I’m not sure this is supposed to happen, but life drawing has made me appreciate how beautiful human bodies are. It’s sort of lovely to study real bodies instead of the plastic ones we are fed by advertisers all the time. Real people remind you that everyone is quirky and lovely in their own strange ways.
It’s summed up quite well by this, from the Cambridge Medical Journal: A student BMJ article in March 2010 listed the benefits of providing life drawing classes for medical students. There is evidence that it sharpens observational skills – an eye for detail is key for identifying the patient with hyperthyroidism, a suspicious skin lesion, or recent weight loss.
But it is not just about the medical bonuses; by encouraging appreciation of the human body in all its forms, life drawing incorporates art into the practice of medicine, which cannot be learned from a textbook. We realise that the scapula, the spine or the eyes are not anatomical entities in themselves but that they belong to a real person. And they harbour a beauty that increases with the depth of observation.