Before people learned to write, they drew pictures.
Often times, they would draw figures to depict historical events. Some of the figures they drew are the only method of storytelling prehistoric human beings had to depict what their lives were like.
Centuries later, humanity is still refining that art form.
Every Wednesday, Communiversity members meet at Buena Vista Studio to join convener Jeff Widener in an evening of figure drawing.
“I’m a participant just as much as anyone else here,” Widener said, as he took a short break from his easel.
The only difference between Widener and his “students,” he said, is that he hires the models and rents the studio space. Otherwise, he considers himself just another member of the class.
Class contributors range from beginners to seasoned artists. Widener encourages all of those interested to enroll without hesitation.
In the casual studio located at 51st and Buena Vista Streets in Roeland Park, Kansas, a group of six to a dozen artists pull up an easel and open their cigar boxes filled with pencils, charcoal, and pastels.
Some plug in their ear buds and get focused. Others just relax and tune in to the radio in the background. Either way, all participants are concentrated on mastering the art of drawing the figure before them.
Every few minutes, the professional model will transform his or her pose, allowing artists to attempt a variety of gestures. At break time, the members of the class get a chance to stretch and mingle before they get back to drawing.
The fact that the Figure Drawing class allows artists the chance to sketch an individual’s anatomy is why Widener thinks the class can be so advantageous to anyone interested in drawing.
“If you can learn to draw the human figure, you can pretty much learn to draw anything,” he said.
So whether you’re interested in becoming the next Michelangelo, or simply want to graduate from stick figures to actual figures, the time to enroll is now. Widener’s class usually reaches full capacity, but there are still openings available for his three summer sessions.
For more information about Figure Drawing and other Communiversity classes, www.umkc.edu/commu today. Browsing and registering for classes is easy online!
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”-Mark Twain