Project Form : Check and Log

5 - Hard Pastel on A2 Paper

Were you able to maintain a focus on proportion at the same time as creating a sense of weight and three dimensional form?

In the first exercise essential shapes I believe I managed this quite well apart from the first sketch, which was more of a trial, working with charcoal on A3 paper for figure drawing for the first time. In the second exercise essential elements there was a couple of times I messed up with proportions and coincidentally they were both when I was looking down at my daughter in a standing position, these are the second and 6th drawing . In the second drawing I made the head too small and then when I corrected it, it went off the paper.

Which Drawing gives the best sense of the pose and Why?

This is a difficult question to answer. To make a start on narrowing it down I would go for poses in the essential elements exercise as my daughter was uncomfortable posing for me and I think I have managed to depict this in these poses. Then I would probably say I think I would probably have to say the third drawing. She has the same arched back as me and I have managed to capture this in the drawing.

Was there any movement or gesture away from the model’s central axis? if so did you manage to identify this and put it in your drawing?

In the third and fifth drawing of the essential shapes exercise my girlfriend’s backside was cocked to one side maybe because she was a little uncomfortable at the length of time she had been sat there and I have definitely managed to capture this in the drawings but this, was done without noticing and it had been pointed out by her afterwards. But then, in the essential elements exercise, drawing 3, I haven’t done a great job of identifying this and I think it is down to the shadow on the legs.



Project Form – Essential Elements

4 - Charcoal on A3 Paper

It is the big summer holidays in Thailand due to the fact that April is the hottest month ever, anywhere in the entire universe, so from March to May the kids are off. My two daughters are quite energetic when they are together and getting excited because they’re coming to mine, even makes them more so, so barring the weekend when they come over to mine in the summer holidays I usually take them one at a time. My 5 year old was practising dancing for the school show so it was my 9 year old’s turn to come over for a few days.

1 - Charcoal on A4 Sketch Book
1 – Charcoal on A4 Sketch Book

My oldest daughter Angel is very quiet when she’s by herself as I think she actually likes the peace and quiet my gaff has to offer so when I asked her to model for me she didn’t complain, as long as she could go in the bedroom play with her tablet and ‘listen to’ the TV afterwards.

Now the brief for this exercise was to draw a sequence of poses lasting ten minutes each…Adjust the light so it hits only one side of the model, to emphasize the darkest and lightest forms.

I’m afraid on the first drawing, sketching my daughter in her T-shirt only took about 5 or so minutes but then I spent about another ten minutes going overboard with the sofa as I really feel it needed some darker areas. This time the drawing was done on charcoal in my A4 sketch book as I wanted to see how much control I had with this medium on a small size sheet of paper in the given time frame.

My daughters legs are very long and she is quite tall for her age but she looks a lot taller in this drawing, her body should have been shorter.

2 - Charcoal on A2 paper
2 – Charcoal on A2 paperq

My second drawing was done on an A2 sheet of paper and again their was too much light shining on her so I filled in some of the background. Now in an earlier exercise we were instructed from the waste, I misjudged this and had to cut the top of her head off. However, I wasn’t going to start again as I really liked the finished drawing, the only problem I had with it was it was all sweeps of dark tone and no hatching.

3 - Charcoal on A3 Paper
3 – Charcoal on A3 Paper

The third drawing was a lot more satisfying, this time I sat her on the front of the sofa watching the TV with the light directly on her upper-chest region. In ten minutes I managed to get all the drawing done complete with swoops of dark tone and hatching, the only problem I have with it is her calf looks two short, this is because her legs are at an angle which you can tell by the position of her feet but I didn’t do to well with the dark and light to depict this.

4 - Charcoal on A3 Paper
4 – Charcoal on A3 Paper

Like the third drawing, the fourth drawing was again very satisfying, this time she sat on the corner of the sofa facing away from me, there was more light shining on her but like the last drawing I managed to use a few mark making techniques to build up the different tonal values and this time it actually looked like my daughter. At first I was worried about just drawing 1 leg but then I remembered Degas’s Lying Nude and how the mind fills in the rest.

5 - Hard Pastel on A2 Paper
5 – Hard Pastel on A2 Paper

Moving away from charcoal I decided to do the next drawing in a bluey grey hard pastel to see if I could build up the different tonal values in a not so heavy medium. I had done the last two seated drawings on A3 Paper as it was easier to relate to that size paper with those two seated poses but with this pose I decided to go back to A2 paper  as this pose was mostly head and a long back, still I didn’t judge the proportions right and the drawing could have filled more of the paper up.

6 - Charcoal on A2 Paper
6 – Charcoal on A2 Paper

I went back to charcoal on A2 for the final drawing and if the profile looked anything like my daughter I might have been somewhat satisfied but looking at the second picture then looking at this one you can see how the legs are too short and the head looks big, I’m not sure whether it’s the angIe am at or I started out to broad.

Project Form – Essential Shapes

3rd Drawing Sat on Bed 1 Leg Up A2

This was only the second time working with my girlfriend as a life model and so it was a nice little exercise to introducing her to posing for me for longer periods of time.

1st Drawing - A Practise with Charcoal
1st Drawing – A Practise with Charcoal

I started with a practise sketch to get me used to drawing with charcoal on the large A2 pad. For this I let the girlfriend sit on the floor with her back against the bed. She lives in a studio apartment which is basically a bedsit. The proportions were out as there wasn’t much measuring going what I really wanted to know from this trial drawing was how well I was going to work with compressed charcoal on the large sheets of paper.

The introduction to this project pointed out ‘basic shapes are used to construct three-dimensional fundamental forms…The head is a sphere, arms and legs are cylinders, and the feet and hand are ellipses’ and with that I decided to puppetize my girlfriend.

With me being new to life-drawing I decided to start with a simple pose where there was only a slight twist in the central axis, this first pose with arms straight down, parralel to the edge of the paper helped me to ‘establish the bulk of the drawing in relation to the space around it’ as suggested in the brief.

2nd Drawing Sat on Bed A2
2nd Drawing Sat on Bed A2

The second pose was very similar to one that I didn’t do a great job on in the ‘Quick Poses‘ exercise but this time with ample time to measure, using the head as a marker and remembering what I learnt earlier that the head fit into the torso approximately 4 times to the seat of the backside on the seated figure, the results were satisfying.

3rd Drawing Sat on Bed 1 Leg Up A2
3rd Drawing Sat on Bed 1 Leg Up A2

My girlfriend is very small in height, just over 5 foot so for the next sketch I asked her to sit very close to the edge of the mattress so I could draw both her feet on the floor. I started by using a sanguine conte pencil but realised it was pretty permanent and couldn’t mess about with it as much as I could the Conte, the lines wouldn’t erase but it didn’t matter too much and I decided to go over it in Charcoal. The result of this gave me an idea for depicting movement which may come in handy later on.

4th Drawing Charcoal over Conte
4th Drawing Charcoal over Conte

I picked up the wrong stick of charcoal for this next drawing that was rather scratchy and almost impossible to smudge in with my fingers but I decided to keep going. This time I thought I would have a go at drawing a face, wish I hadn’t, not in this medium anyway. The girlfriend has an unusual face, she comes from Thailand’s most northern province and probably most northern town and she has a very ‘Thai’ face not like the Bangkok/Chinese faces I’ve been used to seeing over the last 15 years and so any attempt at a face would have to be in a medium that I could play around with.

5th Drawing - Compressed Charcoal and an Atempt at a face
5th Drawing – Compressed Charcoal and an Atempt at a face

Again I added a few more details toes, fingers, ankles but worked fast and kept the sketch nice and scratchy with squiggly hatching.

6th Drawing in Hard Pastel
6th Drawing in Hard Pastel on A3

The last drawing was from a photo in hard pastel, I was teaching at the language center and popped upstairs to the art store where there were Nouvel Carre Pastels on sale and wanted to see what they were like and also needed to see what could be done in hard pastel in this part of the course.