I have recently changed jobs which means I have a lot more evenings free and I have used this time to try and make the most of living in Bristol and trying out new things! The last time I did any life drawing was in my second year of university 4 years ago and even normal drawing I am very out of practise.
I found that there were circus themed life drawing sessions at The Island in the city centre where they have a circus training space. As someone who takes aerial circus classes already I was really excited to try this and me and my friend Holly decided to go and flex our slightly underused drawing muscles.
We went to two of the three sessions, each started with fairly short poses using rope, silks or trapeze. I was intrigued to see what types of poses we would do knowing that even posing for photos on circus equipment hurts a lot as there are many narrow pressure points and uncomfortable grips. I liked the way the models wrapped the equipment around them and used it to create interesting wraps and shapes for us to draw.
These sessions were untutored, which was nice because I am very out of practise, everyone just got on with their own thing. People were using all different materials, some just with sketchbooks some with large sheets of paper. There was no pressure with people walking around looking at your work it just felt nice to make marks and shapes and not worry about if something worked or not.
The people who ran the circus classes also have a regular spot at Cafe Kino on Gloucester road on a Monday evening. This week we decided to check it out.
We had two models, the one at the start was pregnant which was really interesting and beautiful to draw. I tend to prefer drawing women because they have such fabulous curves (sorry men).
This session was a little different from the circus ones because we were able to draw longer poses, the two below were 20 and 40 minutes which gave a little more time to focus on adding more detail and working on the shapes. I will forever hate drawing hands, feet and faces, but maybe if I go to a few more sessions this will improve over time.
If you want to try out the monday life drawing sessions you can follow their facebook page here. It runs 6-8pm and costs £5 for the two hours with some basic materials available if you don't have your own. The circus sessions may be running again soon if you just keep an eye on their facebook page.