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Life Drawing and Modern Art

Life Drawing as an artist is a discipline. Classical art teaches the proportions of the body, human or animal. With drawing people you need to also put perspective in perspective. A Classical artist needs to learn various proportions, such as children have different proportions than adults.

The first title picture I drew from a life class sometime last year. A different model. 

When you are drawing people you are working so fast your mind is focused on getting it right. All your attention is on what you are doing.

The reason for drawing people in the nude, is to get the drawing right. You are drawing a 3 D object and making it look 3 D on 2 dimensional paper. 

This is from a Life Drawing class that I did 2 weeks ago in Ponsonby. To draw the figure, speed is of essence! The faster you draw, the better the drawing is. Sure, I copy from images but because I am not easily moulded, the drawing is not exactly the image. 

It is always interesting that in each class that although the same model is drawn, every person’s drawing looks unique and a type that is identifiable to the model. 

I drew this image out of Loomis’s drawing book as a study of a man. Loomis was an American illustrator. Its an ideal type of man. 

One art teacher told me that you should be able to trace the model’s profile on the same face at 3/4 or full on image of the face. Every person’s face is unique and different. 

This is one woman that I used to work for, I took a photo of her in her kitchen and then drew her from her photo. She came to NZ as a teenager from what was known as Yugoslavia and she is Croatian.  I admired her because she did everything herself, from putting the carpet in the floor, her own wall papering, painted her own house, grew her own garden and cooked. Even raised exotic cats. She made beautifully made dresses with precision. She was a drama queen but even then had a quiet dignity and grace. 

Sometime I did a 3 year correspondence school course of Art in a NZ School The first 2 years were great but in the 3rd year, it was of Post Modernism – Art that is non representational, and with no meaning.

I tried it, but its not for me. I gained the qualification. I like and prefer “Classical Art” “Representational Art”, Jackson Pollock and other forms of so called Art that is motivated into shocking people with awful pictures that are down right depressing are not what I want on my wall. Most people that I know don’t like it either. To me, Art and Music is there to lift our Spirits. 

Above I did a study for my 3rd year that did not wash well with Post Modernism, because you could see human figures in it. 

Now I don’t mind abstract at all. This is one of my first attempts. Its done in acrylic paint. 

This is more what my tutor wanted for Post Modernism, if I told him it was like a sun he would throw it out the window because it meant something. 

There are no “Classical Art Schools ” in New Zealand. I was told about a Classical Art school called “Lara ” in London. To be honest, I am convinced that the art school that I studied with taught me creativity but the teachers honestly knew less about proportion, perspective than I did. They only did modern art or contemporary. 

Nothing wrong with contemporary art but if you want to grow as an Artist, not only make money. You need to learn to listen to details beginning with Classical Art lessons. I must admit, I prefer seeing pictures that inspire me and brighten my day. My choice.

A Charcoal done by me.

To me life is to be alive, for me doing Art is not about dying, its all about living!


What do you think?

15 Points

Written by Pamela Moresby

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  1. Interesting indeed. I respect most forms of art. But I must say that I used to have a lot of fun working with charcoals and often blending in colour pastels. Whether dying or living it’s about the moment one feels most alive. It is believed that death can ressurect life.

  2. You could sell them all within minutes for real. Fantastic! You are very talented. I need to learn to draw faster. I am going to try to draw faster and see if i can get my drawings to look better.

    • What you can do in America you cant do in New Zealand. Our art society are a group of snobs who have set up a system that keeps out the riff raff like me.
      Infact its deliberate.
      Its a clique in auckland.
      You have to be one of them and those that are I don’t like their art work because of the depressing subjects they pick ie death.
      Although death is part of life, I certainly don’t want it on my wall,

    • One of the points Im making here, art schools in New Zealand don’t teach it because the art teachers don’t know perspective or proportion properly, because it all went play ways over 40 years ago.
      Now there is a 10 year global revival of “Classical Art” where there are approved schools that teach proportion and perspective right.
      There are 2 of these schools in Australia and none in New Zealand.
      Its a hard ask to change the trend in NZ.

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