Assignment 4 – Line and Shape

I decided to head out for another life class to get this part of the assignment done or at least make a start on it. By the 20 minute pose something started to happen with the lines that I quite liked. I continued this to the long pose. I like this effect. I use mostly straight lines with the odd curb. I think with it being in pencil it looks a bit unfinished. However I thought it a good place to move forwards from.


2 minute poses



15 minute pose


20 minute pose


45 minute pose

I revisited these life class drawings at home. Again I worked at an easel as I had done in class to allow for free arm movement. I experimented with ink and a pallet knife. I had hope for more with this drawing. However it was tricky to get the ink off the pallet knife taking several attempts for each line. It would have worked better on a flat surface I’m sure. I’d like to try again as I had hoped to build up allot more line in to a kind of swirling mass of lines that some times met together creating a recognisable shape, the model. I think I will try to find a dip pen that works with the left hand. The last one I had years ago I couldn’t get to work at all. Maybe their just tricky or I’m a bit slow!


Ink line drawing using a pallet knife. Not very easy to apply. Think I should try purchasing a dip pen.

The next two drawings drawn from the original drawings made in life class I used a brush. Not quite what I was hoping for as the lines are thicker and more dilute than I had in mind. Never the less a stage in the development.


Ink line drawing using flat head brush. Large paper A1 as brush lines are thick.


Ink line drawing using round head brush and shoe lace. A1 paper.

Then it was back to the sketch books for a bit more anatomical training. I felt I wasn’t quite getting the shoulder  to torso join right so focused on this area.


Back to anatomy books, focusing on shoulder – torso area


Some construction drawings from head. Thinking about shoulder, torso, top arm intersection.


A few more construction from head drawings


Copy of anatomical drawing from ‘ Complete guide onto life drawing’ Bammes, and constuction/anotomical drawings from models in Simblet ‘anatomy fro the artist.


Thinking abut Egon Schiele  use of out line and his interesting compositions. On right some more construction drawing.


I wanted to make some quick studies of Leonardo da Vinci’s first preparatory drawings for The Burlington House Cartoon. Just copying this fantastic constructive drawing of the grate mans has helped me get a feel for these nice flowing lines that tell of movement and form. I can see how this drawing helped Jenny Saville towards her fantastic series of drawings on motherhood.


Looking at Leonard da Vinci sketches for ‘The Burlington House Cartoon’ spurring some constructive gesture investigation using a curvy line. Perhaps more pleasing that straight ones. I intend to try this style when out and about as could work nicely for fleeting moment gestures. It certainly gives a pleasing solidarity to the figures.

For the final drawing I used A1 paper at an easel so I could use the whole swing of my arm to get nice swooping lines that express movement. I had managed to rope my cosine Charlotte to do a bit of posing for me (very grateful). I asked her to pose in one position for 15 minute. During this time I put down what you see as the green figure. I was going to do the under drawing in green then go over the favour lines in a charcoal so working could be seen but there was a defiant line drawing over the top. However so as no to get confused between the two poses I changed colour pastel. This drawing was a little organic, making decisions on the hop which I think always leads to more life in a drawing.

After a brake I asked Charlotte to repose with her head to her left this time and with one leg up. Then I drew in this pose. I popped into add more to the green figure as well as I drew. I tried to keep a rhythm to the strokes to keep the lively feeling. I even added a few made up positions for the arms. Some thing I am now confident to do after all the construction practise.

After what couldn’t have been longer than 20 minute I decided I was happy enough to finish. I came back to the drawing and did a little more fiddling with the hands and feet with out the model there. A drawing like this could go on for ever I suppose. I had intended to work at least one more pose into it but felt it worked as is. I was conscious not to over work it. I’d love to do some more drawing like this. Part 5 will give me opportunity to do so as I am going to be looking at the shape and form of animals.


Taking some prelim drawings from the model.


Final drawing – ‘Fidget’ A1 cartridge paper, hard pastel


Pleased With:

  • A sense of form with line – I have been struggling with this line to get a sense of roundness and form  with the torso. I’m happy wit h the results here.
  • A sense of energy = Life.
  • Composition. Incidentally it has turned out in a kind of double triangular (diamond composition which I’m happy with. Another reason I chose to stop here was I didn’t want to lose this shape. Similar to the on Saville has in her drawings. The negative areas help the form pop.
  • Scale of the page. It fills the page nicely allowing the figure to have some weightiness. A trick learnt from looking at all those beautiful Veronese paintings.

Could Be better:

  • Scale and proportion with in drawing. I had to much fun with this drawing. I didn’t take the time to think about scale and proportion. The hands feet and heads are all out of whack.
  • General draftmanship. By this I mean this drawing is a long way from Saville gorges drawings. Her skills as a drafts person are exemplary. I can only continue to practice drawing. Particularly in a classical manner in the hope my drawings will improve and become more beautiful. Also A longer time spent would help with this. The challenge is to get the accuracy of form and keep the energy. Saville nails it.
  • I’d rely like to take this further, add some tonal elements central to the drawing. Perhaps something I can try with the form element of the assignment.





About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter


  1. Fab work Emma – love the final drawing it has so much energy 🙂

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