I am looking at Egon Schiele partly because my tutor has previously recommended I look at his work, and partly because I am currently working on life drawing exercises and I think Schiele is an interesting artist.
He uses lines and texture. His figures appear elongated.
The drawing below is balanced with some tone. The curve of the back looks accurate. I think the neck is slightly too long. The overall drawing is really striking. The angles of the figure are well observed. It is valuable to examine these drawings at this time, because I see the things I am trying to reproduce; I see the figures translated into line.
Egon Schiele is very good at capturing the stance of a person, the pose of them. The Standing Male Nude Back is another good example of stance; the weight is positioned impeccably. The way he uses tone in the drawing is effective also.
The Seated Woman is a simplistic line study; with smooth fine lines and constructive use of colour. Schiele uses colour to add smudges of tone as well as to block in areas such as the stockings and the red space behind the model (the latter is advantageous as it creates a negative space effect). The hair is also coloured, Schiele uses colour to create depth and texture. I notice that one of the arm lines is visible through the hair, perhaps because it is translucent.
Schiele’s limited palettes make the drawings strong and the features distinctive. His use of multiple outlines give a sense of movement. The drawing below in pencil is clearer than the busy drawing above. He uses short and long and sinuous lines, undulating lines, curving lines and zigzag lines.
Kneeling nude in Coloured Dress figure has a white outline which makes it stand out. The brush marks of colour observe the folds of the fabric well, which is worth making a note of.
Above – Grimacing Self portrait is an effective way of using linear tone to draw form. This drawing is more three-dimensional than many of the others. This is a not so pleasant drawing, but that is just an emotional response to the expression on his face.
I like his drawings because they capture the character of the figures. I also think they are interesting because the figures look like dolls somehow. I don’t know why I think that. Something about the way they hold themselves, a little like puppets on strings.
Here are a further selection of his drawings. I think it is useful to look at his drawings for insight into ways of drawing figures.
Below are some examples of Schiele’s drawings of the clothed figure, which are helpful to observe.
The portrait of Edith in a striped dress is an interesting choice because it accentuates the folds and ripples of the skirt. The colours in this drawing are very striking.
They are a contrast to the drawing below which has very little colour, as he uses simple lines to observe the clothing. He uses a zigzag line to draw the fringes on her blouse, and curved lines for the gentle folds of her sleeves and collar.
In the drawing below the model is again wearing a vertically striped dress. You can see how he has drawn each stripe, and the lines of the folds of the skirt of the dress. This is coupled with the drawing of the cardigan which is not patterned, but you can see the brush strokes drawing out the lines of it, as well as some darker tones and curved hatching to create shadows.