Life Drawing Semester 2 – Reflective Essay

Life drawing this semester has been significantly better than the first. When looking back on the last ten weeks I can see a slight improvement in my drawing confidence. I feel I have begun looking at the overall form of the body a little better.  As we have been concentrating on specific areas of the body, such as hands, feet or the head, this has given me time to improve my knowledge on how these body parts are put together whilst also learning how to draw them more accurately. I have been depending on books such as “Constructive Anatomy” by Bridgman and “Dynamic Figure Drawing” by Burne Hogarth to aid my learning along the way.

During week one and two we focused on drawing the head and overall form. My work was weak these two classes. A major mistake I had made was drawing the head inside of a circle rather than sketching the jaw around the circles’ outer circumference.


For homework we focused on the Chiaroscuro technique, which uses light and shadow to define forms. This exercise encouraged me to study the old masters use of this technique in their portraiture work. Knowing where and what shadows fall from the face really helped me to understand their relationships to each other more.

Week four and five were quite challenging but very beneficial. During this time we focused on drawing the model from someone else’s point of view in the class, thus forcing us to examine perspective. Storyboarding was difficult as I had never tried it before, again my work on storyboarding needs improving. Getting shapes down quickly to tell a story was difficult.

Tracing paper was introduced as a useful learning tool, helping to determine the body shape of a character, in our case Pinocchio. Although having the tracing paper on hand to measure the body shape, drawing our own version of Pinocchio still deemed very difficult. I resorted to drawing more expressions as I found this aspect hard to design when drawing characters.

My one minute gesture drawing has improved since last semester although I feel I am still lacking in understructure at times. I tend to focus on the outline as I find this easier, but in reality this is not helping my understanding.



For the remaining weeks we focused our attention on feet, hands and the head. I found this classwork alongside the corresponding homework to be very beneficial and rewarding when looking through my progress. I am very thankful to have been able to spend time focusing on these areas along with the one minute poses as I really have a severe lack of understanding when it comes to these complicated anatomical features.



Overall I feel my proportions have improved significantly throughout this semester although having said this, my perspective and putting things into boxes still has a long way to go. Having extra time to practise life drawing in the extra evening class has been amazing and boosted my confidence as I feel I’m learning something new each week and I can see slight improvements. Over the summer period I aim to practise my perspective whilst also learning to draw the clothed figure as drapery is an area which I have failed to practise this semester.



Bridgman, G. (1920). Constructive anatomy. 1st ed. Pelham, N.Y.: Edward C. Bridgman.

Hogarth, B. (1977). Dynamic Figure Drawing. 1st ed. New York: Watson-Guptill.

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