“Look for the line of gravity in a standing figure.” The exercise says to draw a series of quick poses lasting between two and five minutes. All of my drawings are four minute drawings.
At first I used pencils because I was cautious about drawing the figure. Those drawings are pale and tentative. Below are some studies in oil pastels on coloured pastel paper and then below that there are some studies in blue ink made with a brush on coloured cartridge paper.
The drawing above has a sense of movement and energy, like the figure is reaching for something. I ran out of page so I could not draw his whole arm in.
The above drawing has a lot of mistakes in it, but it was the final drawing I made in this exercise and I think it has a lot of mistakes because I relaxed and started drawing with real energy. Upon reflection this drawing has the most sense of energy of all the drawings in this exercise. In my opinion.
How well have you managed to capture the poses?
I think I have captured the poses successfully in these drawings. I think the time limit of these exercises really helped me, especially to draw the energy of a pose in the Energy exercise. I think the Stance exercise went well too.
What could be improved?
One of the main problems I found was that drawing quickly with a focus on energy and stance, some of my drawings are not accurately measured: legs too short or too long or too wide, etcetera. I think this is probably because they were my first drawings, and with practice I will be able to focus on proportion, energy and stance all at the same time.
Another thing which could be improved is to draw more of the figure, because some of my drawings have nearly only an outline. So I need to practice drawing, gain confidence then I might be able to do more in two or four or five minutes.
Also I was too cautious in the first few Energy drawings, which didn’t capture energy very well. I think drawing people as they are moving might help me get used to drawing with more urgency. The example in the course book is Marcel Vertes’ The Tango, which suggests that he was drawing the people while they were moving.
Do you think that your figures are balanced? If not where did you go wrong?
My figures are balanced. My drawings for the stance exercise are quite successful, apart from some of the figures being too wide or too short legged. I need to measure thoroughly before drawing.
The other issue I had was with foreshortening, on a pose with knees bent and facing me diagonally. The problem with this drawing is also that there is no background to give you a sense of what is happening. It was just a four minute drawing, and I think I got a fair sense of the pose drawn, but there is something not right about that drawing.
How did you go about conveying a sense of energy?
I made quick lines which sweep and curve naturally. That is what I have found most successful so far. I plan to look into other ways to convey energy in a drawing. Drawing a dynamic pose was an important factor in whether a drawing had a sense of energy. Unless you called stillness an energy.
I am really pleased with my kneeling man drawings, reaching up, resting elbow and hunching over, I think in these drawings I have really caught the poses.
I think that one of the most successful drawings from the Energy exercise is the woman with both hands on her head and one foot with the toes pointed. This was my fifth drawing for this exercise and I was less cautious (as you can see from all the mistakes). Despite the mistakes, this drawing has a lot of energy because I was more confident drawing the lines.