Faye Yong, April 2015 –
When working as Digital Artists in a fast paced startup, sometimes it’s good to get away from the desk, take a break from staring at Photoshop and have some good old fashioned pen-meets-paper time.
Last workshop Friday we got a lovely model to come in for a spot of life drawing. The goal was not to solely work on anatomy or rendering techniques, but to also get the hand-eye coordination going and just draw. This meant that the session was open to non artists too and everyone was encouraged to let loose and draw what they see.
As children we gleefully put pencils to paper and have fun drawing on anything and everything (much to our parents’ dismay, as we deface freshly painted walls!). As adults we hobble our activities by our preconceptions. Non artists will demur, saying “Oh! But I don’t know how to draw!” or “I can’t draw like an artist, so I won’t!”. Artists (being the self critical creatures that we are) tend to do the same, perhaps on a more analytical level “Oh! My skill in drawing X is not as good as his/hers” or “I’m not as good as drawing people as I am at drawing machines”.
As a result, we either limit whatever enjoyment or learning we may achieve from the experience, or we avoid it entirely. Now where is the fun in that?
To keep things brisk and moving along in our workshop, we kept the poses quite short; from 30 second gestures to longer 10 minute poses. It’s interesting to see how different artists approach different figures. Some more adventurous souls brought along ink and crayons to spice things up.
Even our Art Director took a break from important art directing to get his hands dirty too!
The engineers who were brave enough to come along were all very surprised at how intensive a casual life drawing session could be. You could say that they flexed some long unused muscles in the brain and the results were somewhat surprising!!
Drawing ability is like a muscle. You have to work it out to reap the benefits. Sometimes it may feel frustrating when your drawings don’t turn out as expected, but don’t worry! The key is to artistically empty your mind, let go of the drawings you’re unhappy with and allow the great ideas through!
Now go forth and try drawing what you see!