Friday, February 12, 2010


Met with my life drawing group yesterday. I think life drawing for an artist is like going to the gym for an athlete.  Got to keep those drawing skills toned up and keep trying to improve.  The human form is the most demanding thing to draw.  If there's the slightest thing wrong, people notice.
I've been through a lot of drawing books and they often have somewhat different approaches to figure drawing.  You just have to find one that works for you.  Here's what I do:

I start with a gesture drawing like these four to organize the figure on the paper and capture the flow and energy of the pose.

Then I work over them to create simple forms and try to get the proportions and alignment right.  I look for the tilt of the hips and shoulders, the alignment of knees and elbows, etc.

I put in basic shadow shapes at this point to unify the figure in space and give the forms volume. Using the side of a crayon or pastel works well for this.

Finally, it's just a matter of refining the details and double checking everything.  I step away a lot, blur my eyes, and view the drawing in a mirror.

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