Katrina modelled at this special ‘animation’ life drawing session with short poses. Normally there are poses from 2 minutes up, but we had several 1 minute poses and (after I begged) some 30 second ones too.

We began with a sequence of 1 minute poses.

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There were several longer poses dotted about through the session. The hand studies were drawn during a 15 minute pose, and the others were 10 minute poses.

It was fantastic to do some live 30 second drawings again. It’s such a good way to learn gesture and storytelling, and to train to speed up in longer poses.

Near the end of the session we had some more 1 minute poses. By this point I was able to get details down more quickly.

It was great to have more quick poses at life drawing. Hopefully this will become a regular thing, and, who knows, perhaps I’ll manage to convince everyone to do 10 second poses next time …

I meant to post these last weekend, but forgot. I drew them last month, using the Bodies in Motion site, beginning with 30 second poses and gradually giving myself more time. The site is excellent for capturing poses that a model would never be able to hold.

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I’ve been busy with work and a family wedding, so it’s taken me a while to post anything new! Here’s a group of studies from one of Muybridge‘s wonderful sequences.

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Last week I went to a show of students’ work where Katrina Ellis, a weaver and life model, modelled with some of her fabric. It was fun, and challenging, to draw.

Recently I signed up to Scott Eaton’s Bodies in Motion website, which is stuffed to the gills with stunning figure references. The ‘Motions’ feature sequences of photographs of people dancing, leaping, and fighting. What’s lovely about it is that moments of action can be studied which could never be held by a life model.

Today I began by studying a sequence, playing each frame for 30 seconds. Getting all the information down was a challenge (I’m a bit rusty).

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After drawing the gestures I took a bit more time to study one of the images.

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I’m looking forward to exploring this site more. It’s possible to used the randomised ‘Quickdraw’ feature for free (as long as you register) and you can also view thumbnail images, but the plans, which give you various levels of access, are currently on sale.

I’m currently boarding a short idea featuring a pigeon, so I thought I’d put in some bird gesture practice! These are a mix of 30- and 60-second drawings. I want to practice wings more, and really get to grips with how they work.

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I’ve not made it along to life drawing for a few weeks so I thought I’d better get back into practice with some gestures! I drew these from images at Line of Action, using the 30 and 60 second timers.

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Moving for work has meant I’ve had to search for another life drawing class … thankfully this last week I found one! It’s a great little group and the model this week, Helen, came up with some lovely poses. It’ll be good to get back into regular classes again.

I keep mentioning on this blog that I want to do more drawing from life, so when the stable I’ve begun riding at advertised an informal show jumping event I went along to sketch the participants. At the beginning it was hard to put more than a couple of lines down, but after a while I relaxed and sped up and managed to capture more detail.

One thing that was great fun to draw (though not so good for those riding) were the refusals and run outs. I felt I was able to create drawings covering a huge range of personalities and action.

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Yesterday I sketched Elsa as she chewed on a toy. Occasionally she’d bring it over to me and dump it at my feet before retreating across the room to stare at me. She usually wore an accusing look at this point – “What, you haven’t thrown it yet?”

I’m a bit unsure about my painting below; it’s quite wonky but it was fun to play with colour. Usually I stick to sketches, but the Sketch app on the iPad Pro is amazingly versatile and I’m looking forward to trying more painting on the go.

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I’ve been referencing horses for a project, so I’ve spent some time drawing them in order to figure out how they work. Using Line of Action I did some quick gestures, and then I searched for various images through Google to sketch in more detail.

The hooves are particularly hard to draw, especially when they’re hidden in long grass as was the case in most of the photographs …Horse_05Horse_04Horse_01Horse_02Horse_03

I thought I’d push my gesture skills a bit and try drawing from moving figures, so I pulled up some ballet videos on YouTube. Very difficult, but good fun!Ballet_01

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I moved in late November last year and it’s meant I haven’t been to a life drawing class since then. Thankfully earlier this week I was able to go again!

Today I attempted some gesture drawing from an episode of The Life of Birds. As I reached the end of Planet Earth II last year I realised I really should have had my sketchbook out. It’s good training for cafe gesture drawing, which I’m normally pretty hopeless at. As soon as people or animals are actually moving my drawing speed seems to slow down.

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I stuck my headphones in and ended up listening to the episode too, which was perhaps a mistake – I was definitely distracted at points. But it was fascinating learning more about the birds, particularly the New Zealand birds. I liked drawing the Kiwi but it was the flightless parrot, the Kakapo, which was my favourite. I especially like how the males inflate like a balloon in order to make their calls travel further.

After the episode had finished I looked up a few images online and did a slightly more detailed study of a Kakapo.

I had great fun but I think I need to work at drawing birds in flight, and practice colour more – I’ve been drawing in black and white so much I’m a bit rusty.

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Haven’t drawn much in the last few days, so I spent some of my morning doing timed sketches from artists.pixelovely.com – a great site for gesture practice. These were 30 second drawings.

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I haven’t posted any figure drawings in ages. They’ve been building up for a while so here are some of my gesture drawings from a fantastic workshop that Sarah Airriess (former Disney animator, animation assistant on Duet, and animator on Ethel and Ernest) gave during the Animation Base Camp back in August.

We began with two-minute poses and worked within shorter and shorter amounts of time until we were using our wrong hands for ten-second poses … the sketches below are in approximate order, so you can see the progression (or degeneration) of the drawings. There were many, many more – one of the great things about gesture drawing is the sheer output. This is a selection of the few I could bear to look at …

I had a wonderful time. It’s been too long since I’ve spent so much time doing real-life gestures!

Some wind-down sketches from this afternoon.

Also, the first little bit has been released about the project I’ve been working on for the last eight weeks. I’ve been a Story Artist on the Animation Base Camp, a trainee programme with mentorship from Sony Pictures Animation. Find out more here!

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Some 30-second digital sketches. I decided to practice as I’ve been struggling to draw the hands in my storyboards. These are the ones I liked best!
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