cameron eaton
 

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2010 to 2013 Life Drawing

My first experience of life drawing was during an observational drawing class in 2010. The week prior, we prepared by making drawings of nudes from photographs. I don't think anyone in the class had drawn a nude before and there was a real and possibly perverse sense of anticipation leading up to it. In the age of raunch, nudity is still confronting and highly sexualised.

There is a strict procedure to life drawing. Short gesture poses to loosen up. Longer poses to warm up. And then long poses for detailed studies. Why or how this structure developed was never explained but it seems to be universally accepted and, more interestingly, adhered to.

 

KATE
pencil and charcoal on paper
42x59cm
2013
     

Being forced to make a drawing within a time limit can be challenging. Particularly one minute. None of us had more than a couple of lines on paper before time was called on those first few short poses. More a scratch than a gesture. Though coached how to approach it, we were all flustered.

Exhausted  by the end of the session, we concluded each of us was far to busy drawing to pay much attention to the fact that our subject was in fact, naked.

CAMERON
pencil and charcoal on painted paper
42x59cm
2013
     

But why draw nudes? Tradition? Social inertia? The fundamental principle I took from observational drawing was to ignore what you think you know of your subject and focus on the shapes, the negative spaces and the relationship between those forms. A line is a line, a triangle a triangle, a circle a circle. Whether you're drawing a figure or a boulder or a tree or a building or a.......

 

PEITA
pencil and charcoal on paper
42x59cm
2013
     

I have been told that the practice is essential for understanding the human form, skeletal structure and musculature and can't be done with the clothes on. And that learning the human body in actual poses helps when developing scenes including figures in imagined poses.

In the digital age, I'm not so sure how relevant those goals actually are.

 

ROB
pencil and charcoal on paper
42x59cm
2013
     
BRETT (left)
pencil and charcoal on paper
42x59cm
2013
DES (right)
charcoal on paper
42x59cm
2010
     

But I look forward to the Life Drawing sessions. It's still challenging and at each beginning, I hope by the end I will have made some good drawings. And I recognise the growing skill and confidence that comes with practice.

And as well as those things, I enjoy meeting with a group of people who've come together to pursue similar goals, share a glass of wine, a few nibblies and a friendly chat.

 

CARMEN
charcoal on paper
42x59cm
2010
     


cameron eaton
 

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