If you are thinking of studying life drawing here are my tips from a complete beginner:
- Don't be scared of being embarrassed - It's going to be a bit of a shock when you walk into a room to find a man naked so don't expect yourself to have full composure - you will want to laugh and if you might find it quite hard to look at certain ... ahem ... intimate areas. The models are used to it and you get used to seeing it all quite quickly
- Take lots of paper and a variety of pencils - you will most likely draw quite a few different poses so lots of big paper is a good thing. Also some different pencils can be useful (although not a necessity) - apparently my style suited a 4B. Also bring an eraser which brings me on to my next point...
- Draw what you see, not what you think you see - the life model had quite a short neck and muscly shoulders so when standing or sitting in a certain position you couldn't see his neck but to start of I insisted on drawing one. As soon as I stopped and got the head in the correct position my drawings improved.
- Don't give up - you will improve, it will feel more natural
- Get inspiration from others but try not to get disheartened - there were proper artists in my life drawing class with antique art sets and they were really good but they had done this lots before and had been to art college. It is really nice though to see other people's styles and see the life model from a different angle
- Enjoy yourself- it's art not life or death, so what if he has wonky knees? (unless it is life or death then don't enjoy yourself, draw like a madman, become the next Manet and do it quick!)
If this has inspired you then look for some life drawing classes in your local area, colleges are generally a good place to start as they generally offer them for their art classes for sixth formers or just get Googling!