Attending a Figure-Drawing Class
If you are over eighteen and are keen to learn to draw the figure, attending a class is the best idea. Many colleges and community centers run figure-drawing classes with tuition, and you can also find artist's groups with figure-drawing workshops, which may not have an instructor.
Make sure you know what materials are required. Usually this will include large paper, bulldog clips, possibly your own drawing board, charcoal, and a kneaded eraser. Always arrive on time—your session with the model is valuable, and you don't want to waste your time or others’. This might seem obvious, but you'd be amazed how often students wander in fifteen minutes after class commences.
A two-hour figure drawing class may include several thirty-second and one-minute warmup poses for gestural and structural sketches, a twenty-minute pose for more developed drawing, and one or two long poses.
Some drawing classes will include very long poses to enable students to create very detailed value drawings. Classical ateliers may return to the same pose continually for several sessions.
Drawing at an easel can be tiring when you aren't used to it. Practice drawing for an hour on an easel or on a wall at home the week before your life class, and take a sketchbook to work in, should your drawing arm get too sore.
Perhaps you feel uneasy about a class with a nude person modeling? There is no need—just remember that your model is probably a professional who is quite accustomed to posing for artists. Modeling is much harder than you imagine, and a good professional model is hard to find. They are experienced at finding good poses and holding poses for a long period. The majority of models are female, but a good drawing class will try to obtain a male model on occasion. Once you start drawing, you'll find that you are so busy studying the shapes and forms that you soon forget any embarrassment.
If you have an instructor, he or she will provide you with guidance and may have a structured course in place. Students often discuss their work with each other, which is a great opportunity to exchange ideas.