So I finally got off my butt and started some untutored Life classes in Edinburgh. Not going to say too much about these except that most of them aren't very good but there are positives to be taken from the day. One is that most of these are short 5 minute drawings and I plan to continue that way for quite some time- interestingly I was pretty much the only one doing this, everyone seems to love long poses.
The idea is that this drums in a drawing process that I should be following, making sure that I'm actually thinking about what I'm doing and that I don't loose focus, which is all too easy to do. So when I started the first drawings I found that I wasn't paying attention and I defaulted back to my old habits- I stopped myself doing this and tried to address it in the next drawing. Then when I found myself making other mistakes I just stopped and thought about what it was I should be looking for- the gesture, not the details. In fact all of these drawings are taken too far towards finish, which is why they don't work, the goal is to get gesture and measurement/ proportion down, then I will progress to other stages when I'm ready.
It's amazing just how nervous you can be sitting in a room surrounded by people you don't know, I can find it quite intimidating and part of of my progress will be learning how to relax at the drawing board. My confidence is still shot but I have to say considering it was only a year ago I was scared to pick up a pencil, I have to be pretty pleased, there is a long road ahead but I could have given up drawing for good.