By Sam Landsberg, 15, Hamilton HS
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Figuring out how to draw

I love drawing and I draw on everything, but I usually don’t draw realistically (my style is kind of cartoonish). Realism and the human body were a couple of pretty low points for me. I wanted to be able to draw figures more realistically and I decided that a class would be a good way to learn. So, this summer, I took a five-day class on figure drawing.

The class was at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, which is pretty far away from where I live, but my parents took me to Union Station every morning and I took the train to Pasadena. I liked riding the train. I got some reading done and it’s great for people watching.

My teacher was incredibly weird (for no reason at all, he would start talking like he just came out of a Shakespearean play), but I liked him. He made terrible jokes and puns every chance he got.

Mr. Howarth (“Art is in my name,” he proudly explained to us) first showed us how to draw a body starting out with geometric shapes and then making them organic and life like. He told us how inspired he was by the masters (Michelangelo, Da Vinci especially) and tied everything to them. It was interesting, though, because when he taught us a technique he showed us an example of how one of the masters used it. He taught us to draw geometric shapes and turn them into organic figures. We used a block to create a torso.

The next day, we had a model named Marissa. It was really fun being able to actually draw someone. We drew for hours. My sketches looked mostly realistic, but one thing would be off. In one, everything looked normal but the arms and hands looked mutated.

On Wednesday, we got ready for the next model by learning more techniques. The following day our model was the same model who did all of the CGI modeling for the Shrek movies. He was also the model for the mountain troll in the first Harry Potter movie. He was huge and an amazing model. He took over the class, telling jokes, directing us on what to draw and different perspectives to use. At one point, he climbed up on a table so that we could draw him from the feet up. I didn’t mind, because compared to the jokes our art teacher told, anybody was funny.

The class really inspired me to draw, because now I have a lot more confidence about drawing figures. I plan to do more figure drawing now that I am better at it. I still have a lot of work to do on my figures, but now, thanks to this class, I’m well on my way.