On being one with charcoal

Life drawing round robin [michalogy]
Life drawing round robin [michalogy]

“So… is there actually a fully naked person there?! And you just draw them?” my friend asked incredulously.

As confronting as it sounds, that is essentially what happens in a life drawing class. For two hours, it’s just you and the model, your charcoal dancing on paper, capturing everything you see. Every little detail is noticed and is translated into a line, a smudge, a hatching on parchment.

The roll of fat sitting just above the crotch. The wrinkle of skin underneath the armpit. The way the hair cascades down the shoulders. The nonchalant expression on the face.


After a while, you stop caring that there’s a naked person in front of you. You start thinking about body parts as shapes: a configuration of forms stacked on top of and next to each other, creating a cohesive image on paper.

You realise that while bodies come in all different sizes and shapes, the basics are mostly the same: arms, legs, torso. Fingers and toes. Hair in the usual places.

Colour life drawing [michalogy]

These drawings were done at the University of Melbourne’s life drawing sessions, held every fortnight and free for UoM students.

Have you tried life drawing before?