It is useful to think in basic shapes: squares, rectangles, ovals and circles.
Exercise: Essential shapes
Seat your model at a slight angle on a chair.
There are possibilities for foreshortening across the width of the chest in this pose and the one below. There is also foreshortening in the forearms, stomach and the widths of the legs.
Draw the model from different angles and positions.
The image below has possibilities of foreshortening in the shoulders.
The image below has foreshortening in the feet, the upper right leg and the lower right arm. This pose has more of a twist in it, the hips are at an angle to the shoulders.
I have revisited this exercise in response to my tutor’s feedback, suggesting I try other media and use coloured papers. Below are two studies of the same pose from different angles.
I think stick and ink worked really well in these drawings.
This pose has a lot of foreshortening in the upper legs and the feet because the man is sitting facing me. The drawing below is similar, but there is a lot less foreshortening.
Exercise – Essential elements
“This time you will draw a sequence of six different poses lasting ten minutes each.”
I decided to use conte crayons for this exercise, and I think they are really effective for emphasising the form, as well as for shading and blending.
They are more adaptable than pencils because you can make fine and broad lines and marks. Smudging them also became useful to demonstrate the curves of a form.
The above drawing is of the same pose as the drawing below, this was because I was not entirely happy with the former, because the legs were too low. I am pleased with both drawings for different reasons – I think they demonstrate a couple of the different ways to approach shading.
The drawings above and below are the ones with the largest and darkest shadows, they have excellent contrast and tonal range. Because of the time limit on the exercise these drawings were rapidly drawn, but I believe that they still convey a recognisable idea of the poses.
I made further studies for this exercise in stick and ink:
I am really pleased with this drawing (above) because the large areas of dark shadow really bring out the figure and make him more striking.
I liked working with a time limit on these drawings with stick and ink. Having only ten minutes makes you think quickly and go with your instincts and with the media it produces exciting drawings.
Were you able to maintain a focus on proportion at the same time as creating a sense of weight and three dimensional form?
I was, because I would draw out the basic shapes which you use to map out the fundamental forms; I used the head to measure proportions to scale. As I built up tone this created the sense of weight and form.
In some of my drawings I have found that the proportions are wrong, such as the legs being too short because the bottom is too low on the back. Or the figure is tall enough but not wide enough, or too wide. I think that the more I practise, the more I will improve.
Which drawing gives the best sense of the pose and why?
I think the sitting cross-legged drawing gives a good sense of the pose because the angle of the back and the legs give the impression of the bent over position. I also think this is because the shadows in this pose make it a slightly more striking than the standing poses which offer very few areas of shadow.
On the other hand I think my drawings of the standing poses give a good sense of the pose because the vertical lines accentuate the way the model reaches upward with her whole body.
I also think I like the stick and ink sitting down man who has a lot of hatching beneath his bench and feet and legs. It is very striking.
Was there any movement or gesture away from the model’s central axis? If so, did you manage to identify this and put it into your drawing?
In the sitting poses there are quite a lot of people leaning out of their central axis. I have identified it and drawn accordingly, without drawing the line into the image.
In most of the standing poses the models are leaning away from their central axis, but I didn’t draw the line into the pictures, because I only see it now that I have drawn them.