Life drawing- continued



Back to life drawing at Pranoto’s Gallery! The first time I went to a life drawing class in here , I was still starting on Part 2 of this course. That time I wrote a blog post about the gallery  and the artist Pranoto himself called life drawing- beginnings.

I was very curious how I would feel now- a few months further in the course and discovered that I loved coming back with less fear and awkwardness, less shame of my not perfect drawing skills. Although life drawing is still really really difficult and the results very imperfect, I have definitely learned to be more confident.

There are no instructions here during the class, just a model in the center of the room and a circle of artists on cushions on the floor or little stools, all drawing in their own style with different media.

The model was very sweet but definitely stiff and uncomfortable- carefully covering up with a sarong both legs and upper body.

All these drawings were 5 min each:

I think my favourite of the day is the little lying figure top left that was just a resting pose between the ‘real’ poses.

This is the final drawing- 2 times 20 minutes of the same pose:


In short- still a LOT to learn, and I am happy to be back home in Ubud for the next three weeks where I can attend these life drawing classes again .


Today another life drawing class at Pranoto’s Gallery and a whole different experience. The model was VERY pregnant and radiant. You could feel how she loves her body, loves being pregnant, and modeled with such grace and ease- it was such a pleasure to draw her!

First some warm up 5 min standing poses:


Then two 10 minute poses:

On the left one I was especially struggling with the arm bent backwards- something to look into (and the weird long neck and the small head, argh). I loved the pose on the right – how she holds and looks down on her beautiful belly- but unfortunately the drawing didn’t go that well. This is definitely a pose I want to try and sketch again.

One single 20 minute pose:


I am happy with the proportions here and think I will continue working on this drawing.

This is the final drawing two times 20 minutes the same pose :


It is not perfect, but I am more or less happy with the proportions and the expression, I think that I captured some of both.

I just loved the experience of sketching this beautiful pregnant woman, it felt very special. I think her feeling so at easy in her body and showing it also made me feel much more at ease sketching it.

Another week and one more life drawing class at Pranoto’s. I just walked in and immediately loved the model- a real woman my age, confident in her own body- not a perfect young model, but just so beautifully herself.

First some 5 minute standing sketches:

A rather stiff beginning, so I switched to a charcoal pen for the seated 5 minute poses:

This felt much better already and I started feeling confident with the proportions.  I was rather amazed at getting the crosslegged one right to be honest.

This was immediately followed by a pose of 4 times 20 minutes.


I spent two times 20 minutes on this A4 drawing, and then decided to leave it as is. I was amazed at getting it this right , so I was worried about spoiling it if I would go over it too many times. I really liked drawing with the charcoal pen.

So for the next 20 minute period , I started over with a sanguine pen on A4:


This went well again. I like it even better as a drawing , it is softer and the hands are more relaxed.

For the last 20 minutes I decided to challenge myself with a black Uniball pen and changed position in the room:


The hands got enormous , but the rest of the body and even the cushion works really well.

I don’t know if I am just in a great mood right now or if these drawings are really better, but it is the first time in this chapter that I really like my drawings and feel like I can draw a proportionate human being. Fingers crossed this was not a one-time lucky streak 🙂

This is Pranoto’s drawings of the same model.

For the last one on the right he took my previous place when I moved to a new placefor the Uniball pen sketch, so it was interesting to see his drawing of the same pose from the same place. It is also interesting to see how he uses the pose, but changes the model to younger and rounder.

A woman next to me was sketching the outlines in a waterproof ink and then the shading in different colors of watercolor. It looked amazing and is something I am inspired to try. But it requires to draw a single “correct” outline first, so some practice to be done first 🙂

Encouraged by what felt like a successful class last time, I desperately wanted to go back , so changed meeting schedules, rushed all day and drove my motorbike through pouring rain to get to Pranoto’s gallery for the life drawing class today. Obviously it only got worse from there and here is a gallery of my pathetic and rather desperate trials:


NOTHING seemed to work today. Finally I got the last 10 minute pose “right” in charcoal and felt my confidence growing a tiny bit:


I then felt a little clearer to cope with the lying postures. First one  single 20 minute pose:


One of the studio cats joined the model on the pillow- I think that was the highlight of my experience here today:)

Two times 20 minutes- I choose the coward version of picking up my pencil and eraser again:


And then black charcoal pencil for the last 20 min, same pose but from a different place:


From this session I learned the importance of not having any expectations. And I will forbid myself to use only graphite and charcoal next time- I have to get away from doing the same all the time!

There is nothing I feel like reworking from this session, luckily perhaps, because my pile of drawings to continue working on is not getting smaller- there is never enough time 🙂

After logging the above, I decided to rather sacrifice some sleep and rework two of the drawings from the session before with the beautiful pregnant model that I had been wanting  to do for some time.


Here I copied the pose on the left in a water resistant pen, and then drew the shadows in pink watercolor. The drawing gets a very different mood. I like the addition of colour, it is something more fresh and new. It would have been more interesting on a different background.

Here quite the opposite happened. I went from  a nurturing pose that did not quite work, to a rather dark image. I first covered the page with black charcoal, and then lifted out the shape of the pregnant woman with a putty rubber. I added darker tones and highlights and a tiny bit of brown Conte to the figure. I think the drawing has more depth and feeling, there is something very vulnerable and a little fearful with the young woman and her huge belly.

Today was my last lifedrawing class before traveling back to Europe for three weeks- and as I had a lot of fun with the drawings above, I decided to be more experimental and avoid just drawing on a white sheet, so I prepared some random backgrounds and planned to plot out the shapes during the lifedrawing session, and then continue working on the drawings at home. It is all still too quick for me to get the proportions and be experimental at the same time during the class.



This first background has some ink and a piece of transfer from a newspaper. I used it for the standing 5 minute poses:


And then at home, added ink  for the final drawing:



This is my favourite- I really like how some imperfect and stiff studies in proportions became a whole story and it works as a composition.


For a 10 minute pose on a stool, I used a background where I had  scribbled random marks, and then lifted out space for the figure with the eraser, creating more depth and atmosphere. Afterwards I darkened and smudged the background and shading.


Finally I changed the whole head and shoulders:


I like the effect but am not convinced of the drawing, so I will try this again.

For the next 10 minutes on a stool, I used a watercolour/ink chaotic background from my Tracey Ermin experiments:


I was spending far too much time getting this pose right , even the stool, and in the end it got all stiff and wrong. But back home I added ink and quite like the ghastly effect:



For the next pose, I chose to revisit my old traditional charcoal on white to get back some confidence, which worked so-so…:


Then I decided to try out drawing in scribbles in ink, without lifting the pen- this is a 20 minute pose:


And afterwards I added water with a thin brush to some parts:


I am really really happy with this effect of the ink/water scribbly style. The pose is not very right, but I will use this technique again.

For the last two 20 minute poses I used two colours of ink. It is less scribbly and I lifted the pen.


Then added water:


Here again  the drawing is not great, but I really liked this effect of the bleeding ink. Also will try out more bleeding of the different colors of ink together.

My figures from today were far from perfect, but I loved the process and the variety of approaches. Experimenting makes me happy and I feel like I opened up lots of new paths to explore the figure drawing further. This was a lot of fun!

I am on the road again for the coming three weeks, but hope I can pick p the thread here as soon as I get back.




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