Learning to draw.
Do you wish you could draw? Do you wish you could pick up a pencil and capture your children, your dog or a favourite tree with just a few simple lines? Why can't you? Is it because you've got no talent? No magic gift? Or maybe it's just that you've never been taught properly.
Learning to draw is easier than learning to read or write. There are things you need to know, methods to understand and exercises to practice but most people learn to draw quite rapidly. Peter Kavanagh runs life drawing classes in North Norfolk to teach people how to draw. Life drawing is the most efficient and pleasurable way to learn to draw.
If you practice drawing by sketching a still life, say of fruit or flowers and your drawing is only 50% accurate you'll think you've done very well. When drawing a body however you can be 90% accurate and think you're a lost cause! This is because we are people experts and see instantly when things are not quite right. This drives us on to strive for greater accuracy in our observations, which leads to better drawing.
Life drawing puts us up against another major obstacle that thwarts our ability to draw ~ our preconceptions. We need to draw what we see and not what we think we see. As people experts we carry plenty of ideas in our heads as to what people look like. Drawing becomes much easier when you learn to ignore these preconceptions and trust your eyes.
What sort of things do we learn in the life class? The most important is how to look. This is also the most difficult skill to acquire and takes constant practice. Surprised? Consider this. You can already scribble about freely with a pencil and write complex letter forms carefully and clearly. So you're not going to learn how to handle the pencil any better.
What you need to know is how to see what's in front of you in such a way that you can then make marks about it. This is a different way of looking at things compared to how you're looking around right now. So you can see a chair, a window and someone across the way. You understand what you see but you can't draw it from that understanding. Instead you need to see the lines and shapes that convey chair, window and person. Those lines and shapes you will be able to draw.
To learn how to see like this requires slowing down and taking a long, detailed look at what you want to draw. Gradually you'll learn not rely on the instant understanding of the brain but to trust your eyes and to give them time to collect the necessary information. This new looking skill will change your view of the world!
Life drawing is perfect for learning this skill. It challenges the preconceptions our brains have about how a body should be. It also teaches us to enjoy the beauty of the naked human body without shame, worry or taboo. This gives us inspiration and motivation to work hard at our drawing!
Contact Peter Kavanagh on 07860 568874 and view his work and classes at www.nudepics.me.uk.
Peter has been drawing and painting all his life, through school and art college and now as an artist, illustrator and tutor. He has illustrated over 100 children's books in the last fifteen years and had ten published as an author. He teaches privately and for Adult Education and runs life drawing classes. He exhibits at galleries across Norfolk and on the Algarve in Portugal.
As an artist he is drawn to the human form and its expression of life. His work in line, charcoal, watercolour and oil challenges the standpoints of prudery and pornography and presents the naked body without shame. If the viewer can allow themselves to get beyond the usual knee-jerk reaction to nudity, they will discover beauty in his timeless images.
Light moving across the endlessly changing contours and profiles of the living figure provides him with constant inspiration. Life and movement are other qualities he tries to capture in his work. It is difficult for models to keep a sense of vigour in poses of any length so the artist has to work quickly.
Our ability to read body language means that we perceive messages in the slightest renderings of the human figure. These subtle expressions of personality are just as important in his drawings as details of form or correctness of proportion.
The act of drawing is very important. The process of looking, seeing and making marks on paper is like a primitive therapy. To draw people from life requires the putting aside of many preconceptions and taboos. It is a process of gradually freeing the mind from personal restrictions and allowing oneself to indulge in the pleasure of looking at the most beautiful form in Nature.
Why draw and paint nudes?
We love Nature and most people will admire an art work of a landscape, a flower or a wild animal. This exhibition features work that admires our own bit of Nature, our bodies. The body evolved over thousands of years and Nature knew what she was doing. We are hard-wired to instinctively respond to these forms and enjoy the gift that Nature has provided.
We enjoy performers and the energy and power in an athlete?s body or the grace and elegance in that of a dancer. Our culture demands we don?t stare at the bodies around us or flaunt our own bodies in front of others. But secretly everyone is peeking!
I am inspired by life drawing, a great way to appreciate the body. My drawings and prints convey the relationship of artist and model, of looking and showing. The handling of various media is quick and lively as the gesture of a pose has to be captured before the model tires. The pose communicates with us in poetic depth.
I?ve been working as a freelance artist for over 20 years. I?ve had over 150 children?s books published, including 10 as the author. I also paint nudes and have taught life drawing for many years. Currently I run an illustration agency representing 40 illustrators working mainly in publishing.
As an illustrator of children?s books I?ve always practiced drawing the figure and have been fascinated by our ability to read expression and personality in the simplest scribble of a human. As an illustrator a model is used for reference to help convey the desired figure. As an artist the process of working with the model becomes the essence of the picture. The connection, the relationship, the mood of the session impact upon the work and resonate in the final image.
I prefer to paint directly from life to experience the presence of the model. This demands working quickly before the model tires and the gesture of the pose is lost. Gesture is the magic quality that we respond to and very important in my work. Light is also important to me, revealing the fragile and transient beauty that fills us with sadness at the same moment as it fills us with pleasure.
I have worked for many years as a model to other artists and enjoy being an inspiration to them.? I like to explore poses and compositions that help to convey this artist / model process, the time involved, the sense of being inspired and of being studied. This willingness and participation of the model, and my honest attempts to express my reactions, creates work that reveals my fascination with the power of Nature.
- Future Exhibitions:
- The Beautiful and the Damned
Drawing, Oils, Pastels, Pen & Ink, Pen And Wash, Pencil/Charcoal, Watercolour
Cartoons, Colour Mixing, Fantasy, Figure, Illustration, Life Drawing, Portrait