Life Drawing: Models, Poses & Sketching Techniques to Know

Life Drawing Basics

The concept of life drawing is literally drawing from life as opposed to drawing from a photograph or other source material. This usually involves drawing models in a classroom setting or hiring a model to pose. Life drawing models is a good way to hone one’s skill with gesture to create a sense of visual movement. Life drawing lessons can also involve drawing quick studies that teach you how to draw models with just a few marks.

Follow Artist Daily’s Drawing board on Pinterest for more inspiration.

How to Draw People in Real Life

life drawingIt can help to begin with creating an envelope on the outer lines of your figure before filling in what’s inside. This can be done with straight lines: all you should be worrying about at this stage is proportion. Then, add value with vague, soft shadows. Continue to define these areas of shadow by beginning to fill in the inner lines, connecting inner landmarks as you go. You can check the relationships between the landmarks by using plumb lines both vertical and horizontal.

See also: Human figure drawing

Drawing Models

There’s so much more pressure when drawing from life than from a photograph or your imagination, especially when you’re in a class or working with a hired model. So what’s the best way to go about it?

When drawing models, have a plan for how the model will pose, and for what period of time. Communication is key- particularly if you intend to use the model’s ideas and personality to collaborate on composition.

Once you’re in the studio, your next step is to draw, beginning with the building blocks of gestures. Here, it’s important to have an understanding of anatomy drawing so that you can accurately depict movement.

See also: Make the most of your life drawing class.


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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.