Here is a 20 minute pose from yesterday's figure session:
Remembering to Draw
Once again, I choked on the long pose, so you won't be seeing that one. Last night, someone looked at the drawing I was doing at the end of the session, and said simply, "It looks like you're trying too hard." I wasn't sure about how I felt about this statement, until he elaborated, "it looks like you're trying to get it too perfect. You just need to not think about it so much, and draw." And he was right. I always get fussy on that long pose. I have more luck with the 20 minute poses, but it's that long pose where I always forget to draw, to turn off that fussy, over analytical part of my brain and to involve myself fully in the act of drawing.
Drawing requires a little bit of both--you still have to pay attention to proportion and measurement, but then there's a part of you that has to fool itself into thinking that what you're drawing isn't a flat image but something three dimensional, and this is not the most logical way to think. You can approach it methodically, but there's a part of your brain, the non-rational part, that has to interpret what you're seeing and translate it into marks on paper, and there are a million ways to do this. You're always interpreting, deciding to emphasize some things and deemphasize others, to exaggerate some things and simplify others. I never stop learning about drawing, but sometimes I forget the most basic aspect of the process--to get out of your own way and to allow it to occur. It's good to have people around you,who, however bluntly, are willing to remind you of this. It's valuable to cultivate your own community of artists, whether in person or online, and to have at least a few people who are willing to tell you what often isn't easy to hear. But then it gets easier and easier to take that feedback as you gain confidence in your ability--knowing you can do something well gives you a foundation to be able to be told that you can also do it better.