top of page



Life Drawing: Lots of beards and abstract skin!

A look at my latest life drawing efforts.

I attended the latest of the new(now-ish) life drawing group in my city which runs themed drawing events each month. This month’s theme was “Rome”, as articulated by a selection of props (which save for a big stick the model lent on a few times I actually mostly ignored!), and some nice music which I think was more Celtic-inspired than anything, but was fairly chilled and enjoyable, and definitely helped make a nice atmosphere for the evening.

The model was someone I’ve drawn before at other local life drawing sessions, who I think this time was enjoying playing with the props and striking some could-be-classical-world-inspired dramatic poses. He definitely has the right look for the Rome theme.

He also has a quite distinctive face; quite tall with high cheekbones, mostly balding, a strong nose, and a beard. I wasn’t taken by a lot of the poses, or at least the angles of them I landed on, so in many of my drawings I zeroed in on said interesting face!


As ever the session started with what is often my favourite bit of life drawing, some nice quick two-minute poses. I like this challenge of capturing a form in not much time, but more so the challenge of making a nice composition on the page when drawing a succession of them on one page. Below is I think an ok example of that; not my finest composition of this type, but none of the poses completely threw it into a mess!

Next up we had a good run of five-minute poses. I realise looking at these collectively that the model tended to point in compass directions around the room, (I was south if we infer the entrance to the room as north) so I mostly either got him straight on, straight from behind, or exactly one side or another!

This meant on several occasions I got landed with a not-very-exciting plain view of his back, but that encouraged me to go a bit more abstract, doing detail drawings, and I do rather like the blue one in this selection.

The one with the hands holding the stick I really thought I’d manage to get more complete, but the time seemed to zip by on that one.

The final half of the session we had a few slightly longer poses; ten or fifteen minutes. Unless I’m really digging a particular pose and want to go super detailed, I tend to prefer not going too long, so this format suits me very well.

That said the first of these two, I’m not so fond of; I think I should have aimed to draw less, better, rather than go for the whole pose, which I didn’t get the proportions right with at all (especially the tiny head!).

The second drawing here, the abstract green one, was one of those, uh-what-a-boring-pose/angle moments. I focused in on the one detail I liked: the wiggly line between the side of the body and his limbs, and just kept looking for every little detail of flesh and shadow; thus transforming something I felt boring into a picture I actually really like!

Finally below is one of the last two drawings (along with the headline image at the top of the page), which are probably my favourite two as well, focusing in on the model’s excellent face/head, with enough time available to capture it in a nice amount of detail. He was actually wearing a laurel-crown at this point, but it was small enough I could clearly see his head shape enough to opt to omit it, and focus on him below.


All together another fun evening’s drawing. I’m not really buying into the theming of these sessions much (and am very much not excited about the promise of the next one being Halloween-themed!), but thankfully so far the theming has been mostly fairly light-touch, and ignorable if you want to, so that works well enough for me to just go and draw!

What I do especially like is that this seems much more informal and chilled than most other life drawings things I’ve been to. It’s a really nice atmosphere. This time around the choice of music inspired by the theme was genuinely enjoyable too.


For more of my life drawing see the life drawing section of my website, which is organised by year, so you can also more of my drawings from this year in particular or any of my older work!


bottom of page