The ongoing or sometimes occasional foray into figure drawing is something many artists do. Surrounded by myth and mystery, I daresay the ordinary (that is non-artist) person on the street would find the practice of drawing live, unclothed human figures unsettling, to say the least. And I’m sure that to the uninitiated it would be.

My first encounter with figure drawing happened oh lo those many years ago, during my first studio art class at U.C. Santa Barbara. Although prepared for what was happening, it was still something of a shock to set up my easel and have a male model drop his robe. I think this was a first for just about everyone in the class.

After a few instructions from the teacher, we all started drawing. First, are the gesture drawings. They can be anything from 10 second to one minute drawings wherein the artist strives to capture a sense of movement in the figure. It’s hard work to look and draw that fast. Next comes longer, 2 or 3 minute poses. After that, a series of longer, 5 or 10 minute poses. Within a few minutes, I was totally absorbed in drawing. The next thing I knew, the three hour studio class was over. I was hooked. And totally exhausted.