Essential Elements

This post was written a few weeks ago but I forgot to publish it.  I just came across it again in the draft folder, so here it is… Not beautiful but part of the process…

For this exercise, I had to draw a sequence of short poses in order to focus on the three-dimensional human form, without detail. I blocked in form using the cut off piece of sepia lead.  All drawings are of the same model and were drawn at the same session.  In some she is wearing her hair loose and in others, it is tied back. 

The first three drawings were a warm-up exercise each taking two to three minutes.  With a little more time, the last one, on the right, could have been more clearly developed. However, the overall shape and proportions overall are reasonable.  The upper legs in the drawing on the left need to be thicker in relation to the lower. I am pleased with the one in the centre, which captures form and has a sense of movement.


The next series of drawings each one took about took about 10 minutes.  I have included them in the order in which they were drawn.  There is a sense of light coming from the upper right but the effect is not consistent.


In the next one, there is again some sense of light and shade but again it doesn’t seem adequate to describe her form.  This is more outline than blocking in form with areas of tone, though.  The head is twisted towards the viewer while the body is facing left.  There is a line where I initially incorrectly drew the model’s left breast as if her head and body direction were aligned.


In the next, it is reasonably clear that light is falling on the model from the right. I’m not sure what happened to her right foot! Sometimes, I just avoid drawing feet to avoid the flipper effect…  I ran out of paper for the hand!


Overall, proportions are not too bad. I need to use light falling on the figure more consistently as a means of describing form.

The upright pose gives the best sense of the figure, perhaps because proportions are easier to judge when the figure is “straight” rather than “folded”.

A couple of the positions involved twists, in which head and body were not aligned. The position of the head in the last drawing doesn’t look quite right – it is perched on the shoulders and fist slightly oddly.  The twist in the last of the two minute poses (on the right of the three drawn together) was difficult to capture by blocking form alone, without line, and in such a short time.

There are further examples of this exercise in an earlier post on proportions in the human figure.


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