I have to admit, this was the class I'd been the most nervous about-- drawing from a live model for the first time.
I don't care about the lack of clothing. What I was worried about is that when you draw from a photograph, you can get as close to it as you want in order to see the detail-- but with a live model, you have three complications. The first is that a picture is -already- a two-dimensional plane. It's pretty easy to translate it into a different media. You don't have that with a live model-- you have to translate a three-dimensional object onto a 2D space. The second is that, while you can get closer to see greater detail-- you also end up changing your perspective. The angle of light is different. What you -see- is different: more arm, less leg, etc. And my third worry was that live models have to move...but they may not end up in the same pose they were in... or they may be in a different location so you're right back to the changing light and shadows and what you see.
Fortunately for us, we had a wonderful model! She was exceptional at being still in her poses (although, I guess I should call them -our- poses, as we were given turns to ask her to model in different ways--sitting, standing, etc.) and when she did have to move, she was also exceptional about getting back into her previous pose, or very, VERY close to it.
We started out with a series of 6 quick drawings, each a different student selected pose, each with three minutes only to complete.
I won't bother sharing those...They were pretty bad.
Then we did a reclining pose for 20 minutes. My view was very foreshortened. I actually handled that part pretty well, but my drawing of the shoulders was off. Not bad for a first attempt.
Then we had the rest of the class to work on another pose. We were allowed to move our seats and choose the angle we wanted to draw from. I chose to sit on the floor because I loved the way the shadow played across her stomach.
I was starting to detail the drawing bench she was sitting on when it was time to stop, but I'm actually pretty pleased with my first real drawing of a live model.