What is it that makes artists love figure drawing and painting so much?

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  09 September 2006
What is it that makes artists love figure drawing and painting so much?

Hello all,

I am just curious as to what is it that makes artists love figure drawing and painting so much?

I hear all the time "I miss life drawing so much" and other thoughts along those lines.

I remember as a student that drawing from life was often an emotional experience - and I recall conversations with fellow students / artists who would say that life drawing nearly brought them to tears. I find doing master copies (traditionally) to be similarly moving. This sounds corny to a degree, I admit, but certainly life drawing and painting is a moving experience, and I'm curious as to others' thoughts as to why this is.

I personally don't have the same experience when drawing or painting digitally, although I enjoy digital painting because of the amount of detail that I am able to get, and the degree of refinement that it affords.

Looking forward to hearing others' thoughts.

And by the way - if you really love it, don't just talk about it, do it, here:

Anatomy Lesson Series: Body Part 2 - The Torso
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=405198

Cheers,

-Rebeccak
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Last edited by Rebeccak : 09 September 2006 at 03:52 AM.
 
  09 September 2006
Haven't done any real life drawing sessions yet but to me it's plain simple...

We're addicted to beauty!
If we are able to create beauty ourselves from what we see in our environment or even only in our mind, we get a rush...

don't you?
 
  09 September 2006
NR43,

That's a great response. I once read an article on aesthetics by John Dewey, and also by Kant, and a lot of things clicked for me in terms of what aesthetics are and what they mean for artists in particular.

Beauty is a great subject, and life drawing has taught me a lot about unconventional beauty. I find what society might consider to be 'ugly' people to be more beautiful when drawn / painted - a phenomenon I think most artists encounter. I typically find images of 'beautiful' women boring as subjects for art.

I think 'beauty' is something I often find lacking in a lot of digital art that I see. Flash and nice tricks, there are in abundance, but very rarely is there something of pure beauty. That's only my opinion and beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder.

Cheers,

-Rebeccak
__________________

Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Website:
www.korpus-la.com
Facebook Page | Blog
korpus.info@gmail.com
Downtown Los Angeles







Last edited by Rebeccak : 09 September 2006 at 06:46 AM.
 
  09 September 2006
I think it's because the human figure is something that is very familar to us, and there are so many ways to interpret it.

NR43 has a great point about beauty too. It seems most digital paintings I have seen have beautiful women in them or hansom men. It seems to be natural for us that when we paint the figure we try to make it 'perfect'.

I also think, that painting the figure is challenging, and it's something that we all want to master. They say that if you can draw the figure you can draw anything?

Last edited by umbrellasky : 09 September 2006 at 09:56 AM.
 
  09 September 2006
I agree about being familiar with the human figure! I think it's because we can relate to it so easily that it's most fascinating! For the same reason it is also most difficult since anyone, no matter if they can or cannot draw, can crtiticize our work easily and point out things that just don't seem right. We see human figures from childhood on and it's a matter of intuition partly to tell what's wrong or right...

For me personally it's fascinating how a figure can be boiled down to simple shapes that one wouldn't necesarrily think of... When I fist went to a life drawing class our teacher made us draw the lines for hips and arms first - you know if one goes upwards the other one goes in another direction - every time! It's amazing that it's so simple. It's always what I start from when drawing a human body nowadays... just two simple lines and it makes everything sit in place when I establish their angles + the line of action of the body... After the first class I just couldn't believe it's so easy LOL Shame I had only a few classes... I do not cry but I do miss them a lot!
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  09 September 2006
I've noticed that I like drawing models that have a good vibe about them, there are a few who frequent my school that I thoroughly enjoy drawing. Not only do they pose well but they are great people to talk to and they really know how to create a comfortable atmosphere. And often (not always though) these are the same people that can display strong emotion in their poses.

When you're there with the model, especially one like the ones I mentioned, you can almost feed directly off that energy that they are giving off... It makes your drawing really seem alive when you can transmit that right onto the paper.
 
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