Anatomy is only the first level of concern in life classes. Figure-ground relationships and other aspects of composition are also considered. Balance of a composition becomes more crucial and therefore more understood through life drawing. The artist's kinesthetic response to the pose and how this is conveyed through a choice of art media is a more advanced concern.
The life class is the first major encounter most art students have with the energies of form and the resulting empathy of both creator and viewer. Gesture drawing is a life-drawing technique often used to emphasize the inherent energy in a living figure. In gesture drawing the model will not take a long pose but instead moves through a series of more quickly timed changes or gestures. The artist's job is then to react to the changing balance of weight, as well as to indicate the human form. In the beginning such responses to movement may look like scribbles but eventually sensitivities heighten and the gesture can be felt due to appropriate changes in line-quality. The subject is no longer so objective.
The sensitivities to media and subject that develop through life drawing often become the basis of an art student developing a personal style that will then translate to all subject matter.
One classic book developing life class experiences is Kimon Nicolaides' The Natural Way to Draw.
Summer Reading.(Books)( Life Class, A Person of Interest, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao )(Book review)
Jun 20, 2008; In the midst of our country's unending "war on terror," we are graced with a trio of formally inventive novels that explore the...