Nude Sketching: A Beginner’s Account

Nude Sketching: A Beginner’s Account

My first attempt at nude sketching.

“Sketching Class Section 2E, please proceed to Room 303,” read my mentor’s note to her art students. I was late for class so I hurriedly climbed two flights of stairs to catch a seat in the gallery room jam packed with wannabe artists. My mentor motioned me to the vacant seat in the front row down the gallery, so I obliged. When I reached my seat, I sat still for a while to catch my breath and prepare my drawing materials. I hardly noticed the glaring lights and the figure at the center of the gallery which appeared so negligible given the huge size of the room.  I assumed the figure was the subject of the day’s sketching lesson. As I raised my head to take a look at it, my jaw dropped.

Lo and behold! A live nude model was standing in all her naked glory. I thought it was a big leap from our previous “still life” session. I was quite tense so my charcoal pencils kept on dropping to the floor. My heart was thumping while trying to capture a proportional perspective of her nude figure. Since the seats were arranged in a circle, I got the rear view of her figure. Generally speaking, I think it is easier to draw the rear view than the frontal view.  The rear view has lesser details even if the quality of tone in the back muscles needs some extra work.  Besides, I personally think the rear view leaves much to the aesthetic imagination, and is therefore, more interesting.

The nude model did pretty well in her stationary position, only taking a break for 10 minutes to stretch and walk around in her panties. Ah, the boys loved it while the girls were apathetic (or tried to be).  The session lasted for almost an hour.  At the end of the session, we gave the model a round of applause before she headed straight to the dressing room. 

The next day, we had a male nude model for our subject but I think I did better in the female form. There’s a great difference between drawing male and female nudes. In the female body, you draw a series of curves because the muscles are usually hidden by 80% fat. In the male body, there is a change of technique because the muscles are more defined.

 I did not pursue nude sketching after these few sessions. I think it’s one of the most difficult types of sketching to attempt. You can get away with drawing landscapes like trees, mountains and rivers because nobody knows how it looks in particular. But if you do a human figure incorrectly, everyone knows if there’s something wrong with it, even those who know nothing about art. It’s a similar case with portrait sketching which I also tried for some time using charcoal. I also discovered pastel painting which is my favorite medium because it is not so messy and wet as in water color or oil.

I am glad to have tried my hand at nude sketching. I know I still have a lot to improve on. The human body is an awesome art form that reflects our Creator’s sublime ingenuity. Life drawing, particularly the nude form, is an artist’s fitting gesture of appreciation and gratitude for this wonderful creation.

Note:  This is my share of the sketching series initiated by my forum buddies Brewed Coffee, AJ Garcia, Crisdiwata, Bobie and Nz2rdfox. More than the quality of these sketches is the bond of friendship that makes them special. Those who want to join in are most welcome.

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52 Comments
Ima Vee, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Ang galing… Two thumbs up and bow2x… I would like to join the series pero nakakahiyang humilera sa mga dalubhasa tulad ninyo…

Very nice share Miss Likha… :D

Brewed Coffee, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Now, that’s an artist! Human form excellently captured, what more can I say? The sketches speak for themselves. Hat’s off to you, Sis! You have a great future in this field.

As for me, I suddenly felt like a pre-school kid when I put my portrait sketch next to your sketches. But like I said with Bobie, I am inspired to do better. I’m going to give it time this year. This is fun! Our discussions in the forum has now materialized. Yay! :-)

Christine Ramsay, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

This took me back to my art school days. My sketches were not nearly as good as these. Well done.

Christine

Betty Carew, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Very well done Likha, you certainly have a talent for art. As for me I would not be able to sit there looking at a nude person lol. Just call me old fashioned I guess. Excellent post likha and good luck in all your endeavours in the future.

nz2rdfox, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

There you are…I sensed it way back that there’s actually more to you than the way you write..

and it has been finally unleashed…

2 thumbs up and 2 toes up to you Madaam :)

Jimmy Shilaho, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

It is actually easier sketching nudity than fully clothed bodies.

Dee Gold, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

sali ako pero baka sa susunod pang week.galing!

OhSugar, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

You did a very good job under pressure. I have often wondered if the nude model did the poses because they enjoyed being nude or they needed the money? It can be fun, I’m sure.

MsPatriciaDV, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

wow nice sketches! maganda ang kinalabasan.

lonelyplanet, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Your sketches are fantastic. Keep it up.

mtrguanlao, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Wow,you really are a versatile person Miss likha! Idol! I wish I could make one too!

ehna72, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

I wish I can draw as well as you do. Galing! Ang galing!

Anj M, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Wow.. U seem to be really good at it..

F J McCarthy, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Very well done, both the article and the sketches. You are a very talented lady.
Thank you, yours F J.

uiputra, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Unique. Something out of the ordinary.

Vincent Barry, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

maybe I should try this..then again maybe I should just stick to plain sketching to stay out of trouble!

UncleSammy, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

nice share, see you around

PSingh1990, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Nice Share.

:-)

gvgatchalian, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Awesome. These are really great sketches. I also love the way you related your experience in class. Bow talaga. :-) Great work, as always.

Starpisces, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Well done Likha. The writing here and the sketching are great. I’m not used to see someone nude sitting in front of me, for me to draw, unless he/she is a baby. I may ask him/her to cover up first and expose bit by bit with my command, portion by portion while I draw, I’m worry he/she may catch a cold as my drawing may be slow, just joking, it’s because I’m shy, especially when I focus on certain parts.
:D

bobie, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Well done madam likha. .galing pala mag sketch mga girls natin .. hehehe. .ncie share.

Yovita Siswati, posted this comment on Jan 7th, 2011

Thanks for sharing your experience.

magjon29, posted this comment on Jan 8th, 2011

Very nice share Likha! I wish I can draw as artfully as you are.

Michal Dorcak, posted this comment on Jan 8th, 2011

Nice sketches and also a nice story. It was pleasant to read it. I also wish I could draw as good as you do.

1hopefulman, posted this comment on Jan 8th, 2011

There might be a reason why God taught us to cover our bodies with appropriate clothing (See Genesis 3:21). Landscapes are beautiful to look at.

SowmyaT, posted this comment on Jan 8th, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

papaleng, posted this comment on Jan 8th, 2011

Eh, kapag ganyan na ang model, eh tiyak matututo akong mag-sketch. ayos, pinakyaw nyo na ang popular articles dito.

Raene Kaleinani, posted this comment on Jan 8th, 2011

I don’t think I would have endure it…lol. Good job on walking your reader through your experience :)

Tulan, posted this comment on Jan 8th, 2011

Your drawing is very good.

AJ Garcia, posted this comment on Jan 9th, 2011

Wow, I am rendered speechless by this great hidden talent of yours I didn’t know you actually possessed. Did you take Fine Arts in school? Thanks for showing and sharing your sketches with us. :) Really cool!

Stable, posted this comment on Jan 9th, 2011

brilliant work. I wish I could draw

crisdiwata, posted this comment on Jan 9th, 2011

If Brewed felt like a preschool kid comparing her portrait with yours, paano pa kaya ako? This is great! Shading is the hardest part for me. It\’s flattering joining my work with yours (Brewed, Nz, AJ, Bobie) though it cannot be compared with your drawing prowess. But this pushed me to do better and improve myself more.I\’m glad this activity really brings out the other talent that we have. ANg galing talaga, parang nakakaconscoius atang magdrawing ng nude kasi kelangan mo talagang titigan yung subject. It\’s really safer to draw the rear view. :)

The Bling, posted this comment on Jan 10th, 2011

Ang galing naman nito. I still don’t have the guts to do this.

Freethinking, posted this comment on Jan 11th, 2011

You apparently are so talented and gifted in so many different ways. I can draw, but nothing compares to your level. Wow!

rutherfranc, posted this comment on Jan 11th, 2011

:D

Brenda K. Winters, posted this comment on Jan 12th, 2011

I would like to congratulate a fellow artist.Art is a gift and each work is unique.You have talent.Human forms are the most difficult, especially the face.I will continue with mountains, flowers and faces.Be encouraged.

Francois Hagnere, posted this comment on Jan 13th, 2011

You are so talented, sister. And you are so right in your explanations. Thank you for sharing Likha.

Suni51, posted this comment on Jan 14th, 2011

Hello Likha- do you know that your name means ” the written” in our language. I think I should see that it’s changed to some thing like “writer” and now “The big artist”. Besides those routine ” you are very good human being and good writer……..” hope you remember the rest of that.

Sharif Ishnin, posted this comment on Jan 14th, 2011

I agree that the human form is always a challenging subject to draw. It takes years to master.Great post and drawing skills Likha. :)

CanIgetMyPrivacyBackPlease, posted this comment on Jan 14th, 2011

very nice! I love it.

s j tubrazy, posted this comment on Jan 15th, 2011

Nice piece of share. I ll enjoy all your posts.

SharifaMcFarlane, posted this comment on Jan 15th, 2011

Well done Likha.

rubielee, posted this comment on Jan 16th, 2011

dami pala mga artist dito sa triond. Galing likha.

culprit pontiff, posted this comment on Jan 23rd, 2011

hahaha..sa nude painting me naalala akong article sa isang mag,,nagpanggap ng nude painter ung isang mokong..

anyway..galing..galing,,galing..
wish ko makasali sa sketching nyo kaso hiya ako..
pang grade school ang art ko..
plus pang magnifying glass ung mga nagagwa ko..
pra hindi gaanong kailangan ng details..hahaha

akira14, posted this comment on Jan 24th, 2011

i think i’ll love to paint if my model would like them!i wish i could, but i don’t know how. you have a great experience.. -akira-

Borhan, posted this comment on Jan 29th, 2011

Great topic.

CanIgetMyPrivacyBackPlease, posted this comment on Feb 2nd, 2011

I can’t wait to see more of your artwork.

tiffi, posted this comment on Feb 5th, 2011

Very good. I’m going to try it sometime :D

FX777222999, posted this comment on Feb 6th, 2011

Love the nude bodies my friend! Thank you for sharing your creativity with this article.

Rhodora Bande, posted this comment on Feb 7th, 2011

Finally I was able to visit one of those sketches you made. Great job, sis. Ako kahit table, di ko kayang i-draw. Lol! I’m amazed at how you and the others have elevated the creating activities on Triond.

EK Encarnacion, posted this comment on Feb 9th, 2011

napakatalented mo pala Likha. how I wish I could sketch and draw as well. unfortunately, i wasn\’t given the gift. i think i\’ll be depending on stick figures for a long time.

great sketches by the way! :)

Bhupendra, posted this comment on Feb 14th, 2011

kya maal lag rhi h baap….aage ka bhi dikhana tha na

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