Dzu Nguyen, concept artist, gave a quick drawing demonstration at last nights Life Drawing Workshop at Sony. We set the model, Meegin, up in her "Black Swan with AK-47" pose, and Dzu Nguyen began to demonstrate how he begins to draw a figure from life.
Planning the drawing's composition, measuring and pre-visualizing were emphasized before making your first mark on the paper.
The first decision is weather the orient your paper vertically or horizontally. The next, is to make a small, light mark where you want the top of the drawing to be, and another where you want the bottom of the drawing to be.
Dzu warned not to rush into the drawing, and that a slow and methodical approach will actually save you time (and frustration) over the course of drawing a long pose.
The key is to constantly re-measure your drawing based on the head size, to keep things in proportion, and to constantly re-check your drawing's plumb lines, to keep things in the right position.
After the short demo, all the artists stoked to give Dzu's classic/hybrid lay-in style a try, and they all began their 100 minute drawings of the girl with black feathered wings, combat boots and a machine gun. By the end of the workshop they had each created a great drawing.
However, everyone seemed to agree that drawing an AK-47, and matching it perfectly to a model's position, ain't as easy as it sounds!
Between helping the artists with their drawings, I began a quick lay-in of the Black Swan, myself, using Dzu's technique. I found his strict emphasis on measurement very helpful. You can see in the drawing above, how far I got in about 40 minutes.
Do the artists out there have any favorite tips on life drawings to share? How do you like to begin your life drawings?