is just SO photographic (aka draw-able).

Today, I set my intension for my yoga practice and life drawing practice … “Stay consistent in order to improve technique and creative flow.”