Life Drawing

The contrast of strong lights and darks gives this drawing atmosphere.

Two hour pose

With more time to study his personal character, the artist has explored the mood of this man and generated a strong atmosphere of brooding contemplation. The wide range of tonal values drawn in charcoal gives the figure solidity, while the weight of his body pulls downwards to give a forceful sense of gravity.

Four hour pose

Subtle blending and a powerful perspective give this drawing a sensuous yet controlled feeling. The artist has taken his time modelling the figure, picking out the highlights with care so that the final impression is of a woman bathed in suffused sunlight. The treatment of the bed and the highlights that have been produced with an eraser add to the softness of the scene.

body. Look also for the way the model sits or stands and affects the distribution of weight through the body, using a plumb line if necessary to determine the balance of the figure in relation to a true vertical line. With any short pose it is important to develop the drawing only as far as the time will allow and not to over-emphasize any individual characteristics.

Taking thirty minutes to an hour to draw a figure will give you the chance to develop more intricate aspects of character and study the form of the body in some detail. Work up a series of tones with solid shading or cross-hatching and hatching to give the body a sense of depth and volume.

With poses of two hours or more, a different process evolves. The proportions of the body are more significant so use the size of the head as a basic unit of measurement. The body should be approximately seven and a half times larger than the head. Think also about the light source: enhanced or distorted effects created by the light as it shines from different angles can create a fascinating study. Look for the patterns made by shadows across the body, how some areas of the body are plunged into obscurity while other muscles or features are accentuated by an intense bright light. Describing the surroundings at this stage will help to put the figure within a more realistic context.

The contrast of strong lights and darks gives this drawing atmosphere.

hour pose

Here the light hitting the back of the body illuminates some of the many planes and facets of the human figure. Such dips and curves caused by muscles and bones beneath the skin are important to depict as they give substance to the study. Although the shading is roughly executed, the effect gives a rugged realism.


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