Life drawing focus: consolidation of skills

In recent life drawing classes, I have focused on proportions, centre of gravity, gesture drawing and foreshortening. I have posted the recent drawing made of a foreshortened view of last week’s model.  Here are the other drawings from last week’s class in which  the intention was to consolidate drawing skills.

The gesture drawings were drawn with a black fineliner.  Other media included Neocolour II water-soluble crayons and wash, carbon pencil and Derwent Art Bars.  The surface was either an A4 sketchbook (170 gsm) or A3 black photo mount.  The black paper reflects light oddly when photographed, despite its matt surface. 

I drew three versions of the first pose: a gesture drawing and slightly larger crayon drawing) (top left and right on the page shown below).  I then redrew the pose on A3 black paper using Art Bars, in which the proportions were better.   

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I am quite pleased with the drawing below, made in carbon pencil: in particular the movement, tonal variation and use of negative space. The arm closest to the viewer appears to actively support the model in this position.  She has a lovely butterfly tattoo positioned diagonally across her back.  Tattoos do not usually appeal to me but this one is striking.  I should take more coloured pencils to drawing classes in order to introduce more colour in places in my drawings.  The “butterfly” was indigo and very difficult to draw due to it angle across the model’s back as well, exacerbated by the angle at which the model was drawn and her leaning posture.  The application  of rough areas of tone creates a three-dimensional image and the model’s slightly diagonal positioning creates energy in the drawing.  From the edge of the table on which she was sitting, it appears as if she was sitting cross-legged, which I am now not certain about – wouldn’t a toe be visible beneath her left knee?  If she is not cross-legged, the table edge should be closer to the viewer but that is such a basic thing that I do not like to think that I missed it….!

 

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On the page below are three gesture drawings for the larger drawings which follow them; the latter were all made in crayon / Art Bars.  Although the proportions of the gesture drawings of the first two are not correct, I like their loopy lines and the overall sense of the pose that they provide.  In contrast, the drawing bottom left (of the three gestures) is altogether more inhibited and lacks the movement and fluidity of the other two. When I spend a minute more at the beginning of each drawing just looking carefully and thinking about the angles made by different edges, as well as overall shapes and how they fit together, the gesture drawings are better and are more useful references for the drawings which follow. 

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I increased the size of the head by adding more hair (!) but it is still too small for the body.  It is difficult to judge the relative proportions of the trunk and legs in this position because the legs are folded away and there is slight foreshortening of the trunk as the model is at an angle to the viewer and is also leaning back on her hands. 

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The proportions (head, upper and lower body) in the two drawings that follow seem about right.  I would like to develop my skill in using a dark background such that the image emerges from it rather than being imposed on the surface.

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