Drawing a line

It's been far too long since I've done any life drawing.

Drawing from a live human body is like going to the gym for artists. To be honest I don't really enjoy it. The concentration makes me tired and there's no room to use your imagination.

But, when I keep up the practice, the improvement in my own work is undeniable.

So I'm looking for a local class that will, hopefully, stretch me in the ways I am looking to be challenged.

The best classes I ever went to were when I signed up an evening course in drawing at a local college in London. Each week, the tutor would come up with more and more inventive ways to get you out of your comfort zone.

Exercises included, not taking your eyes off the model as you drew – no checking your work! Not lifting your pencil from the page – just one continuous line to get down all the information. But the best was when he handed out six-foot long bamboo poles with a teabag attached to the end. This was to be our drawing instrument.

This was all fantastic, because there was no way you could create a perfect drawing using these techniques. You were forced to forget about the outcome and just get really involved in the process of observing and making marks.

And when I went back to creating my own work, I couldn't believe how much depth and power my drawing had taken on.

It kind of goes to show – when you take some risks and get uncomfortable, you give yourself the opportunity to really experience something new.