When drawing the human form, the simple understanding of the geometric shapes and the overall tones are far more important than the details. Without this care in the main shapes and colours, the details won't work to your advantage. So, take immense care with the large, main shapes and colours of the body, and then the details will really take off.

The man is seated, facing the source of light and since he is drawn in coloured pencil, there is no great contrast between the very darkest tone and the very lightest. Note how the shadowed area is mostly in cool blue tones and a warm yellow has been used in the areas where the light is falling on the figure. The numbered patches show the colours used.

For maximum contrast on the black background, I have used pastels. Note the use of warm and cool colours for the light and dark areas; and to add a touch more warmth to the picture I've put in a rich reddy-purple to prevent the blue from becoming too dominant. When working like this you should do the initial drawing in a single colour first, to establish the overall shape of the figure.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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