Detail is key in bringing life to representational drawings of the human form. In this charcoal drawing, note the way the artist has paid attention to small undulations and irregularities in the surface, and has suggested muscle groups through subtle tone.

Hands are expressive and may indicate aspects of character and narrative. Study and sketch the hand at rest and in tension to hone your skills.

The foot is commonly foreshortened in a drawing and requires accurate observation. Bones, tendons, and veins are very evident, adding further complexity to the form.

The drama of the body

When you become confident in observing and drafting the human form, you can move into new creative territories, where the figure becomes a player within a visual narrative. Working on pose and gaze humanizes a model, inviting us to engage with their lives and their thoughts beyond the image. Posture and color can suggest movement, emotion, and intention, placing us firmly within the subject's world.

narrative andthe human form

To construct a drawing with a strong sense of narrative, you need to think like a writer. Make notes and sketches relating to characters from your own life, or allow yourself to be inspired by a passage in a novel or a scene from a play. Study theater and movie sets and the gestures and expressions of actors; use color and texture to create atmosphere and contextualize your ideas.

Movement is present in this narrative drawing of a circus juggler. Using charcoal and an eraser in a gestural and energetic manner evokes the frantic energy of the subject.

The drama of the body | 81

Was this article helpful?

0 0
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.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment