In 2013, a friend offered to sublet his flat in London from which I had moved out few years before as worked dried out. Well, it didn't really dry out but I wanted more experience in animated TV series and France is the best place for that.
For one month in summer, I was a Londoner again and I had no particular plan until I discovered Adrian Dutton's class in Bethnal Green through Meetup, and Candid Art's drop-in life drawing class in Angel. This totally changed my plans.
Except when I lived in Paris, I found it extremely difficult to find life drawing classes in France where I could just turn up on the day, few times a week.
As I always wanted to be able to successfully sketch people in the street or even models, I am constantly on the look-out for life drawing classes and interestingly enough, when I lived in Angoulême which is the European capital of comics and possibly also the capital of animated TV series, there weren't any or nothing that was flexible enough.
Discovering Adrian's and Candid Art's classes was therefore a shock. Not only was I able to attend classes every evenings monday to thursday (the long pose friday class didn't exist yet) but I was also able to attend classes at lunch, and even get fed at Adrian's class!
With 6 classes a week, this summer became what I fondly refer to as my 2013 Life drawing boot camp, a boot camp where I met a bunch of lovely people who made me decide to come back to one of the most expensive places in the world to attend even more classes and hopefully get even better!
Right, a very long winded introduction for an ultra short post!
Clearing out my flat I was going through some of my very old drawings and found an interesting sketch I did in August 2013. It is a very interesting sketch as the model is Robin, the very same model I just drew few days ago, with hopefully some sign of progress in my abilities. Actually I don't think I have progressed that much in 2 and half years but one thing is for sure, I have better tools and better Instagram filters!
I am also posting a drawing of Jennifer where the difference is not very dramatic considering how long each poses are. The 2014 one is pretty good for 20 minutes and as a matter of fact, I think I used to be better at short poses in the past/
Going from graphite to compressed charcoal (Conté 1710 B/H) allowed me to better shade the form though, that's for sure and I would suggest anyone wanting to learn construction to do the same. This will give you a better understanding of form and anatomy. The ultimate skills to draw from imagination.
An other good point I should raise is the importance of marking the date and duration of the pose. This makes things easier when evaluating progress.
Have fun with your work!