For this exercise I did first some sketchbook studies to get acquainted with my model, finding a place and a pose that is comfortable enough for a 1 hour session with intermediate breaks.
And testing color with colored pencil
During the break my model stretch herself and went into a relaxing pose. I took this opportunity for a sketch in graphite and white gouache (quite wet media to work together) in a rather sculptural way. I had to be fast (a few minutes only) so I couldn’t work to much on details. Overall the visual effect fascinates me.
For the longer study I decided for charcoal (for its easiness to work back and force with rubber and in lines and tones) and colored paper (for its warm and light effect).
As this exercise is about accuracy of proportions, weight of the figure and characteristics of the pose, I decided to leave out more expressive marks on the figure and apply those rather for the negative space. By that I could focus more on distance, angles, and measures as a learning exercise. For the surround space I decided to add more expressive marks in white gouache for the pillows and with putty rubber for the wall.
After finishin this study I was not so happy with the composition, the far left side (edge of the sofa) seems to attract to much attention away from the figure. Therefore I cropped it and found a more pleasant one:
As I got used to proportional measures on pose #1 I decided to make another 1 hour drawing on another pose in my chosen combination of graphite and white gouache and using black ink for modulating the tonal values in the surrounding space. I wanted in this drawing the whit pillow to be a key object in the overall composition as this helped my model to feel comfortable (soft texture to lean on). After having all proportions and distances correctly drawn I modulated the flesh of body with white gouache and graphite (partly wet). At the end I am pleased with the composition and the visual effect.
- How well have you captured the characteristics of the pose?
I think that I captured the pose quit well in the context of the cozy environment. Making some more bolder marks in the negative space helped to support the characteristics
- Does the body have sufficient weight and presence?
Through addition of shadows, the pushed down pillow, and a certain foreshortening of the body (legs coming forward) due to the lower viewpoint, I was able to add weight to the figure. Through the perspective of the bended pose it became more presence. Also through the modulation with white gouache and graphite on pose #2 the legs became more weight and presence.
- Do the proportions look right? If not how will you try to improve this?
I think I captured the dimensions of the body parts right through scrutinized study. The slight foreshortening makes the knee seems on the first glance relevant large, but actually this is what I observed. I think it would be a good exercise to study deeper several slightly different viewpoints on the same pose in order to understand better slight changes of proportions especially considering foreshortening.
- Getting proportions right means quite some measuring, not only on the main parts but also and especially on overlapping parts. To understand the underlying forms (simple shapes) is quite helpful.
- The negative space can support the weight and characteristics of a pose.
- I find figurative drawing so fascinating that I could constantly the whole day work in my sketchbook, with the model, and discovering new approaches.
– Loosen up after more practice and feeling more at ease with proportions (as for now I worked more on accuracy)
– Study in slight viewpoints changes and it impact on proportions.
– Considering simplification and relating my work to my contextual researches.