Draw five two-minute sketches of the model in your sketchbook, paying particular attention to the proportions and just using the basic lines that describe the figure.
Strangely, even though I am used to life and portrait classes, I found this much more intense. Being the one to set up the model, in this case my husband Glyn, and just for me, seemed to put more pressure on me. I timed each pose for 2 minutes although, I ran over a few seconds to put in the last definitive lines. No time to measure first in these but checked proportions afterwards and in the main were ok. Figures 3 & 4, however, did run off the page. I decided to use larger paper and put them onto one sheet to see a series of drawings and:-
- as using charcoal wanted room to use freely
- as there was a very limited time (2 minutes), a sense of urgency usually means I work larger
- this also helps the general proportions as I subconsciously compare each as I go.
After the first two sketches, I asked Glyn to not use the lap top as it added another element that was a step too far in the time limited pose. I could also see more of the figure to compare landmarks.
Make two 10 minute drawings. Be free in your use of charcoal or graphite across the paper. Try not to erase any incorrect lines.
Again, I didn’t measure prior to drawing, although afterwards it seems I am a “head” short. However, this doesn’t make the proportions look particularly wrong, possibly because the model is seated and the bottom half is twisted towards me, which gives some foreshortening.
I was aware, in particular of the planes of the head, as I had a 3/4 view. thinking of a cube shape I indicated the top, near side and front of the head to give the directions of the gaze. This helped position the rest of the figure too and showed the twist of the pose i.e. the head looking at the TV ahead, the torso following the same direction and the lower body and legs pointing more towards me. I also tried to indicate the planes of the knees to show the bend in the joints. My main challenges due to time were the arms. The out-stretched arm on the left almost doesn’t fit the paper. I was going to crop down the paper to the drawing size but realised I would be obliterating a valuable lesson regarding the figure’s placement. I had plenty of room but hadn’t use it appropriately. The arm on the right hasn’t been described fully and the foreshortening hasn’t been completed resulting in making it look too short and odd. I was happy with the placement of the shoulders, though, as it truly reflects how the head was sunken into them in a relaxed position.
A slightly different pose withy crossed legs. Again started with the planes of the head, once the general shape was done, I roughly sketched down the body. I tried to give the figure more solidity in its background and was more definite about the lines. Unfortunately, Glyn forgot himself and uncrossed his legs which, when reminded, were recrossed but slightly differently. I carried on trying to adapt to the very small difference. However, it was significant enough to throw the drawing out. The time elapsed and I measured the drawing and it came up short again. Foreshortening wasn’t the reason this time as the lower body and legs were more in line with the torso. After a break, I asked Glyn to just sit with his legs crossed so I could look at what went wrong and attempted to correct the error. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite sort it out although the proportions are now correct the pose itself is not. I think that for the longer pose I will arrange the model more thoughtfully ensuring not only comfort but interest. The short pose 4 & 5 were interesting to look at.
Do some more drawings of this pose, perhaps moving your chair to a different position and changing your drawing medium.
Additional sketch from different position and different medium. I was seated for this sketch whereas I was standing for the others. I think I have distorted my drawing because of this – I have noticed this before in life classes – if the support is tilted and leaning away from me, I enlarge the lower half of the figure.
Only one additional study done this time, as both of us were flagging!