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Your Paper (continued)

Bone Top Foot Protruding
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This is a continuation of the drawing starting from page 250. The chair that the model is sitting on has been defined here. Some additional shading was added to the side plane of the thigh and to the center area of the lower back. The artist did not make this area too dark in tone, as there is still light on this area; however, the light is not as strong as the light on the upper back.

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Now you can see the development of the foot. The ankle-bone is defined by shading around the protruding bone itself. The artist has suggested the toes by using a few simple lines and accents. Notice that the light is hitting the heel strongly, and white pastel is used on top of the white paper (where the pastel was rubbed off) to emphasize this. Likewise, the shadow underneath the foot is quite dark because hardly any light is able to penetrate this area. The area formed by the arm on the leg is also shaded to show the shadow the arm is casting.

Note: If you find that erasing the pastel does not give you a white enough white for a highlight, you can use white pastel instead.

This is the completed drawing. The artist further defined the foot by showing the toes as slightly bent. The hair was developed by adding more dark accents and lines. Overall, the artist has added more white pastel to the light areas and further developed the top half of the back. This was done by adding a very light tone with charcoal. However, note that this area of the back is well lit. Any addition of charcoal here must be applied very lightly, as you do not want to destroy the illusion of light. Notice how the further addition of white pastel emphasizes the rib cage and hip area.

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Back Study, by Dean Fisher

The next few pages contain some figure drawings by various artists, which show some different approaches to drawing the human figure. Always look at as many drawings by different artists as you can. This will help you to solve technical drawing problems, and identify and define your own aesthetic.

This is a partial image of a toned figure drawing by Jacob Collins. It shows a mastery of technical skill. The figure is evenly lit. The only shadows occur on those planes of the body that do not receive any light, such as under the chin and jaw, the bottom of the nose, the eyes as they lie underneath the brow bone, and the underside of the raised arm. Collins has drawn this figure, in terms of blocks, just as in the Poussin image (see page 230). He has developed his blocks by subtly modeling the areas in the light. Notice that the highlights are limited to the side of the face, the forehead, chest, and upper torso of this drawing.

Jacob Collins Figure Art
Nikoma, detail, by Jacob Collins, courtesy of the artist

This drawing has a very solid sculptural quality, which is the result of the very definite pattern of light and shadow. The sensitive rendering of the half tones between the light and shadow plays an important role in creating a feeling of roundness in the various forms of the figure. This is especially noticeable in the head of the model, where there is a very gradual transition from shadow to highlight. Another effective device that enhances the three-dimensionality of the head is the manner with which Aristides allowed the shadow side to be "lost" in the cast shadow adjacent to it, which makes the form turn away from the viewer. The final result of this skillful rendering is a figure that has a great sense of weight and appears to be firmly resting on the surface on which it is lying.

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Sutherland 3 Resting, by Juliette Aristides, courtesy of the artist

This figure drawing by William Bailey shows a very gentle approach to describing the form of the model. The tones that he uses are close in value, and the model is lit by an even light. Notice how he uses his tones on the right side of the figure, as we look at it, to delineate the side of the figure and differentiate it from the front of the figure. Bailey continued using this tone on the right side of the neck and the side of the head. Look carefully at the features of the face. They are very subtle and beautifully drawn. The model's direct gaze draws the viewer gently into her world.

William Bailey Artist
Figure Study, by William Bailey, courtesy of the artist and Roger Van Damme

In this drawing, the artist used graphite on top of a toned sheet of paper. The tone was made with two different colored pastels—green and ochre. The highlights are represented by erasing the pastel to reveal the white of the paper underneath. The back is lit evenly, and the shadows are very soft. To suggest the shadow, the artist used a graphite pencil to lightly shade over the pastel, which served as a mid-tone. The line was kept somewhat light, as the artist wanted to achieve an airy quality through the line but a more solid and statuesque quality through the use of the tone.

How Draw Drawings Jackie Robinson

Standing Figure, by J. S. Robinson

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This crouching figure began with a model and was completed using a photograph. This was due to the fact that the model could not hold the pose for an extended length of time. As stated earlier, it isn't a good idea for a beginner to work from a photograph. When you feel that your knowledge of the human figure is improving, then by all means, use a photograph. However, do not stop working with live models, because practice is very important. Here the artist used light tones throughout the drawing to gently model the form. There is a repetition of curves in the drawing; the curve of the back is echoed in the curve of the thigh, in the curve of the calf, and in the curve of the underside of the leg. These curves are reminiscent of a fan unfolding, and act as a compositional device to impart to the viewer a sense that the figure is about to move or, as a fan would, unfold.

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Crouching Figure, by Dean Fisher

In this quick sketch, the artist's main intent was to capture the expression of this older woman, which is similar to the expression of her small dog. This similarity obviously caught the artist's attention, and so he focused on her face and only very simply suggested her clothing. The dog was treated in the same way; the dog's expression was developed, but the body was drawn very economically. This sketch has captured an expression forever!

Take Your Sketch Book with You

You can practice your drawing skills on trains, at airports, or whenever you are sitting around and waiting. Learning to draw quickly will sharpen your skills and force you to simplify what you are seeing in front of you.

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