Drawing figures – structure

We looked at the skeleton again and talked about problems while working on longer sketches.
How to make sure we get the whole figure to fit, get proportions correctly.
The best way would be to ‘Layer’ I.e make a quick sketch with very light markings. Check if everything is correct. Erase to make it lighter, draw over again with more detail and happy with all the parts, make a final drawing with darker lines.

We started off with 3 minute poses, but on the second one the model was not too well and took a break. We got to draw Boris the skeleton. It’s was actually a good thing to draw him sitting, I could understand how the bones would look like at that position.



We then did a 3 min pose, followed by 20 minutes and 40 minutes.



I struggled with the neck area due to a double chin with was in a shadow. I also got the head slightly too much on the right. I ended up erasing it completely and starting again.



Drawing figures

As the sequence of lessons in my life drawing course don’t follow the exercises, I will post my lessons as I attend them and make notes so I don’t forget.
This one is the first lesson of the sequence of 12 and finally I was hoping to get some idea on proportion etc. however, we didn’t. We started of with a quick 3 minute sketch of the student next to us. I did mine in charcoal on A3 paper.

Jessica, then did my sketch, which she kept.

After some demonstrations and talk about figure drawing, we did some ‘blind’ sketches of the skull. It’s interesting to note how big the cranium is, while drawing the head, we concentrate on the face and tend to make the back of the head too small.



We drew a peacock feather while observing the shapes in between each lines and the tone.


Next was a tonal study of a bust. We were just blocking in the shadows.


Then another quick portrait of a regular student called Heather. I struggled with the mouth.
We still had not been given any guidance on proportions…


Drawing figures – feet

This lesson was about feet, how to simplify them- but I still find them very difficult. One student said her toes end up looking like pickled onions!
This is the last of the 12 lessons, so I my next lesson will be the beginning of how to draw figures. Enjoying it so far as its a very friendly group and makes such a big change from working alone. We can instantly look at each others work and comment.


We then did some sketches of the full figure. I tried to draw in the feet but really struggled, they looked anything but feet.




These are in 4B and 5B pencil on my A3 sketch book.

Drawing figures – foreshortening

The next class was on foreshortening. We started of with 1 minute ‘blind’ drawings. This was fun looking at what the drawing looked like after drawing it without looking at the paper.
It’s a good way to warm up.




Then a few 3 minute sketches of some dynamic poses. I tried not to think of proportions but just draw what I saw.






Then we had two 5 minute poses.


Then a fifteen minute of extreme foreshortening. Nothing appears as you would expect. The shoulders are hunched up, the left leg was just a tiny triangle.. I draw whatever shapes I could see.
I chose the head to measure rest of the parts of the body.


Drawing figures – hands

Life drawing
I turned up at my first life class not really knowing what to expect, but ready to try it out. The tutor is very friendly and other ‘students’ some experienced and some less so I felt at ease. I started off in the middle of a 12 lesson course, so instead of beginning with some information on figure drawing I started off with drawing hands.
After a demonstration, we had to draw hands from a live model. The model was very relaxed and knew exactly how to pose so her hands make lovely gestures. Everyone got busy, I grabbed some paper and charcoal and started off!
These are all on A3 paper with compressed charcoal.

The first photo is an explanation on how to divide and simplify hands, knuckles, wrist, and the fingers. When the tutor said its easy to draw six fingers, we laughed, but during the lesson, a lady actually ended up putting six figures, as one of them was bent and she forgot to count it.



These drawings are of a gloved hand, to show the shape of the hand.




The model was holding a fan made with black feathers.
After drawing hands, I felt I was thrown in the deep end…we had to draw the full figure.
Five minute poses…


Then a ten minute pose. I know I was getting proportions wrong, but I was happy that at least the drawing looks like a human figure, nervous as I was…the charcoal did not allow me to draw details hands, so I switched to pencil and made small drawings of the hands …