Looking at the unclothed human form and extracting information is something that seems to be hard-wired into us. We can glance at a figure and instantly know much about mood, health, compatibility, motivation, honesty and so on. Maybe it has something to do with our evolutionary need to quickly assess others as possible threats or mates. Life drawing uses this innate ability as part of a visual enquiry, the record of which is usually an image on paper.
The experience is often intense and highly engaging and depending upon the intention of the organiser can be balanced towards either the academic or the absurd, there is after all something delightfully silly about having one unclothed person in a room where all others are clothed. We usually like to pitch it somewhere in between, it is likely to be better fun if there is some attempt at serious drawing. Delegates will leave with a smile on their face having gained a valuable insight and maybe even having acquired a skill.
Teaching can be as directed as you choose, one to one, prescriptive or light touch, or none at all. Very often a simple demonstration at the beginning helps to give absolute beginners a strategy and jogs the memory of the more experienced.
If you are considering putting an event together that uses a life drawing component here are the sorts of questions you might consider:
- What would you like your group to gain from this? For example, with corporate sessions, we’ve used life drawing as a tool for exploring ageing, and attitudes towards health and identity. We’ve also found others used it as a useful tool for working on things like team building or creativity. Given a clear objective we can structure the session accordingly.
- How much time would you like to spend doing this? Less than an hour would be rushed and if all we were doing was drawing we’d find people’s attention wandering after a couple of hours. Introduce discussion and themes and we could fill a day!
- What facilities do you have? Participants will need to be able to stand at least two metres away from the model to be able to see what they are doing. They will usually be arranged in a circle or semicircle. Clear space will be required and the simplest arrangement would be two chairs per person, one to sit on the other to rest a drawing board upon. The model(s) will require a private space to change and the room will need to be heated to around 23 degrees.
- How many people are you thinking of? Clearly a larger group would require more space and depending upon the kind of drawing you were looking to explore may require more models. For example with portraiture you’d want no more than half a dozen people per model whilst gestural drawing, where you capture the overall essence of a posture, thirty per model would be quite acceptable.
- A rough idea of the cost is £20 per head, but we would like your experience to be tailored to you and valuable to you and your colleagues, and to sort that out first. Do you have a budget in mind?
If you would like to talk through some ideas or ask for a costing do ring us or email us