Life drawing evenings bring art lovers and students together

"There is no greater object to draw than the human form," one instructor said

A finished student sketch with pencil of a nude model on a wooden easel.
A student pencil sketch of a live nude model taken on Feb. 21, 2024. (Shaleena Singh/ Toronto Observer) 

Fine-art students and community members have been coming together to de-stress and capture the art of the human anatomy through a series live-drawing sessions held at Centennial College.

The live drawing series, this year called, “A Room, A Model and An Easel,” allows students and community members to engage in a no-instruction art studio environment at the Story Arts Centre on Carlaw Avenue.

“We’re always looking for people who are possibly curious about trying it out for the first time sure. Sure, it’s non-instruction, but we welcome all levels,” said Kamar Thomas, the series coordinator and an instructor in the Fine Arts program at the College.

The entrance cost per session for students is $10 and 12 for community members, and the sessions run from 6:45 p.m. for three hours.

Attendees bring their own sketchbooks or pencils to draw a professional live nude model on a wooden easel while artists are sitting or standing up.

There are a total of nine live drawing sessions in which every model creates an action-packed intricate or a still pose every Wednesdays. The event officially kicked off on Jan. 16 with the final session happening March 20.

Sharmina Habib, the Centennial College gallery monitor, said the estimated number of recurring students and community members during these sessions is about seven to eight people.

To promote the sessions, Habib and Centennial College fine arts program instructor, Zoey Zoric, advertised using posters hung around the school and through telling people they knew.

“Kamar would send an email out to students and people would get more information through that,” said Habib, a second year Centennial College fine arts first year student in her second semester. “There are a lot of community members that have been showing up lately, and I believe that’s due to some of the posters that we have around the school. We put them in other locations, like at art stores including DeSerres.”

Learning by doing

Habib said she takes the open-life drawing class in the mornings, which is taught by Thomas. When Thomas first announced the volunteer opportunity for the art gallery monitor position for the evening drawing sessions, Habib was interested by the administrative curation aspect, and the opportunity to build her skills.

“As an art student, it’s great having that extra practice, especially because we have the figure drawing classes during the day. We get to take those skills or the lectures we learned from our teacher during that class and then apply them after in the evening.”

The recurring attendance of fine-arts students participating in these art event sessions has allowed them to demonstrate and hone their artistic skills.

“I believe other students are in the open drawing as well. They come regularly and said that they see more improvements in their artwork during this session,” Habib said.

Room setup of where the live model will create different poses for attendees drawing the model for the sessions.
The art studio class where the live model creates different poses. (Shaleena Singh/Toronto Observer)

“There is no greater object to draw”

Avery Bowieo started attending the live drawing sessions in February. Bowieo, 20, is a Centennial College fine arts student, told the Observer these sessions are teaching her to better draw and study the human anatomy through these live models.

“I’m just trying to get better at drawing faster and making sure that the anatomy is correct. It’s a good way to get better at drawing specific anatomy and learning how parts move and bend.”

She said drawing these models with such intricate and unique poses is very difficult.

Centennial College instructor, Zoey Zoric, said this event is an excellent exercise for students and community members looking for an opportunity to de-stress.

“It’s a wonderful exercise in observation building. There is no greater object to draw than the human form.”

“It always sounds like everyone has a really great time and everyone wishes that it happened more,” said Zoric who started teaching in the fine-arts program during the pandemic.

Thomas said there has been a community life-drawing event at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre campus for a while. He took on organizing the event in 2022.

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Posted: Mar 20 2024 5:30 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life Centennial Life Education Entertainment Mental Health News