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What's the point?

14th October, 2015 by Geoff

As a designer, I’ve always thought it really important that designers’, even though we have computer software that seems to do everything, get back to basic tools and experiment with drawing i.e. pen, pencil, paper, eye and brain. It helps broaden ones horizons.
With this is mind, I turned up at the Reading Room in Marple, not to read, but to take part in a drawing workshop run by renowned drawing tutor - Jane Cockayne. I’ve done her workshops before, but this one was described differently - life drawing - structure and analysis - exploring two broad areas of life drawing, working counter-intuitively. …What the hell does that mean?
Our model, Davinia, I have drawn many times before, but this time I found out, we’d be drawing her with a ruler and a protractor! How can that possibly work? She’s all curves…I’ve been repeatedly told in life drawing.. there are no straight lines on the human form.

We began by plotting points on the body. The top of the head, the tip of the nose, shoulder blades, breastbone and other significant points down the rest of the body. Getting the proportions right i.e. the distances between points on the body and their relationship to one another was confusing …am I seeing right? Is that elbow really that distance from the bellybutton? Are the tips of the fingers really resting that far down the thigh? Am I really believing what I’m seeing?

When my page looked like it had measles with a mass of red points, I began to join them up. Not like a dot to dot, but joined up across the body - a hip to a shoulder, knee to breast, and so on. There were no outlines here, just a mass of curved and straight lines indicating light, dark and form. An exhillerating day as the form begins to appear.

Drawing like this gives endless possibilities and helps broaden ideas for creative development in the future. I think every designer should be doing experimental drawing workshops as part of their professional development.
I look forward to the next workshop.

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