Friday, December 21, 2012

How To Teach Figure Drawing Without a Model!

I always have a few kids who really want to know how to draw people. Makes sense, yes? It's my favorite thing to draw too. But try as you might, you really really really need them to look at a model. Both in school and out I've spent countless hours at Life Drawing classes. Problem is the models are unclothed. NOT what you'd want for a class for kids.

I've tried everything over the years: having them look in the mirror (not too successful except for self- portraits), making my own kids pose for the class (only a good idea if you have kids that are NOT mine--one refused and the other one wriggled so much I might as well have had the artists draw weasels), cutouts from Fashion magazines (here the clothes so overpowered the form of the body that the kids went right to stylizing the figures.)

And then---DUH---it hit me. The wonderful internet. I did a few searches and finally came up with some fabulous clothed non-fashion models with interesting poses.

I explained gesture drawings to the students. They each had 1 minute with each photo, then we switched. Then they had 5 minutes with a picture. Switch. It was the best way to replicate an actual Life Drawing class where the models usually start out with short poses.

These are all from one fabulous artist because my other shots didn't come out (sorry girls!) but I'll post more the next time we do these. 

Good job, Excellent Middle School artist!


  1. Hey, this is great info!! So glad I stopped by to read -- and now I will sketch and draw to start the New Year. Thank you dear Paula, Ma Nancy