When I was in college at the FAD in Mexico City, we had life drawing classes mostly with naked models, and I sucked at it.
I was never good drawing human proportions, and drawing a woman’s body was a nightmare.
But I decided to practice daily, I would draw naked people and people with clothes as well, which turned out to be a great decision.
Drawing daily, made me feel more confortable with my own lines and with the way I saw the shapes of the bodies, and made refine the way I represented the shapes I saw, today, someone can look to my drawings and recognize a woman’s or a man’s body in it, which is a great improvement. 🙂
Drawing naked people made me see the human body with more detail, to understand it at different levels and I learned to appreciate the visual details each body has to offer, a wrinkle here, a tiny spot there, some very clear muscle lines in some bodies, some large and interesting curvy lines in others.
But the best decision was to draw people with clothes, something we almost never did at school. Why was it the best decision? Because the vast majority of drawings I have made, as a professional have involved people with clothes.
In my case, it is very, very rare, that I have to draw naked people in my professional projects, most of the people I draw are drinking coffee, watching tv, repairing things or having dinner with some one, and all of those activities, are done (almost always) with your clothes on.
So, if you are an art student, or an aspiring illustrator, do not just draw naked people, even if it is the only live drawing classes you have at school, practice drawing more people with clothes and in daily activities.
Having said that, I want to add that I still enjoy very much drawing naked people, and I enjoy even more, being able to represent their bodies more are less correctly, which is a huge improvement since college.
Thank you for reading.