In November and December 2011, I went on a 5 week life drawing course at QUAD, taught by Sam Malone, a highly experienced 2D and 3D classical and computer based animator and designer who started her career at the Walt Disney animation studio in Paris. I heard about the class from an article in Hatch’d magazine.
Drawing is a skill you have to keep practicing and improving – like learning an instrument or language or sport. Since graduating, I hadn’t done much drawing on paper. Most of my recent work was digital and I was spending most days in front of a screen with a Wacom tablet or mouse in hand. So I wanted go back to basics and do some drawing simply for fun. Some good old fashioned mark making, observation and expression!
The course taught me many drawing techniques that I didn’t know. Such as why artists hold up their pencil and wink at the subject (it’s measuring the subject so you can plot it paper accurately) and the importance of capturing motion through the line of the body’s spine and joints. I apply these techniques in my illustration work now and am less precious with pencil drafts. At the beginning of an image I now focus on getting the measurements, composition and essence right than the details. The details can be done at the end of the image making process.
Sam Malone also gave me some valuable advice for drawing and creating motion as an animator. Over all, the course was well worth the price. I’ve come away with additional skills for my profession and felt refreshed and inspired to do more drawing and painting away from the computer.
You can view my drawings from the course below. I haven’t posted week 1’s as they are pretty similar to week 2’s still life study.