Life drawing class enhances art popularity

Rosaura Montes and Rosaura Montes

Life Drawing is a hands-on experience class that allows students to draw a live nude model.

Professor Hagop Najarian and Professor Daniel Du Plessis are the life drawing instructors for Cerritos College.

The concept of the model is for students to see in detail the muscles, lines and shapes that are on the human body.

“It’s beautiful to put a nude model on the stand and have students surround the model,” Najarian said.

“Drawing a nude model may be awkward for some students at first, but everyone’s pretty professional in class. No one giggles, so you get eased into it,” culinary arts major Claudia Reynaga said.

Graphic design major Alan Littarlo said that Najarian has lectures about different bone structures and muscles of the body and how to see the shapes that are formed in the body to apply them in the drawing.

Najarian commented on knowing about the structural fundamentals of the human body.

“Learning how to see with your own eyes, the human form is a very crucial foundation.

It’s a different experience when drawing a live nude model in front of you, it’s unlike anything from drawing a model based on a photograph or from a book. Psychologically there’s always something very compelling about seeing a nude figure in front of you, that’s irreplaceable,” he said.

With discussions about having budget cuts for the class, Najarian has fought to keep the class, including having nude models for lab hours to benefit from.

“It’s something that people don’t understand.

Having the physical body in front of you makes you see more detail and specifics of the body. There’s a three-dimensional atmosphere surrounding [students],” said Najarian.

Depending on where a student is sitting in the room, each student draws the model in a different angle and captures a different lighting. They learn to capture the movement, gesture and anatomy of the model, Najarian mentioned.

Different models of shapes and sizes alternate throughout the week and will continue throughout the semester.

“There isn’t a union of models that can be called at,” he said. “Models are privately booked.”

Full time professional model Rebecca Revelle was a model that worked as one of the first nude models in this semester.

“I like being around artists,” Revelle said.

“It’s a pivotal skill that artists need to know how to draw the human body, regardless of the nude model, for any area of art that they choose,” Revelle continued.

There are many graphic designers who are puzzled as to why they have to take the class in order to transfer to another school.

Graphic designers draw characters with exaggerated muscles and features. To see in live models, male or female, graphic designers get a better understanding on how to base the features on, according to Najarian.

Students taking this class are all in different levels but are all diving into the structure of how to draw the live model onto paper using supplies as pencil, ink, water color and charcoal, which covers a lot of the surface on the paper and can manipulate shadow and shading.

Najarian pointed out that our culture is used to photography. To slow down and look at someone in front of you and learn to draw it is a challenge

.

“I definitely recommend this class to anyone. Whether the model is a short, tall, skinny or big model, it’s really beautiful to see all the lines on our body,” Reynaga said.

“It doesn’t have to be sexual to look at the human body. If you learn to appreciate every single body type then people would be feeling more confident about their own body,” Reyenga continued.

The prerequisite for life drawing is Art 110, which is freehand drawing.

“If you don’t know simple things like shading, drawing lines or proportions, it’s going to be difficult [in life drawing],” Najarian said.