Exercise 1: Basic Shapes
For this exercise I created a couple of sketches of a seated model from different angles. I decided to use some acrylic paint pens as I remembered this tool being rather flexible and quick to draw with.
My model was seated towards one side of the chair with a slight twist in her torso and a slump to both of her arms.
I decided to begin by drawing the basic shapes I could see within the outline of my model’s silhouette and then drew the detail in rather quickly. I tried to consider the centre of gravity to the model, resting down the central part of her face, towards her left hip and down through the weight-bearing left hip and leg to the floor. For the second sketch, I tried to create the central line as indicated by the book; around the ear area, down the side of the torso and down the weight-bearing leg.
I found the body was largely made up of several ovals (the arms and legs), triangles (elbow joints) and squares (torso).
I noted that the torso was slightly twisted, leading the model’s left shoulder, breast and then the arm to be raised, but the latter of which she left slack. This also caused the model’s right arm to drop slightly and that the model allowed this arm to also hang loosely draped over the chair’s frame. On the right-hand side, the model’s midriff was much shorter than that on the left, leading to weight distribution being much more crushed and gathered on the right compared to the more stretched-out flesh on the left-hand side.
Overall, I think the general shapes are rather consistent with that of the real model and are recognisable as being a human form. I am slightly disappointed, however, with the accuracy of the chair’s legs, specifically in the second piece. I did not spend half as much time on these as I should have due to an oversight on my behalf of not reading the exercise details properly, hence I decided to then use these as preparatory sketches for a much larger study of the same model in the same position. I also think I have created the head of the second model slightly too small to be believable for the size of the remaining frame.
Exercise 2: Essential Elements
Due to time constraints and the lack of willing models, I decided to search the internet for images of models I could use to create quick sketches of.
I created my first sketch in pencil but just did not think pencil worked well enough; I really like the contrast charcoal creates with the white of the paper.
Regardless, I was rather pleased with the outcome of all six of the pieces; I think the measurements are largely accurate, however, I do think I have a tendency to either elongate or shorten certain parts of the body unnecessarily. Due to the time constraints of this exercise, I am not all that fussed about this misjudgment here, but will bear it in mind when I come to creating pieces with a longer time-frame. I also think my work is much stronger in the charcoal than the pencil as the latter appears too cartoon-like to me and too controlled. The markings are too ‘permanent’ compared to those of the charcoal which can be manipulated somewhat to correct certain mistakes etc.
Questions from Textbook
Were you able to maintain a focus on proportion at the same time as creating a sense of weight and three-dimensional form?
As stated above, I think I managed to keep the general shape and structure believable, but when you look closer, it becomes apparent that I have elongated and shrunk certain areas of the body; mostly the torso and legs. I think I found the weight-bearing aspect of this exercise easier than the following exercise where I was specifically meant to be looking out for it. I think perhaps this is because the majority of the models in these sketches are in more dynamic poses where the weight is very obviously distributed, whereas in the next exercise, the model is stood almost like a statue, so the weight distribution is rather evenly spread between both legs, which makes it much more difficult to see clearly. Once again, I think I have been rather heavy-handed in the sketches, but think this is just my way in quick sketches as I just strive to ‘get it out’, whereas I will take further consideration of this in my final pieces for this section due to the length of time available to me for me.
Which drawing gives the best sense of the pose and why?
I think my third sketch is by far the best of the six as I think it to be the most believable; there is shadowing, the measurements are rather accurate, the pose is dynamic and interesting. I am, however, disappointed with the hand area as I feel this really lets the sketch down. I also rather like sketch five and I believe this is because I have grounded the model, added shadow, movement to the hair with the tilt of the head and lack of features on display. I also think I could have filled the space better in the sketches as they do not fully fill the page, hence are much smaller than they could be, which would also allow me to be more expressive.
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 pretty much all of the poses, there is a lot of movement away from the central axis, so I chose to bend the line with the figure, however, upon reflection, I think perhaps I should have also kept the vertical central axis in place so I could use it as a measurement guide and to ground my model to the spot he/she would have started from.
Exercise 3: Stance
I began this exercise by quickly walking around my model before beginning to be able to try to see the central axis line and weight distribution and bearing. I quickly found that my model changed her weight-bearing between studies, whilst the original pose did not change much at all. I found this exercise was rather eye-opening to the foreshortening which can occur when creating sketches of the same model from different angles.
Again, I was rather pleased with the general outcome of these sketches and the fact the scaling appears a little more accurate than previous sketches. I think, however, that certain areas are not as accurate as they could be, such as the model’s bottom. It was a little dark in the room and I could not really see the creases of her trousers clearly, so I had to do a little guess work here. I do think I may have struggled with the weight-bearing and portraying that as clearly and as accurately as I could have as I do not think it is clear in all of my sketches as to which foot and leg are actually bearing the weight of the rest of the body. I can also see from my sketches that I have changed the width of the model’s frame, legs and arms. This could indicate to the viewer that there were actually several different models, so I must look out for this and try to ensure continuity throughout any series of sketches of the same model, but also when drawing any model generally.
Exercise 4: Energy
I was rather nervous about this exercise as I was not sure whether I would be able to find someone again who was willing to assist. In the end, I settled on some images found on the internet and decided to drawn them.
My first sketch was my most successful I believe; the measurements were rather accurate, the weight distribution was rather convincing and the pose itself was rather dynamic and interesting. I do, however, think I could have created a little more accuracy with regard to the twist in the torso, the shape it took and the distribution of weight as a result. I also think I may have miscalculated the measurements of the model’s frame so will bear this in mind as I move forward.
Source images for ‘Exercise 2: Essential Elements’ sketches can be found by clicking here.
Source images for ‘Exercise 4: Energy’ sketches can be found by clicking here.