I had heard about this one-day life-drawing class being taught by veteran Pixar storyboard artist, Louis Gonzales, in Vancouver, BC. Seemed like a cool opportunity. I’d been wanting to brush up on my life-drawing skills, and here was an industry professional leading a workshop within a day’s drive. Plus, it doubled as a chance to spend time with my brother, who’s currently living there.
My mom came along to spend time with the both of us (my brother and I.) And I’m glad she came, because traveling alone is no fun.
Anyway, the workshop turned out to be well-worth the cost of entry and travel. It was held at Emily Carr University of Art and Design on Granville Island in Downtown Vancouver – a very quaint part of town with lots of small shops, nice restaurants, and things to see. While my mom and brother explored the surroundings, I eagerly engaged in four hours-worth of life drawing with Louis Gonzales (and an auditorium full of other artists – mostly local professional artists and students. As far as I know, I was the only guy other than the instructor not from Canada).
The presentation was a lecture format, with Louis behind a podium using a digital tablet to demonstrate drawing techniques on a projected screen. At various points throughout the presentation, a live model would come up on stage and strike poses for us to capture on paper – usually in 30-60 seconds. The goal behind drawing quickly is not to create a finished drawing (at least, not yet), but rather to capture the essence of a certain pose in its most rudimentary form. There are several techniques for doing this, but I won’t get into them here.
Here’s a couple pages from my sketchbook to give you an idea of what we were doing:
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Man, I wish I could draw as realistically and clearly as that guy!” Of course, I’m being facetious. The drawings are meant to portray motion and energy – not a replication of the model on stage. What’s more, I only had about a minute or less to do most of these.
However, since returning home this afternoon, I’ve tried taking some of my rough gestures and turning them into more finished drawings. Here’s what I came up with so far:
Just in case you’re wondering, there were no canine models on stage. The drawing of the dog came about during an exercise in extrapolating a human gesture to an animal.
All-in-all, it was a great learning experience – and I’m finally getting excited about drawing again!
And… I’m just now realizing the hour. Almost midnight! I’ve got to hit the proverbial sack so I can get to work on time tomorrow. Hopefully you enjoyed today’s post! Looking forward to sharing more travel stories and drawings with you in the weeks to come.
God bless, and good night!