Part 4: Project 3: Exercise 1 – Basic shapes

Brief

Arrange your model at a slight angle in a chair. Establish that they will be comfortable to sit in this pose for an hour or so (with breaks). Before you begin your drawing consider the angle of the central axis that runs through the seated figure. Notice any twists or bends.

Block in the basic shapes. Look carefully at which planes of the body are receding and which planes or lines are parallel to the edge of your picture plane. This will help you establish the bulk of the drawn figure in relation to the space around it.

Identify a measured unit that will help with the scale and proportions of the figure. Draw the model from different angles and positions. Remember to look and measure with each pose.

Identify the possibility of foreshortening and make written notes. Is there more than one line of movement? The torso may have a slight twist to it.

Sketches

For some inspiration and a better understanding of the exercise, I looked at Dan Gheno’s “Figure drawing master class” [Gheno, D. (2015) Figure drawing master class: lessons in life drawing. [pdf] Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books.] and noted the following pointers:

● Check the light source direction(s) [Figure drawing, p.10]
● Quality lines [Figure drawing, p.13]
● Identify the big planes of the human form [Figure drawing, p.14]
● Where is the ‘third line’ between light and dark [Figure drawing, p.15]
● Create a gesture drawing [Figure drawing, p. 18]
● Look for angles [Figure drawing, p.19]
● Sketch the interior lines within the body forms [Figure drawing, p.20]
● Identify shapes of the body – cylinders, ovals, boxes [Figure drawing, p.20]
● Check measurements [Figure drawing, p. 21]

Part 4 Project 3 Exercise 1 'Basic shapes' - sketch 1
Part 4 Project 3 Exercise 1 ‘Basic shapes’ – sketch 1

My first attempt at this sketch saw my eye – well, deceiving my eye – and I drew the table/chair too large, which resulted in the torso being scrunched. So I decided to try again.

The re-drawn sketch is a much more focused attempt, with better angles around the central axis and a much lighter touch of mark making.

Both sketches drawn with 3H & 3B pencil, and smudging by finger.

Part 4 Project 3 Exercise 1 'Basic shapes' - sketch 2
Part 4 Project 3 Exercise 1 ‘Basic shapes’ – sketch 2

Changed angle for model and this time sketched with 5H and watercolour pencil and waterbrush to add colour, with shading. Foreshortened leg.

Part 4 Project 3 Exercise 1 'Basic shapes' - sketch 3
Part 4 Project 3 Exercise 1 ‘Basic shapes’ – sketch 3

A solid back view sketched in ink – simple, unfussy and capturing the clear lines of form.

Part 4 Project 3 Exercise 1 'Basic shapes' - sketch 4
Part 4 Project 3 Exercise 1 ‘Basic shapes’ – sketch 4

Side-on view sketched in charcoal stick, with shading by finger and showing lines of body flow.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
7 December 2015