An “aesthetically NOT pleasing” drawing

Linea – 2

Although that was the exact words my tutor used to describe my long pose drawing – I am personally very pleased with the work produced. My confidence was further strengthened by the model’s quite motivating words. Keep reading about the last life drawing session below.

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Date: 22/10/2018

Author: Iasonas Bakas

Time: 3h


  • Step 1: Breaking the ice
  • Step 2: The quickies
  • Step 3: Long pose
  • Step 4: Mirror, Pen and paper


1. Charcoal Sticks
2. Kneadable eraser
3. Easel
4. A2 sketch pad

Step 1: Breaking the ice

We started with a warm up exercise. A medium duration pose of about 10 minutes. The model was just lying on the table; she said it was actually very relaxing for her! It was a very tricky one especially from where I was stood. I could clearly see the structure of the back. This gave me the opportunity to practice a little on the spine which I only started studying early last week. Lighting; shadows and highlights were fundamental to make it look like a body rather than a stone lump.


Step 2: The quickies

The following part had so much energy. Surprisingly the tutor asked the model to improvise with some very quick poses. Each pose lasted for about 2-3 minutes. That was fantastic because it gave us the time needed to only capture the notion of the pose and a very rough outline. No time to worry about tone or details. It felt very refreshing as the poses changed so quickly you couldn’t actually overwork or think too much about it. Here are a few of my drawings.

I was cheeky and returned to add some tone on my drawings later.


Step 3: The long pose

Following our tea break, the model returned to the long pose. As you might already know I just can’t be bothered drawing the same pose more than a session (a few hours). I quickly grabbed my sketch pad and changed position. Also, this time I decided to draw only the model’s upper body rather than trying to fit the whole body within my “small” A2 page. It worked quite well…

I think the head is a bit oversized compared to the shoulders. However, I am happy (and the same my tutor…) with lighting, the chest structure and the neck. The tutor said it is an “aesthetically non pleasing drawing”, but it was “obvious I have now started understanding the structure of the body”! Quite motivating I would say!


Step 4: Mirror, Pen and paper

About 10 minutes before the end of the session, I decided to stop working on the portrait above and start another quick sketch on my A5  sketch pad. I got a simple blue pen and tried to draw the whole figure but to be honest the result was not anything worth showing here. I think by that point I was too tired anyway. While drawing that though, I left the charcoal portrait leaning against a stool – right opposite the model. At the end she said it was very strange for her to see “herself” posing. She loved the drawing and asked to take pictures of my work. I felt very happy and honoured by her words.

Next week is mid term so we won’t have a class. Hopefully, that will give me some time to work on the Spine and complete my study and tutorial!

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The Artist says:

“The less time you have available for drawing, the more playful, light and vivid it becomes. I think, I have started enjoying the short poses even more than the long ones!”

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves!


4 thoughts on “An “aesthetically NOT pleasing” drawing

  1. I find it interesting, maybe a bit ‘haunting’, if anything I’d say it’s MORE interesting for being less aesthetic.

    It can be a good thing to be ill at ease with an artwork sometimes. It’s certainly not bland anyway 👏🏻👏🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Steve! I wasn’t expecting that sort of feedback but I can’t say it put me off. I am happy with this work. My ultimate goal is to paint impressionistic portraits so I guess I have some flexibility with how aesthetically pleasing my work can be haha. Jokes apart, I dont seek perfectionism in an artwork. I think having character and being able to express the artists thoughts is more important than being technically perfect.

      What is your favourite style/movement of painting?

      Liked by 1 person

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