There’s a heavy emphasis on drawing naked people in the art world. It’s said that this is how one learns to draw and schools everywhere practice it, if they teach drawing at all anymore. My feeling is that this practice harkens from a time when artists made their living drawing naked people, or partially naked people and that it doesn’t do much for me. So I’ve completely ignored “life drawing” classes and workshops.
But back in 2001, Bob Kato started the Drawing Club, attended by Disney and Universal creative department artists. It wasn’t traditional life drawing. It was drawing where one of the artists would dress as a gangster, pirate, steampunk character, showgirl, or whatever and the artists would draw them with their own personal flair. Thus was born the Drawing Club. It is now a regular part of the L.A. artist scene.
The book by Bob Kato, The Drawing Club, documents those activities and more. The book includes chapters like “What is a good drawing?”, “Concept and Drawing”, “Improvisation”, “What is funny?” and generally discusses drawing characters and how different moods, goals, and even materials affect both approach and outcome and a bunch of other interesting stuff that is applicable well beyond drawing posed models. For me, though, the highlights come in the form of seeing the model and then what creative artists do with that model as they move their image to paper. It’s extraordinary.
This isn’t the typical urban sketching book that I generally talk about but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wish I could attend sessions like this. Much more interesting than naked people.