Gallery Of Figures

Diana Armfield, RA, Studying the Menu at Fortnum's, London,

44x 27cm (17'Ax 10'A in) In this pastel drawing the artist has cleverly arranged her composition so that the focus of attention is actually on the group of figures in the middle distance, in spite of the spacious foreground. The lack of finished detail in the foreground helps to lead the eye straight to the tables of seated customers, who appear more dominant than they really are. Although these figures are relatively small, their movements have been thoughtfully described and there is even a suggestion of their characters. Most importantly, they appear very much part of their environment, giving the work a strong sense of unity.

Norman Blarney, RA,

This work is a study for a mural and the drawing has been squared up ready to be transferred on to a wall. The most noticeable aspect of this study is the high viewpoint the artist has chosen. The rapid descent towards the foot, and the arms that appear too long for the body, are caused by an acute foreshortening of the whole figure. Again, Blarney has assiduously explored and studied his figure to create a profoundly fascinating drawing.

The mathematical workings left on the drawing show how precisely the artist has worked and how important scale and proportion are to the sense of the drawing.

This arm has been beautifully drawn so that it is both anatomically correct and full of vital expression.

This arm has been beautifully drawn so that it is both anatomically correct and full of vital expression.

Movements & Gestures

Study animals such as lions and tigers and notice how they move.

Dancers, with their ability to move gracefully and powerfully, make fascinating subjects.

Once you have gained confidence drawing people sitting still for you in a controlled environment, try drawing a scene full of movement and vitality. This type of subject matter requires a different approach as you need to be able to memorize a certain amount of information every time you look away from the scene, since it will change constantly.

This process depends upon assessing a fluctuating image and distilling it before you begin to draw. Dancers or animals are good subjects to begin with as they often repeat movements or gestures, but try to adopt a loose style so that you can capture the essence of an image quickly. Working in this way, your drawings should have a freshness and immediacy that is difficult to achieve in a regulated situation.

Suggesting movement

The speed at which you need to draw a moving image means that you have to be adept at suggesting information and giving clues with the minimum of linear marks and shading. The best media to use for such fast work are those that enable you to cover the paper swiftly, such as watercolour or pastels.

Study animals such as lions and tigers and notice how they move.

As this scene is full of movement and fleeting impressions, use your imagination to select interesting colours. Note any areas illuminated by the light with a bright orange-yellow pastel and loosely block in the background with deep, rich blues and purples.

3< To give a more impressionistic, hazy feel to the background, merge the blue and purple pastels by smudging the colours together gently around each figure with your fingers. Be sure to wash your hands after to avoid soiling the drawing.

Dancers, with their ability to move gracefully and powerfully, make fascinating subjects.

It Choose a richly toned blue Ingres paper and capture this atmospheric evening scene on a balcony as quickly as possible with charcoal, reworking any lines swiftly and repeatedly until you are happy with the positioning of the figures.

Aircraft Design Drawing Basics

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