I love illustrating live especially when I get to work with Robin for Kuya Brand! It's great being surrounded by fun and creative people because they create the right atmosphere one needs to confidently put paint to paper. I mean, when everyone is jamming out to Bruno Mars, how can you not illustrate the beautiful people? But on a serious note, I want to share two basic tips on how to illustrate live.
I felt like there was no way I could prepare for this cause figure drawing classes are so different (but seriously though, take a figure drawing class it's super key). In a figure drawing class you have all your attention on one model, there's probably classical musical playing in the background, everyone is quiet and engaged, and the shortest pose the model will hold is probably between one to five minutes (maybe if you're lucky everyone with agree to doing 30 second poses). When you're drawing live, everyone is your subject and the longest pose your model will hold could be as short as a split second! It's fun and exhilarating to work that fast, but also so terrifying! So practice practice drawing figures cause you need to be able to get those proportions spot on! But also trying drawing people in public or if you like watching tons of TV (like I do) draw the actors in the scene cause that's what drawing at live events feels more like. It also would help to have photographic memory. So practice that too!
My second advice is to learn to make confident marks. It helps when you have to draw fast, but most importantly it helps you create a beautiful design. When I was a baby art student, I was in an Expressive Drawing class (hollar at my teach David Jones!). It was a difficult class because I had to learn to get out of that mentality of simply drawing what I saw. It wasn't about concept, but more about learning to question the marks I made in relation to the object I was illustrating. Why did my line look like that? What was I trying to communicate with that line? Every mark has a purpose and therefore should be designed with purpose. So long story short (cause I could honestly go on about how that class changed my life!) practice your mark making skills! Drawing fast can so easily creating a sloppy design and no body wants that.
So that's that. Let me know what you think! Feel free to ask for help or to share what you've learned from drawing live. Happy illustrating!