Project Two – Exercise 1: Quick Studies

For this exercise at home warmed up with a few ad hoc poses at our home in my A4 sketchbook. I applied broad and bold marks either in pencil or charcoal to find the shapes in space. I found that working in masses rather than lines only was easier to find the form. With a few more marks I added of a believable environment.

Pose #1:

Stefan513593 - project 2 - exercise 1 - pose#1 - 2min

Stefan513593 – project 2 – exercise 1 – pose#1 – 2min

Pose #2:

Stefan513593 - project 2 - exercise 1 - pose#2 - 2min

Stefan513593 – project 2 – exercise 1 – pose#2 – 2min

As the next step I decided to find a relaxing and comfortable pose outside on our patio. Following the instructions I did five 2min sketches in charcoal. I used a Nitram® stick that has a non-brittle texture and giving more a mid tone value. I positioned myself at various viewpoints (side, upwards and downwards looking) that gave some challenges on foreshortening, especially sketch #5. Actually I found this one most interesting view.

Pose #3:

Stefan513593 - project 2 - exercise 1 - pose#3 - 2min

Stefan513593 – project 2 – exercise 1 – pose#3 – 2min

Warmed up and enjoying together the time outside I started with the 10min sketches in my A4 sketchbook. I decided to go for the more full body views and leaving view #5 for later (perhaps Ex.2).

I did three in a row:
1) in charcoal on paper (35x40cm) with more focus on contour,
2) in Conté crayon on found cardboard (32x30cm) with more focus on body and clothes and highlighting the body flesh with a wash effect in white crayon, and
3) in black ink and white gouache on paper (35x40cm) with broad brush with more focus on tonal gradations and negative space.

Stefan513593 - project 2 - exercise 1 - pose#3 - 10min

Stefan513593 – project 2 – exercise 1 – pose#3 – 10min

=> 1) The lower arm is too long and the lower leg is too short.
=> 2) Measuring seems alright
=> 3) This took me more than 10min as I tried to work more the link between right leg and torso (still not optimal and looking a bit awkward). Otherwise the foreshortening measure seems alright.

Pose #4:

After a longer break me and changing weather conditions I went for a comfortable pose on a sofa. I did smaller (half the size than before) sketches in pencils and charcoal in a kind of repetitive way to get more used to the pose and body measures (two different viewpoints).

Stefan513593 - project 2 - exercise 1 - pose#4 - 2min

Stefan513593 – project 2 – exercise 1 – pose#4 – 2min

Some charcoal sketches went pretty dark while working around the space. At the end it felt like touching the body itself while drawing. I continued with the 10min sketches for this pose in different media:
1) in Conté crayon on black paper (35x40cm) with more focus on shapes and tonal variations and using white for body flesh and the pillow
2) in sepia ink and white gouache on paper (35x40cm) with a broader and a finer brush and considering negative space more
3) in graphite and white gouache (for body flesh and pillow) on paper (35x40cm) with a 2nd viewpoint considering more major shapes

Stefan513593 - project 2 - exercise 1 - pose#4 - 10min

Stefan513593 – project 2 – exercise 1 – pose#4 – 10min

=> 1) Here I considered more the foreshortening effect (as leg and foot is coming forward) better than in the 2 min sketches with closer observation and measuring the distances from head, buttocks, feet. However, in this drawing the upper leg is still too short.
=> 2) I adjusted better the length of the leg as well as the size of the head considering foreshortening and distances seems alright now. The background (sofa) helped to place shapes better.
=> 3) With the different viewpoint the legs and feet are going backwards, making them smaller compared to normal dimensions. With drawing first the main directional lines and measuring its lengths it was easier to place the shapes and draw afterwards more details

My challenges with measuring or media:

– Foreshortening: Thinking how it should be and not enough measuring and measuring what I see. I tried to overcome this by measuring simple shapes (squares, cylinders) and distances of turning points (head, buttocks, tip of feet)
– Considering angles in the space (e.g 10min sketch #3 on pose #3 leaving awkward linkage of leg and torso.
– While working on the 2min sketches in charcoal I tended to make them too dark and measures became fuzzy. This brings up to me the drawing ‘Osaka‘, 1981 from Richard Hamilton (Godrey, T., 1990. p.53) – rather a silhouette of a man with some splashing marks around. Perhaps graphite would be better for measuring accuracy on 2min sketches.


  • Considering general dimensions and foreshortening by measuring the dimensions in a sequence (outer simple shapes, next level simple shapes). Background objects do support measuring accuracy.
  • Working in masses instead of lines can be easier for ‘shaping’ the body.
  • Keeping time limited (roughly 10 min) helps to observe stronger and to draw rapidly without overworking – also taking risks for errors.
  • I liked the visual expression (‘wash’ effect) of usage white crayon and especially of ink and graphite with white gouache (see also my additional works after assignment 3). Somehow this reminds me to some works by Jenny Saville.
  • Using fixative on Conté crayon drawings: Quite a disaster as it makes the colours so dull and the overall picture perception quite flat. Take away here: I will not use it in the future for the final drawing. I will see how other course mates are doing.
    Ex1_Quick Studies_Stefan513593_2_Page_6

Next time:
– Making line sketches in pencil or ink and brush – perhaps just 30sec to get the main shapes of the figure and its flow stronger across.
– Sketching quickly in simple shapes only.
– Sketching quickly in light/shadow planes only
– Simplification in different media:  leaving more black for more ambiguity.
– Exploring further my drawing approach to gouache, ink, and graphite combinations



– Godfrey, T. (1990) ‘Drawing Today‘. London: Phaidon Press
– Caves, Julie (2014) ‘Fixatives are not all the same‘ Available from: 

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