I am thoroughly enjoying a figure drawing group here at the beach. We meet every second Tuesday, and because there is no "teacher," we are free to explore and play at our own pace. The model is so perfect for our class - she is very attentive to us and it is a pleasure drawing someone who seems like part of our group. It's a diverse group of individuals, and I'm very thankful for the woman that gathers us all together and heads it up.
We begin with 1 and 3 minute poses, then move to 5,10, 20 and 30 minute poses quickly. Sometimes I prefer the short poses because I am forced to get down as much as possible, quickly, without considering all the things "done wrong." When faced with a short pose, it's easier to throw caution to the wind and get rid of perfectionism.
I absolutely loved figure drawing in college. We were required to take 3 figure drawing classes, and I went on to take 3 independent studies in figure drawing as well. A favorite teacher of mine, Ms. Miles, encouraged me to look up the work of Egon Schiele and research his line work. Contour and blind contour is something I'm playing with again now - exploring how different line quality can represent heaviness or lightness or motion or stillness.
Looking at the human figure -a model- in front of you automatically creates this crazy connection between your eye, brain and fingers - learning to "see" again slowly, going over each muscle or toe or hair strand with your eye and matching that with what your pencil or charcoal puts down is like a new exercise.
This community of men and women, just a handful of us who meet, has been inspiring as well. I'm learning a little about the artist enclave here in our little corner of Heaven.