Let me just get this out there from the start- I am no artist. Last time I did ‘proper’ art was in school- and put it this way, they don’t often let naked men go into GCSE classrooms.
I wanted to get stuck into drawing again so my friend Elizabetta and I pulled up the courage to go to the Cobalt’s life drawing class. I had no idea what to expect- I thought we were going to be stood in a cold, brightly lit warehouse with a group of older, michaelangelo-wannabes gawping at someone with their kit off. I was relieved to find out that the class at Cobalt was the exact opposite! The atmosphere was really chilled, with good-vibes, music and cosy lighting. It felt more like a hipster bar than an art studio.
When we first got there we had no idea what was going on: there was a circle of people armed with sketchbooks all looking very purposeful- one girl was even wearing a beret, which made it clear that she was a Serious Artist™. We grabbed a beer each, and the barman got us sat down.
Before we knew it, some bloke strode up to the middle of the circle, whipped off his dressing gown, and began his first pose. Trying not to giggle, we sharpened our pencils and cracked on. At first, I had no idea where to look, so I started off just trying to ignore the tackle and get the overall proportions right. We only had 2 minutes per pose at the start, giving everyone time to warm up and practice. My first attempt weren’t great. The next poses lasted 5 minutes and I got the chance to draw the whole figure.
It was tough trying to make the model look grounded and solid and getting the perspective right was difficult! I got a bit better as I went on, and as the model moved through his poses, I learned more and more about how different muscles connected where, which meant I could spend more time drawing and less time figuring things out. By the time we reached the 15 minute poses, I got to try shading my drawings. But I still didn’t know what the etiquette was for drawing the guy’s junk!
At the 30 minute poses, drawing started to feel almost like meditation. All I could hear was the chilled background music and the scratching of people’s pencils. When the final timer went off, I looked back at what ‘masterpiece’ I had created. Surprisingly, the later pictures actually looked like human men!
I learned so much at my first class, and after the initial awkwardness we really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend the sessions for anyone wanting to practice or to try something a bit different.