My First Life Drawing Workshop

As I locked up my bike outside the Sandy Hill Community Centre, I realized I was about to stare at a naked stranger for two hours. While I would normally refer to myself as a mature adult, on that particular Wednesday night, I was just hoping I'd be able to get through my first life drawing workshop without giggling. That's why I was so relieved, when Isabelle stepped onto the podium in the buff, that I managed to keep my composure.

My first twenty minute sketch

While most of the other artists went right for the "thumb and pencil technique," I took a few seconds to observe our model. Now that I was planning on drawing her, Isabelle was so much more than "the attractive naked female in the middle of the room." To my newly-honed artist's eye, her body had become a series of lines and shapes connected in ways I'd never noticed on anyone before. 

The first few poses of life drawing workshops usually last around two minutes, so you're not supposed to focus on detail. However, by the time we got to the halfway point of our first twenty-minute pose, my drawing was sort of... finished. As a beginning sketch artist, there's only so much shading you can do before your model starts to look dirty. So, I started to peek around the room for another muse.

In the art world, it's apparently common knowledge that you're allowed to use anything and anyone around the room as props and characters in your sketch, as long as you're respectful and discreet. I just wish that someone had told me before I'd spent 13 minutes stealing creepy glances at the older man across the room. As my blog progresses, from time to time, you'll be seeing more of the man featured in my first twenty-minute sketch. I don't know who he is or what he does outside of the Sandy Hill Life Drawing Workshop, but I think his face is fascinating and, more importantly, fun to draw. 


Cindy Olberg

Cindy is an aspiring writer who has recently decided to adopt a new hobby. Equipped with her sense of humour and limited artistic ability, she will take you on a tour of some of Ottawa’s life drawing workshops, and hopes to inspire you along the way.

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