Descriptive Contours

Descriptive lines are those whose only goal and function is to describe the profile of forms and their volumes.These lines are responsible for the stylization of the forms that we have previously discovered, and they reflect the artist's personal vision and stylistic essence. Descriptive contour develops an authentic creation and organization of anatomical form.

When drawing modulated lines, not just any stroke will do. The five lines below left represent the most common strokes used by novice artists—they are broken and hesitant. The four on the right are the kinds of lines amateur artists should strive for: firm, but varied in their intensity and thickness.

Continuous Line Drawing Artists

Descriptive contour is expressed by a continuous line stroke and has a purely compositional finality. It functions as a geometric sketch describing the profile of the figure without regard for its volume and modeling.

Descriptive contour is expressed by a continuous line stroke and has a purely compositional finality. It functions as a geometric sketch describing the profile of the figure without regard for its volume and modeling.

Modulated strokes affect the depth of the lines. Their thickness varies depending on whether the area being drawn is in light or shadow.

Modulated strokes affect the depth of the lines. Their thickness varies depending on whether the area being drawn is in light or shadow.

Light And Shadow Figure Drawing Body Function Trace For Drawing

Once you have enough practice with different, kinds of strokes, you will be able to modulate the line easily as you draw, Modulating the trace means varying the pressure and thickness of the line according to the needs of the drawing, in order to describe the volume of the figure and its most significant tonal changes.

Once you have enough practice with different, kinds of strokes, you will be able to modulate the line easily as you draw, Modulating the trace means varying the pressure and thickness of the line according to the needs of the drawing, in order to describe the volume of the figure and its most significant tonal changes.

Contour Intensity

If a line is the same consistency throughout, it encloses the nude too coarsely, and fails to express the nuances of light and shadow. A drawing rendered in soft lines should alternate thick lines with finer ones. Fine lines suggest a lighted area, while thick lines are perceived as describing shaded parts.You can emphasize a line by retracing it to give an illusion of depth or create shadows. If the thickness of the line is modulated and the tracing is agile, the line will have sufficient visual appeal that it will only require a few summary additions in its hatching.

Jf e and Synthesis

Drawing in soft lines is in large part a synthetic exercise in selecting contours. Linear synthesis plays an important practical role when drawing the human figure because it allows us to quickly render a figure in a spontaneous attitude at any time or place. A synthetic figure or scene contains all the necessary information for the viewer to recognize the figure's different actions and gestures, capturing the grace of its motion.

A fine trace is always associated with the presence of light on the figure; it comes as no surprise, then, that a fine line was used to render the left-hand profile of the figure below. A thick line represents a greater presence of shadow and, thus, marks a much more definitive trace, drawn with a generous stroke.

Shadow Human Body
For a better understanding of the preceding cases, consider this sketch of the same figure, in which lighted and shaded areas are clearly differentiated by a tenuous gray hatching.
Seated Ami Reclining

An effective way of mastering the soft line is to draw the silhouette of a figure without taking into a count its solidity or any other internal projection. Follow the outer edge, ignoring what goes on inside. The objective of the contour drawing is to achieve an exact correspondence between the what the eye sees as it follows the edges of a form and the line the hand draws to represent it.

Shading

If a figure is lighted powerfully, it can be sketched with spots of color, with hardly any lines at all.The drawing should be a synthesis of light and shadow, of lighted areas which we leave blank on the page and the shadows that we stain using charcoal or a piece of chalk laid flat. This process omits the details altogether, but includes the spectrum of middle grays. The limits of the shadows are also as good a reference as the lines of a box-sketch, particularly in models that have a well-defmed outline whose contour presents a clear contrast with the background.

A few spots are sufficient for suggesting the human anatomy. If we want to shade quickly we can use the classic gray hatching, which consists of stretches of parallel marks. Notice how the lighted areas are left blank, with barely any lines or marks.

Figure Drawing Light And ShadeAnatomical Figure Pose For Baggers
When the figure has sharp contrasts in light, it can be sketched with spots instead of lines. In each of these three cases the spots work to shape the appearance and pose of the figure.
Classic Human DrawingDrawing Structural Human Figure

3. Finally, we can add a few strokes detailing the structure and profile of the figure. The line strokes combined with the spots give the drawing greater consistency and solidity. These strokes were made with a pencil the same color as the spots.

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Easy Step-By-Step Lessons How Would You Like To Teach Yourself Some Of The Powerful Basic Techniques Of Pencil Drawing With Our Step-by-Step Tutorial. Learn the ABC of Pencil Drawing From the Experts.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment