Sketching the Stress Away

After two agonizing weeks of sobbing, fear, and anxiety, I needed desperately to break away or else I would have had a total breakdown. So what did I do? I headed over to life drawing at the National Art League where I’m usually the one doing the modeling. But Tuesday night I showed up to sit and sketch with my friends instead. And I’m so glad I did. It took my mind off my troubles and brought a smile back to my face.

The female model was great but I had so much difficulty drawing her. Artists, my question to you is this: HOW do you manage to draw the figure? 😆 What a challenge, my goodness. And all this time I thought we models were the ones who had the tough job! So my drawing attempts of the model suck big time and I won’t post them here. What I will post are the pen sketches I did of the group after I gave up on the figure.

I realize this is not good, but I had fun doing it. I think if I practice a lot more, I could become a minimally decent little pen-sketcher. With these you can get away with all the mistakes and imperfections, and that’s good for me!

And this one is of my friend Paul; a person I completely adore and whose friendship I treasure. I showed this to him and he actually liked it!

It was a lovely little evening for me, right in my neighborhood, sketching alongside Paul and Marilyn and rest of my friends there. They all insisted that I come back on future nights when I’m available. I most certainly will.

10 thoughts on “Sketching the Stress Away

  1. My line with artists is that I can’t draw, so I model. But after my whopping 600 hours(!) of modeling, I wonder if I’ve heard enough from the instructors to be able to actually do it. Perhaps someday.

    I did try one of those drink and paint evening sessions and learned that I definitely cannot paint. Well, I now know that if you want a small detail, throw the brush away and use the edge of a knife, a piece of wire – just think outside the box and find some way to make it happen.

    Your sketches do seem to have a sense of proportion, so I detect some latent talent there!

    • artmodel says:


      I had the same reasoning; that I’ve probably absorbed enough instruction over 14 years of modeling that I should be able to pull it off on at least a basic level. But it’s difficult! Honestly, I’ve done figure drawings in the past that were much better than what I did this particular night. Maybe I’m just rusty! Or maybe I just had too much on my mind to concentrate.

      I’m with you on the think outside the box approach. I really enjoy mixed media, printing, stenciling, and that that kind of thing. I just have to find my groove.

      Thanks for your comments!


  2. Alan Appel says:

    Drawing is like a lot of things. You have to try hard not to try hard.

  3. Bill says:

    Okay, come clean. Where are the figure drawings? They can’t be all that bad — these two sketches are actually pretty good.

    I’m going to bribe Jessie the cat to sneak them onto the blog. 🙂

    • artmodel says:


      Bribe Jessie all you want, those figure drawings will NOT be published on this blog! They really sucked, trust me.

      But I’m glad you liked these little pen sketches. I’ll be returning to the session for sure, so hopefully some figure drawings will emerge that resemble a human being 😆

      Thanks for your comments!


  4. Dave says:

    These aren’t bad at all! I would also like to see the figure drawings.

    I model and draw at about the same frequency and have been doing both for about 9 years. I think the two activities are about equally hard to master. But I’m a better model than artist now because I started drawing with exactly zero talent, while I could already sit still and I was pretty comfortable with my body when I started modeling.

    • artmodel says:


      I get some degree of satisfaction knowing that a lot of artists can’t model! It’s wonderful, though, how we all have our roles and the essential elements of life drawing/painting work together seamlessly. They need us and we need them. You draw better than I do, and you’ve been doing it longer and with more regularity than me. I’ll get there eventually! And will hopefully have some drawings good enough to post here.

      Thanks for your comments!


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