Figure drawing was the art class that intimidated me the most. I had very little experience with figure drawing. Like many, I often drew people with their hands in their pockets or behind their backs to avoid drawing hands. But while this was the most intimidating class of my early college years, it was the class in which I grew the most as an artist.
One of my favorite portraits was of a young man named Danny.
Each day, a model would join us for class. Professor Bippes would pick a pose, tell us to sit, and we would begin to draw. These models were sometimes fellow art majors sometimes not, but always someone you could see around campus.
I always found women easier to draw, likely because of shared traits and characteristics that many women have. Drawing men was harder. Danny was, in many ways, the most difficult model to capture. And yet, his portrait turned out to be my favorite.
I loved capturing the folds in his clothing. I struggled to capture the placement of his hands. And as I drew and studied his hair, I began to see him appear on my drawing pad.
I have found that I grow with each painting, drawing, or illustration I complete. I learned so much by drawing Danny and his portrait remains one of my favorites to this day.