I went along to my first Life Drawing class the other night, armed with a sketchbook and a pathetic looking HB pencil. (I do have a pack of professional drawing pencils which are hiding somewhere so obvious that I have been unable to find them). From experience I know that you can still get a fairly decent looking piece of artwork out of an HB pencil so I wasn't too bothered.
I was the last to arrive at the class so the model was already standing in full naked pose when I walked into the room. It was slightly disconcerting but also refreshing to see that a female with more than a little extra bumps and lumps stood so comfortably in front of her audience. She had her back to me for the first 10 minute pose. When she turned around for the next pose I was again slightly disconcerted to see her grinning away at me when I looked up. I decided to skip the face and just focus on the body. Getting lost in the drawing soon transforms 'a naked body' into shapes and interesting lines; in short the body becomes art and there is something really liberating about this.
In a world which is becoming increasingly preoccupied by perfection and overdosing on botox, liposuction,(you name it), I appreciated the beauty of the lived in quality of the stretchmarks, cellulite and scars that stood in front of me.
I had a glance at some of the others drawings during break and I have to say I was impressed by the quality. My drawings turned out alright too.