Pr2 Form: Ex1 Essential Shapes

This time I ventured to a lunch time group in Covent Garden. Holborn life drawing group is run by David who also runs a Wednesday evening one near Bishop’s Stortford that is close to me. Another one to try out, this could start getting expensive!

It was a small class. The advantage of which being we were sat quite close to the model so could see a lot of detail such as flesh texture, fingers, toes and facial features clearly.



Two two minute poses


Three two minute poses


10 minute pose


10 minute pose. As I wrote body to long on the page i measure out the head scale at home on the computer. Actually ifs o.k. Need to do some proportions research.


20 minute pose – Mans head different shape than I’m used to with the young lady models. jowls distended downwards, dome of head high. Slight point where hair line meats neck at back, (a fatty deposit.)


Focussing on proportion from top to bottom of seated figure.


20 mins – Happier with stomach here. you can see fleshy weightiness. The chest area looks to round and forty. Dose the leg foreshortening work? I think a strong line to mark knee would improve. Although it looks like the thigh should be longer I did measure and remeasure. The foreshortening from hip to knee is unclear. Tone not decried correctly, to larger area of white.


25 mins – Interesting position. Could not see head. Body became abstract in form. Made me think of Francis Bacon.


Legs from 25 minute pose


15 minute pose


legs from 15 minute pose

Emotional response – I felt more drawing this model than previous ones. I felt there was a sadness about him. The honesty of his pose and gravitas of form where things I tried to work towards capturing. This is why I have filled the face in more than I normally do. It felt to me the fleshy stomach worked as a physical manifestation of the mans baggage perhaps. The older people get the more we ware our life experiences on our bodies.

From a purely mechanical stand point. scale is passable, could be improved. Anatomy needs serious work, it is improving but you can see gaps in my knowledge of bone and muscle I must learn.

Gravity – I did strive to give the figure a real sense of weightiness and fleshy (think Lucian Freud, Jenny saville). I’m a long way off from where I want to be with this. The best example is the long pose of 25 mins. I think this works the best as the form is better described with more values and less white page. the cast shadows play an important part in grounding the figure, describing weight and gravity.

Form – The name of this project. Firstly I did find it harder to get the bits in the right place with a larger model. Often I could not see the elbow pit accurately f the arm was extended. There was lack of helpful bulge around the elbow and the arm could look quite straight. I must go back and learn proportions and basic anatomy so I do not have this confusion.

I think the form is best described in this drawings with the last two three longer poses. Here I looked at light fall, which was gentle and diffused coming from a high window through smoke glass.

Blocking in basic shapes – I might try at the next class to identify the core geometric shapes in some studies. Then I can see how accurate theses are before progressing to a more detailed study.

Scale – I did pay more attention to using the head as a measure unit. I spent a fair bit of time holding up the charcoal and observing the model. Counting the units up and down the body making notes in the sketch book. As I keep saying, want to get into the books and do some more proportion home work.

Fore shortening – All ways a bit hit and miss. Only had one real foreshorten limb in this session. Almost there. Could have done with bit more work, have discussed it already above. Practise, practise,practise for this one.

Drawings made in A3 sketch book with thick charcoal stick or 8B pencil. Think I might put myself on a charcoal stick ban for the next class as I am starting to rely on it to get the look I want.



About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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