In a similar way to drawing trees and drawing figures, statues are great for honing your drawing skills and they don’t (usually) move!
For this exercise look for statues outside, in streets, parks, cemeteries, town squares, etc. Statue drawings can become a source of inspiration for further pieces as well as being completed drawings in their own right.
Decide what interests you about the particular statue. You could focus on silhouette, tone and negative shapes. Alternatively you could look at the textures created by erosion and lichens. Look at the play of light on the statue created by the other objects nearby or draw the statue in context – what’s beside, behind or in front.
Look up at large statues and draw exactly what you see; look down on small statues and again draw exactly what you see – not what you think you see. The statue in this student image is drawn from the side and the artist must have been standing on something fairly high to achieve this parallel viewpoint; if not, the figure would have been drawn differently, the upper body smaller than the lower body depending on the angle of the direction and angle of the artist’s gaze. Think about this and consider how you can make your drawings more interesting by adjusting your viewpoint. You’ll think more about perspective and foreshortening in Part Four.
Flora MacDonald’s statue in front of Inverness Castle in 2B pencil. The only part that’s not pleasing is her face – she looks beardy! I must correct this look – it does her no favours!
Anyway, it is a reasonably accurate rendition with the lines and angles otherwise.
The Cameron Monument in Station Square, Inverness in 2B pencil. I couldn’t resist the odd juxtaposition of the ‘Taxi Rank’ sign sitting right next to the monument.
Falcon Square, Inverness – a relatively recent addition to the streetscape as a gathering place in front of the Eastgate shopping centre. This statue is by local artist Gerald Laing (deceased) and is a striking 37ft high sandstone pillar topped with a Unicorn (rampant) and circled by a number of peregrine falcons attached to the pillar.
The top two sketches are of a statue within the food hall of the Eastgate Centre. This is a statue created by local artist Leonie Gibbs and is of a falconer with falcon. The first sketch is from the floor above looking down onto the back of the statue, while the second sketch on the right is from a standing position at ground floor level.
The bottom sketch is a different take on what might constitute public art (albeit transient). Inverness Port Authority land is currently being used to store/host the huge blades intended for future transport to some new wind farm development in the Scottish Highlands (of which there are already many in existence).
When I saw this bank of blades I was struck by the geometric precision of their construction, lying silent and inert awaiting their true purpose to materialise.
Stuart Brownlee – 512319
24 October 2015