1. Standing, not drawn from a live model.

A2, Charcoal. I spent just over three hours on this piece, I’ve been missing spending a long time on a drawing during this unit so it felt like a nice indulgence.

This is the first time I’ve ever used a grid to map out a subject and I found it very helpful. I’m actually not sure this doesn’t defeat the object of this exercise by removing the need to imagine the skeletal structure. I chose this picture as a subject (posespace.com) because of the way the strong light source accentuates the musculature. This is something I don’t get the opportunity to capture at Life Drawing sessions.

I’m very pleased with the outcome of this drawing. The strong light source and consequent dark shadows help immensely in creating an impression of volume and weight.

I had this upright on an easel. The tiny crumbs of charcoal left faint trails as they rolled down the paper, creating an interesting effect which I’m really taken by.

2. Seated

This drawing was only a 15 minute piece, but I consider it ‘finished’. I used very fine willow charcoal on A2 rough paper.

I’m very happy with all the proportions, and with the foreshortening of the left arm and leg. The left hip was slightly raised as the model’s weight was on her right leg, tucked under the left. Since she was leaning to the right against the table, and looking downwards, this dropped her left shoulder slightly and curved her spine in a backwards ‘C’ from this viewpoint.

I tried to adopt a style of suggestion rather than aim for realism, given the short timescale and a desire to add some of the model’s surroundings, and I think that has been largely successful. In retrospect I would have liked to improve the fingers, and the shadow beneath the buttock and thigh needs some refining and some extension to the folds of fabric and right ankle below.

3. Lounging

A2 Charcoal on fine grain heavyweight paper. I used the method of imagining the skeleton to help achieve the correct proportions with the legs. The model was posed with her upper torso as the highest point, with arched back, hence the wide position of the arm, the protrusion of the bottom of the rib cage, and the face not being visible except for the nose. The foreshortening of the arm is better than most of my attempts, and the hand, wrist and fingers are believable (as opposed to only suggested in most of my studies). Overall I am happy with the proportions. I’m generally pleased with the tones, which effectively portray the planes of the body and limbs, although the area under the right knee is too dark. The angle of the top edge of the right thigh is not correct and should curve down slightly as it disappears behind the left shin.

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