Drawing 1, Part 4: Exercise 1


Quick Studies and Basic Shapes

Today it was a pleasure to draw a friend, Hannah, who is a yoga instructor.

I was very limited for space in my flat, even after having moved furniture, so it was a tight squeeze. The lighting was very poor, so I used a ring LED light, which helped illuminate the model.

I did the 5 preliminary 2 minute sketches, but I would call them ‘quick’ sketches as I went over the 2 minutes for some of them.

Here are the 5 short sketches:

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2 minute sketch – black pastel pencil
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3 minute sketch – biro pen and pastel pencils
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2 minute sketch – Conte stick
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2 minute sketch – fineliner pen
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3 minute sketch – fineliner

I enjoy doing these short sketches, as I feel they really flow, and I can be expressive. The proportions when drawing in 3 dimensions are much more evident than when working from a zoom video. I am not wonderful at proportions, but am improving. Like anything, it takes time and practice.

I did two slightly longer sketches. The first was about 5 minutes…

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5 minute sketch – Conte Pierre Noire pencil

For the 5 minute sketch above, I tried to be more careful about the proportions, and I think, although simplified, they are more accurate than the other drawings. I always find arms very difficult, and really need to get my anatomy for artists book out and study it carefully! The model was wearing a thong, which is what the black line around the top of her buttocks is. I enjoyed using the Pierre Noire pencil. it is quite soft though, compared to the harsher lines of a charcoal pencil.

Here is the 10 minute sketch:

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10 minute sketch – Pierre Noire pencil and pastel pencil

I enjoyed drawing this, and my model thinks it makes her look very powerful. The lines are loose and fluid, and the proportions are reasonable, though not perfect. I think in lines when drawing, fluid lines, and my lines show the process of my thinking, almost, as my hand wanders around the image. I got the midline of her back wrong (her spine); it should have been more to the left. I think the coloured accents make the drawing more alive and interesting.

Finally, the 1 hour pose. I don’t think I was successful with this at all. I decided to use charcoal and white pastel. The result is quite a mess, to be honest. Heavy and dark, and overworked.

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1 hours pose – charcoal and white chalk (and pastel pencil)

The torso is not in proportion to the lower body and limbs. I think the posture is there, just not the proportions. I tried to use chalk to highlight areas, but the charcoal is much too dark. The image to me looks quite monstrous. Not my best work!!!

I used line for these drawings, as that is how I instinctively work. I realise I have not addressed tone or shade, but this was intentional. It is probably something I need to address. I know I can do it, but it just doesn’t flow for me. Line is so fluid and expressive.

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