a personal art course, but with too many words and not enough drawings

Posts Tagged ‘Figure drawing

Figure Drawing #4

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Can’t be bothered to do cuts. Anyway, this is an art blog, so it is right and proper that some nudes should pop up once in a while.

This session was about value: start with a light-valued ground, and then build up the form using values.Vine charcoal gives a lighter tone but smudges very nicely, so I used it most of the time, but compressed (medium) charcoal was used to black in the darkest shadows.

As usual, I put too much emphasis on line – I can’t detach myself from line, it seems: I do the same with my paintings. Too much influence from an Ingres quote I saw when I was 13?

Draw lines, young man, many lines; from memory or from nature-it is in this way that you will become a good artist.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

and this too:

A thing well drawn is always adequately painted.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

So, anyway, the point was that charcoal is great for value drawings and that your kneaded eraser can be used to draw. Unfortunately my eraser was dirty as hell and couldn’t lift out much charcoal anyway (perhaps also because the paper ate the charcoal).

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The first drawing of the lot. I tried to start by drawing the contour of the entire form, and you can see where I went really off – the shape on the right, for example, was the original position for her foot and the cloth. I’m not very good at drawing the entire form in one go, because this deprives me of a unit of reference. I guess that’s why drawings get more accurate the longer you draw: you are more able to consider if the relationships between objects in your drawing match what you see.

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Drawing is about relationships, then.

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35 minutes, “cannot make it” – this was the last drawing of the session. I finished early, so kept reworking her back (overworking a bit, I think).

All the proportions of my figures were quite off in this session. I think I was somewhat thrown off course by the notion of not having lines, heh.

Note to self: I need to buy fixative!


Written by krysjez

March 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Acrylics & Figure Drawing #3

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My new (ish) set of Daler-Rowney System3 acrylics. I think I mentioned them before.

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First try. Pretty bad huh…the apple texturing is all right though. Just drybrushed a bit of red on. For my second try I even did a charcoal drawing to try to work out the values! Not that it was much use in the end though…I don’t know what happened to the painting. I either threw it away halfway or lost it. Though one thing that the painting did for me  was show how similar to oils acrylics can look. As some of my friends may know I am enamoured with oils, and this was one of the reasons why I decided to try making myself un-hate acrylics. I can’t say it’s been very successful though, but that’s also possibly due to the fact that I don’t paint very well.

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Figure drawing last week (nude models ahead):

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Written by krysjez

February 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Figure Drawing, Lessons 1 & 2

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Sorry for the delay: I thought I had posted this last week but turns out it was languishing inside Writer.

So somewhere around the end of last year I decided that I should really try to take some outside art classes. My first-ever art course: figure drawing for beginners.

The first lesson: contour drawing. Basically this involves drawing without lifting your pen/cil from the paper. There are two kinds that we tried, blind (no looking at the paper) and semi-blind (occasional glances at paper allowed).

fd1Blind. It’s brilliant, I know.


The one on the left is semi-blind, the one on the right obviously blind.

Our second lesson, held yesterday, was mostly focused on gesture drawing. Charcoal was the medium of choice, and I am glad to report that I am gradually getting less intimidated by the medium. I think of it as pencil, just blacker and a bit thicker, so no detail work for now.

More drawings under the jump (model is nude).

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Written by krysjez

February 14, 2010 at 10:00 pm

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Drawing from TV

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I read Glenn Fabry‘s book Muscles in Motion: Figure Drawing for the Comic Book Artist recently. The book is not really that great, but it introduces a fairly easy way of getting practice drawing subjects in poses that would normally be difficult to do from life. Fabry drew figures from videotapes (fitness tapes, bodybuilders…) to amass a vast personal library of poses and anatomy reference for his comic book work.

His basic methodology:

  1. Get a tape
  2. Stop at a suitable point (in exercise tapes this was virtually every exercise, really)
  3. Draw
  4. Forward a few frames
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until the tape spoils, buy new tape, go back to step 1

I haven’t got any fitness tapes handy, but I did have a few episodes of Mythbusters on my recorder.

I tried this with a Peking opera that was showing as well.

Obviously this isn’t going to increase my people-drawing skills (not the faces, anyway…) but I like to think of it as quick training exercises. But there are also times when I’m watching something (like The Life of Mammals the other day) and I think to myself “damn, I gotta draw that!”. But my sketchbook is in my room, and I really just want to watch the monkey catching and eating the flamingo. To counter this I am planning to leave the sketchbook on my coffee table, together with a 3B pencil.

Why 3B? For me at least 3B provides that nice balance in between rich tones and fine control. Then again, with these drawings, I suppose it’s more about capturing the gesture than absolute control that matters.

Written by krysjez

January 26, 2010 at 5:59 pm