Project: Structure – Exercise: Three Drawings

15/08/14 & 07/09/14

Three Drawings

You will do three drawings – one of the model standing, one sitting and one lying down.  Spend between half and an hour on each pose.  Look at attitude and movement of the figure before you start.  Move around the model assessing which is the position for you to start to draw or ask the model to adjust their pose.  Notice the centre of gravity, angles of the limbs and look for any foreshortening.  Think about the skeleton beneath and the shape and form of the muscles.  Make some very quick sketches and notes in your sketch book.

This exercise was split over a few weeks as I had to work with the availability of models.  The first drawing, seated, is a friend who is also a member of a small art group I work with.  Elaine kindly offered to pose for around an hour with a promise of regular breaks with coffee supplied.

Drawing One – Seated

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings Seated - prep drawings Line pen in A4 sketchbook

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings
Seated – prep drawings
Line pen in A4 sketchbook

I took advantage of Elaine writing up our subs for club day as warm up sketches.

I moved around her and sketched from different view points and angles.

1.  Viewpoint sat on chair to rear and side
2.  Viewpoint sat on floor looking up
3.  Viewpoint stood at rear to side looking down
4.  Viewpoint sat on chair front side

This afforded a visual memory and understanding of form before beginning a larger drawing.

 

 

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings Seated final drawing Black, sanguine & white conte stick and putty eraser on A2 paper

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings
Seated final drawing
Black, sanguine & white conte stick and putty eraser on A2 paper

Time approx 45 minutes.

Vigorous sketching of overall pose in black conte stick, working around the figure repeatedly.  As the figure took shape, strengthened lines where tones were darkest.  Added dark brown and white conte stick to block in tone – found that white conte picked up the colour beneath and it all became muddy and flat.  Took putty rubber and knocked right back with broad sweeps diagonally, this gave the outline and a ground to work into.  Again reinstated lines and dark tone.  Used white conte pencil to pick out light areas.  The white conte pencil was less prone to contamination from the base colours.  Should have worked on the hands further as they are a little small.

 

 

 

 

Drawing Two – Standing

The remaining two drawings were done whilst on holiday.  My husband, having been roped in for more modelling duties, was very tolerant of the standing preparatory sketches and final drawing.  It was ideal as the weather was hot and sunny so he was wearing shorts, which allowed me to see muscle tone and structure much more clearly.  The sketching and final drawing took around 1 hour 10 minutes plus “tinkering”.

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings Standing - prep sketches 6B pencil in A4 sketchbook

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings
Standing – prep sketches
6B pencil in A4 sketchbook

We tried two different poses as below:

1.  Leaning over the fence, noting weight distribution onto elbows which pushed the shoulders up and made the head sink into them.  The weight-bearing foot was on the right and this was shown convincingly in the sketch, with a bend at the hip rather than the waist.

2.  This pose was front on with model leaning back against the fence.  Again weight was supported by the elbows but the shoulders were more relaxed, with both feet taking an almost even role in supporting his weight.  This is indicated by the slight bend in both knees.  There is more foreshortening in this pose, more muscle structure visible and therefore more interest.  I decided to take this as the final pose.

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings Standing final drawing Black conte stick & coloured pencils on A2 paper

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings
Standing final drawing
Black conte stick & coloured pencils on A2 paper

As can be seen, the pose was adjusted slightly for the comfort of the model.  Some similarities remain, ie it’s a front on view but the weight distribution is altered to one elbow with minimal support from the alternate hand on the fence.  The feet are still fairly evenly supporting the weight as there is more of a lean of the upper body against the fence.

I have tried to vary the line strengths to help describe the tone, it was a very bright day with minimal shadow on the model’s left side.  This proved a little problematic as initially the drawing appeared a little flat.  Having put the drawing aside for a while, I returned to it and tried to analyse what was failing, it wasn’t until I photographed it and looked at it on-screen that I realised the tones needed adjusting.  Whereas I was happy with the shapes, measurements and weight distribution, I realised that with the foreshortening I had omitted the tricks for bringing elements forward and pushing others back.  By lifting out tone on the model’s right shoulder, it was brought forward, darkening under the left arm pushed it back and gave a more three-dimensional appearance to the torso as a whole.  I added a subtle colour tint to the entire figure that lifted it substantially.

Drawing Three – Lying

I think this is the one Glyn was waiting for – lying on the sun lounger reading his book didn’t really feel like modelling, although I had to remind him not to switch hands over holding his book a couple of times.  We had specific instructions for the lying pose this time:

With the third pose, laying down, position yourself at a slight angle to the head of the figure, so that you are looking down the model.  Note the foreshortening before you begin to draw.  Sit with the light source in such a way that you can easily observe the tones and shadows across the body to help emphasise the structure of the body.

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings Lying - prep sketch Blue drawing pen in A4 sketchbook

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings
Lying – prep sketch
Blue drawing pen in A4 sketchbook

Interestingly, as I had (as instructed) or so I thought, noted the foreshortening before hand, I concentrated on the length of the body from the shoulders down.  It transpired that the head itself was the most foreshortened part of the figure, so this was attempted in the final drawing unpractised – I think I got away with it?  As this aspect can be the most confusing when trying to assimilate what is seen and then communicating that via the brain to the drawing hand, I adopted a trick learnt in life drawing classes. That being not thinking of body, legs, arms etc but of landscape, hills and valleys.  This concentrates the mind on the shapes and not specific body parts.

 

 

 

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings Lying final drawing Black conte stick on A2 paper

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings
Lying final drawing
Black conte stick on A2 paper

First of all, I was a little annoyed with myself for letting the foot go off the edge of the paper – if I had included the head in the prep sketch, this may not have happened – note to self!

Apart from that, I am pleased with the result.  As mentioned above, the head was the most foreshortened part of the body, so it was important to describe the planes and surfaces I could actually see.  I took my time, observed closely and drew carefully.  I feel I’ve managed to show that I could see mostly the top of the head and achieved the slight tilt to the left, with the folds of jowl and neck merging.  The model decided to hold the book with one hand this time, I didn’t argue – I think I had enough to contend with.  We were asked to pay attention to the shadows and tones created by our light source, unfortunately, I couldn’t control the sun and the depth of shadow was minimal, but I hope I’ve described the scene as it was.  This drawing and prep sketches took about 1 hour.

 

Project: Structure – Check and Log

15/09/14

Check & Log

  • How accurately did you depict the overall proportions of the figure?

    Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings - Sitting Black, Sanguine and white conte stick and pencil - 1 hour

    Project: Structure
    Exercise: Three Drawings – Sitting
    Black, Sanguine and white conte stick and pencil – 1 hour

Slightly mixed results regarding the success of the figures’ proportions.

The seated pose was working proportionally, or so I thought, until I examined the hands, they were a little too small. Regardless of scale, the hands should be big enough to cover the owner’s face and I can not quite imagine them doing so in this drawing.

 

 

 

 

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings - Lying Black conte stick - 45 mins

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings – Lying
Black conte stick – 45 mins

 

 

The lying pose, however, I was much happier with.  My viewpoint of being at the head of the pose looking down the length of the figure was great fun to draw.  The head was a particular challenge as there was a large amount of foreshortening. So rather than thinking of head, chest, arms, legs etc, I decided to think landscape – hills and valleys, and just drawing the shapes I could actually see. This worked and gives a fair representation of the pose. My only annoyance is that I didn’t quite fit the left foot onto the paper!

 

  • Did you try to imagine the sitter’s skeleton and muscles? Did this help you to convey the figure’s structure and form?

This technique was more obvious in the standing pose of the three drawings. Although it was easier to imagine as the model is muscular and the structure was actually visible. I tried to pay attention to the joints, particularly in the legs. Initially, it appeared a simple pose, however, the way the model was standing, emphasised weight on his right leg and the slight bend of his left. Positioning of the knee and ankle joints were crucial to depicting the stance. Also the overlap of chest over upper arm, forearm over upper arm and wrist over forearm on his left side, helped establish the weight on his left elbow. Initially, I couldn’t quite see what was wrong with the model’s drawn right side. Quick measuring seemed to confirm the outline I had drawn, however, the torso and shoulders seemed too small. I took photographs and stood the drawing up for a while and kept going back to look at it. It then dawned on me that the tones were incorrect, the shoulder needed to come forward to give a more rounded appearance, rather than the flat result I’d achieved. Taking down the tone established a highlight that made the shoulder appear to come forward, this worked much better.

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings - Standing Black conte stick and tinting with coloured pencils 45 mins with model  (Work in progress)

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings – Standing
Black conte stick and tinting with coloured pencils
45 mins with model
(Work in progress)

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings - Standing Black conte stick and tinting with coloured pencils 45 mins with model - plus adjustments ie taking down tone on his right shoulder to bring it forward and darkening his left side to send it back.

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings – Standing
Black conte stick and tinting with coloured pencils
45 mins with model – plus adjustments ie
taking down tone on his right shoulder to bring it forward and darkening his left side to send it back.
(Work in progress)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project: Structure Exercise: Three Drawings - Standing Black conte stick and tinting with coloured pencils 45 mins with model - plus adjustments

Project: Structure
Exercise: Three Drawings – Standing
Black conte stick and tinting with coloured pencils
45 mins with model – plus adjustments

Drawing Figures – Project: Structure

12/08/14

Research Point – Part 2:

Look at anatomy books, or do a web search for anatomy images and see what you can find.  Make notes on how you can use this information to improve your figure drawing.  Try to do an anatomical drawing yourself.

Notes made in sketch book:

Research Point:  An attempt at an anatomical drawing.

Research Point:
An attempt at an anatomical drawing.
Pose outlined in pencil, drew skeleton inside pose, then drew flesh and clothing around the internal frame. Coloured pencils define the figure and its surroundings.

I didn’t want to just copy a diagram from a book, so decided to take one of my quick sketches of the model and try to work the skeletal structure into it myself, following the general anatomy.  I drew a faint, rough outline of the pose and then tried to show how the bones would sit in that pose.  It was interesting that it seemed to work, it may not be absolutely accurate but it does give a good idea of the positioning.  It was fun to do if not slightly macabre to imagine one’s husband as a skeleton sitting on your sofa!

 

 

Drawing Figures – Project: Structure

11/08/14

Research Point – Part 1:

Look at anatomy books or do a web search for anatomy images and see what you can find.  Make notes on how you can use this information to improve your figure drawing.  Try to do an anatomical drawing yourself.

Looking at the diagram of the skeleton itself, I am drawn to the following points:

Human Skeleton Diagram

Human Skeleton Diagram

  • the femur or thigh bone is the longest in the body
  • when standing up straight with arms down at the sides, the tip of the hands come halfway down the thigh, the elbows are about level with the waist
  • I’m reminded that the radius bone twists over the ulna in the forearm when the wrist is turned over – this can sometimes be seen beneath the skin when drawing
  • the position of the scapula or shoulder blades in the rear view, plus how small they are compared to my perception
  • the hip joints are below the pelvis – the top of the pelvis is often mistaken for the hip
  • there are radial/swivel joints such as the shoulders, hips, neck, wrists and ankles and there joints that bend one way only eg the knees and elbows.

This next skeletal diagram with the superimposed body around the framework of bones, shows tilts and weight distribution – very important when trying to capture gesture and stance when drawing the figure.

Female Skeleton Diagram

Female Skeleton Diagram
Showing tilts and weight distrubution

The musculature diagrams show how the frame-work of the body is fleshed out and how the shape of a figure can change.  These obviously show the muscle and connective tissue that a human figure has but, shape is also defined by fat around the muscles, and is grouped by differing body types.

Human Muscualture

Human Musculature

Scientifically, these are categorised into three main groups ie Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.  Realistically, most people are a combination of two of these.

Body Types - Male

Body Types – Male

Body Types - Female

Body Types – Female

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also came across these images, which I found interesting, as they are of the figure during movement. They show how muscles contract and expand when in use.

Muscles in Movement  fig 1

Muscles in Movement
fig 1

Muscles in Movement fig 2

Muscles in Movement
fig 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example of flesh pressed against another surface

Example of flesh pressed against another surface

Another observation when life drawing I have noted, is how flesh reacts when pressed against a surface.  Being flexible and malleable, it squashes and spreads.  When this is captured in a drawing it further evidences solidity of the figure, whether it be its surroundings or when in a pose where legs are crossed over each other for example.

 

All diagram images sourced from the internet under free images search.