So off I go to my first Life Drawing class and for those of you who are not aware, a Life Drawing Class is where the model poses in the nude.
I have to say at this point that I was really nervous (well I was only 16) and was shaking when I went and collected my drawing board, charcoal and paper from the stock room. Luckily I knew where everything was because I had been attending the Art School on a Saturday morning for 5 years (See In The Beginning The Was The Nude)
I thought that if I slipped into the room quietly I could hide at the back and just blend in with everyone else.I climbed the stairs and opened the door to the class room….. and immediately bumped into someone coming out – all of what I was carrying went clattering to the floor, so the quiet entrance I was hoping to make was well and truly shattered.
The lecturer came over and said that there was a spare easel and that he would show me where it was. And quess what? Yes you are correct, I was right in front of the model – Terrific just what I didn’t want. The model and I smiled at each other and then I hid behind the drawing board and started to clip up my drawing paper and arrange and rearrange my charcoal (there’s only so many times you can do this)
When I eventually looked round the room it was full of “gentlemen” of a certain age who (to be truthful) could not draw a straight line with a pencil. They, to be honest, just wanted to be in the same room as a naked woman who wasn’t their wife or girlfriend….. well it was the 60’s. Apart from the model I was the only woman … feeling uncomfortable now – the gentlemen were glaring at me ……because I was blocking their view)
I started to draw and the lecturer stopped at my easel.
Lecturer: Ahhhh at last someone who can actually draw !
Me (embarrassed : well….er…I….er… was good at art at school
Lecturer: yes I can see that – very good
Me (embarrassed) : well….erm… thanks (smiling/blushing)
Lecturer: Can I give you a word of advice?
Me (embarrassed) : errrrr…. Yes …. Yes please
Lecturer: Well not advice more of an observation
Me (embarrassed): oh …… go on
Lecturer: Well my dear, I can see you have an eye for this sort of thing but I think that you have taken one quick look at the model and then drawn her from memory!
Me (No words just embarrassed) :
I had to agree though – that is exactly what I did – I drew from memory.
Out of embarrassment I didn’t actually look at her so didn’t take in how she was stood, how the light fell on her body and the wonderful angles and shapes her body made.
I will always remember how embarrassed I felt when I had my first encounter with a nude model and I try as much as I can to ensure that the people who attend my Fine Art Nude Workshops feel relaxed when THEY have THEIR first photographic encounter with a Fine Art Nude Model.
The next blog will be when the female model was unable to attend and a male model was substituted eeekkkkkkk.