Drawing the figure, and emptying the mind

life drawing at the RHA

I’m drawing from life at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in Dublin these days. I like to go back there from time to time to work on (and hopefully improve) my drawing skills. I just work in pencil on old rolls of lining paper. I got a load of it once in a hardware shop, very cheap, but as you can see it goes yellow over time.  But it’s good to work on and it’s only for myself – for practice – so I don’t mind the discolouration.

There’s an interesting atmosphere in the Life-Drawing room. It’s deadly quiet, everyone is totally concentrated on the work. We take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes but, other than that, there’s no talking. There is usually about 15 people, standing in a circle around a naked figure. People work in their own way, pencil on paper or paint on canvas, and they think their own thoughts. Yes, I suppose it sounds like an odd situation but it’s actually a strangely meditative one. Is it like meditation? I don’t know – but it feels good to be totally engaged in the process, and being free for a while from any outside distraction.

See more of my drawings at: http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com

and more about the RHA School at: http://www.rhagallery.ie/


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