In school we are taught over and over again the importance of always drawing, and specifically for animators, the importance of drawing and studying the human anatomy. That's why there's often several hours every week in art school dedicated to life drawing. Students get weary with the many hours spent in drawing class and would rather spend more time on their animation than another 3 hours drawing a familiar model. After we finish school, many artists find that months and years can go by without ever going back to the training and exercise of life drawing. We realized this recently when working on a 2D animated campaign for Target. Though the characters were simple and graphic, our animators felt "rusty" in their drawing and finding the right poses for a given action. That's when we decided to start hosting a figure drawing workshop at the studio on Tuesday nights. At the end of the day every Tuesday from 7-10pm we move to the upper loft area in the studio and practice our hand at life drawing. The rewards have been real. Keeping it up has improved our artists confidence and ability when animating characters for a variety of projects. It's also been a lot of fun; it's a chance for us to wind down together, put on some of our favorite music, have a drink or two, and draw.
"After we finish school, many artists find that months and years can go by without ever going back to the training and exercise of life drawing."
Since we've started our Tuesday night workshops we've opened up the event to the public, so anyone that wants to come and draw with us is welcome. The 3-hour session is uninstructed and artists should bring their own supplies. Digital and traditional mediums are both used! You'll still find that most like to use some type of pencil, marker, or charcoal on paper, but we always have a few that bring their iPads or Surface's to draw on.
We start the night off with quick gesture poses, usually 2 minutes (30 seconds if we're up for it!). Then we'll move to 5-minute poses. About halfway through the night we switch over to longer 10-minute poses, and eventually end with a couple 15-minute poses.
While we try to keep consistent with our figure drawing sessions every Tuesday night, occasionally we'll have to skip a night. If you're interested in joining us and aren't already with us in the studio, the best place to stay up to date with our Tuesday night schedule is through our Facebook Drawing Page. Check it out! There we will also post drawings from our past sessions and list which models will be coming to model for us on future nights.