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Nude to figure drawing

Jan 26, 2024

Each year the Advanced Studies Studio Art class takes a weekend trip to New York City. Offered exclusively to upper-middlers, this trip is designed to expose students to the life of an artist in a big city and prepare them to pursue art in college. A key event in the trip is a nude figure drawing class that introduces students to the traditional, unique subject matter of the human figure. Below are student reflections on the trip and their work. 

Collin Jin:

“At first I thought being a model for figure drawing was super easy. You just have to stand there, but I found it is actually incredibly exhausting after I talked to some models. Twenty artists surround a single model and start drawing. All are different in their artistic approach to the figure. Each person has their own distinct style. I recognized the importance of embracing the diversity of my own artistic expression and becoming more confident in forming my style in accordance with my unique interests.”

Grace Chi:

“Having artists from a range of backgrounds and skill levels around me was a really cool and unique experience. Due to the fast pace of the class, my mindset stayed stagnant as I just wanted to keep drawing and not waste my time thinking. However, during the critique at the end, the art professor told me to work on thinking about why I create art instead of just on my technical skills, which definitely shifted my perspective. The class was such a good experience. When I came out, I genuinely felt like I could go in again for another 3 hours and have a blast. Having the time to study, to sit down to just see and draw with so many other artists, was so much fun.”

Linden Wallace:

“I thought [the class] was going to be more structured and lesson-like so it was surprising to me how freeform it was. Doing a gesture drawing for one minute makes you draw at such a simple level and I’ve found that it allows you to just draw what you see rather than what you think you see. I was a little nervous at first because people aren't my strong suit when it comes to drawing, but after getting there and being in the space, I wasn’t scared anymore. Everyone was focused on their own art, and when they weren’t, it was because they were telling another person how much they loved their drawings. It taught me a lot. I think drawing humans will come a lot more naturally to me now.”

Sophie Sun:

“The figure drawing class was something rather new to me. Although I had done some live figure drawing over the summer, this was a very different experience and I was able to get much closer to the model and see a lot more. It was also fun to see not only my classmates but professional artists draw live. This class gave me the time and opportunity to do a lot more art than I would have, and I think I've been able to grow my artistic abilities a little because of it”

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