The crisp whisper of pencils dancing on a white canvas is the only break to this Jenkins classroom’s silence. As the only significant movement in the room, the utensils trace the unmistakable image of the human body.
“It helps the person understand how they want to abstract, instead of it being an accident,” said Philana Pace, professor for TJC’s Life Drawing course.
Life Drawing is more than just learning how to draw objects, it’s about understanding human anatomy. Throughout the course, students learn how to expertly depict a model’s bare physique.
Art Department Chair Derrick White speaks highly of the class’s many artistic benefits, along with how it could help those in other fields of research.
“When you learn how anatomy works, it changes how you deal with the figure,” said Art Department Chair Derrick White. “I think it’s one of the strongest classes for people who say they’re interested in video game design.”
One of the most important aspects of the class is, of course, the model. When professor Pace sent out an invitation for the position, TJC art alumnus Lenora Hill answered.
“I did this because it seemed like a challenge,” said Hill, “and seemed like nothing I’ve done before. I kind of like doing things that, you know, are strange and maybe make me uncomfortable.”
Hill quickly grew accustomed to the job’s requirements, which is to sit perfectly still for vast amounts of time.
“This is definitely not an environment where people are going to be looking at you a certain way. I mean, they are looking at you a certain way, but it’s all like a learning experience,” said Hill. “The environment is very respectable and professional.”
Hill has figured out techniques to avoid boredom when sitting frozen for potentially 30 minutes at a time. She has also discovered some odd side effects for such statue-like behavior.
“You find a spot to look at on the wall,” said Hill. “But when you’re staring at one spot for too long, you start to notice that things are moving. Your vision gets weird and colors start to get dull.”
Despite posing for artists in a very unique setting, Hill still believes that the course, both for students and models, is a beneficial experience.
“Anything art related, I think you should at least try once. You don’t know what you’re going to like,” said Hill.
Willow Lanchester, a sophomore art major, is one of the students enrolled in the small class, and plans to use the learned skills with an art career.
“I was really excited for the class. I really wanted to learn how to draw human anatomy,” said Lanchester. “I’ve taken classes with Mrs. Pace before, and I’ve learned so, so much.”
In the end, Professor Pace hopes this course will open minds and improve perspectives for greater imaginations.
“Sometimes people are so used to drawing small that they have to learn how to draw big,” said Pace.
Although registration for classes has closed, Philana Pace said she is still looking for more models. For information on the modeling position, Pace can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.