Is Life Drawing Important?

reworked sketches from Big Draw Meet up and band practice

It’s super easy to fall into the trap of getting comfortable with our creative process. So regardless of our level, it’s always good to challenge ourselves with some life drawing.

What is a life drawing?

Life drawing is when you’re observing the live person as you draw them. You could attend a life drawing class if you prefer to work in a controlled environment with timers and models. Otherwise, you could just head to a public space and start sketching anyone and everyone around you (try to be discreet though).

Why it’s good for you

You learn new skills

Drawing from life is harder than drawing from photos. People like to move so you have whip out sketches quickly. Plus, there’s no frame so you have to decide what you want to include in your drawings.

There’s no excuse

Even if you’re experiencing art block, life drawing will ease you into practicing art. Creativity begets creativity. Just the act of drawing will slowly spawn new creative ideas that will inspire you to create more drawings later on.

My 3 tips when approaching life drawing:


  1. Energy – the beauty of sketching is the raw energy that translates through expressive lines.

    Don’t forsake that in the name of “neat and tidy”. Work messy and fast and see where it takes you. as you improve, you will gain more control and confidence with your lines so don’t worry about getting everything perfect.

  2. Lighting – paying attention to lighting is one of the most effective ways of adding realism to loose sketches.

    It adds texture, shape and mood to what can otherwise look quite flat and cartoon-ey.

  3. Keep it simple – don’t worry about teeny tiny details.

    Heck, I didn’t even draw eyes at my last session. Don’t over render, instead, concentrate on blocking out the general shape and the body language of your subject.

Added perk

Attending group life drawing with other people is a great way to get out of your own head and grow a creative social circle. So check out the MeetUp website to see what’s happening near you!

Connect with me:

Facebook / Instagram / DeviantArt

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