Movements

44 Build up the form of each seated figure with a series of dark tones, using charcoal to redefine any outlines against the dark background. Try to capture the position or stance of the five diners - whether they are resting their elbows on the table, or leaning on the armrest of their chair - rather than attempting to discern facial expressions and small details.

5*. As these figures all face one another around a table, they should be linked by a focal point to give the composition some unity. The bright, magnetic light of the candles in the middle of the table provides this focus, so use a pale, bright pastel colour to delineate the flickering flames.

Selection of pastel colours

64 Once you have drawn in the main source of light, use a combination of light green, warm red, and deep yellow to pick out the soft highlights on each figure with loosely hatched marks.

Soft highlights "i =

Evening Meal on a Balcony

This night scene is full of fleeting impressions and suggested movement. Only the essential facts have been recorded with a series of gestural lines based upon a few glances and a good visual memory. The lack of attention to detail gives this impressionistic study a shifting rhythm end strong sense of mass.

Standing figure

Figures should relate to their surroundings, so this image should be scaled to an appropriate size to look realistic within the interior.

Seated girl at a window

In this pen and wash study the light hits the girl from the same direction as it does the standing figure. This creates a ready association between the two.

Analysing the subject

In the charcoal work above, the artist John Ward has studied the anatomy of this figure intently so that he can describe her perfectly in "Zandra Rhodes Dress" (right).

Standing figure

Figures should relate to their surroundings, so this image should be scaled to an appropriate size to look realistic within the interior.

Interior study

The essential details of this scene and the light streaming through t -v,;itiowjprovide a good ill!

Drawing for Painting

Seated girl at a window

In this pen and wash study the light hits the girl from the same direction as it does the standing figure. This creates a ready association between the two.

Historically, the majority of artists' drawings were used solely as studies for later paintings. They were a means to an end rather than an end in themselves. Although drawing now has a much higher status and is accepted as an art form in its own right, drawings are still often used as preparatory studies for other works. A drawing, or a series of drawings, can help you familiarize yourself with your subject matter, investigating, for example, the play of light and assimilating all the information so that you have a precise visual reference as you paint. You can also combine several preparatory drawings into one painting by tracing each individual study and linking them in a strong composition.

Collating information

Making preparatory drawings for a painting is a good method of testing imaginative ideas visually on paper before you commit yourself to canvas. The images below are a mixture of sketches and detailed drawings that were drawn at different times. By scaling the figures down and trying them out in different areas of the room setting, you can establish where they work best to create the most harmonious relationship. If you include several separate drawings in one composition, you can prevent them looking superimposed by making subtle tonal adjustments as you paint.

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