Pt 5 – Drawing Figures – Line Drawing of the Whole Figure

5 - Marker, Drawing Pen and Charcoal

For this exercise I started out in my sketchbook with a Rotring drawing pen and with my model in a seated position on the sofa I decided to start off with a continuous line drawing without taking my pen from the paper. The result was pretty good even though the face has no real resemblance.

1 - Continuous Line Drawing Pen
1 – Continuous Line Drawing Pen

The second drawing wasn’t a continuous drawing but it was quick and the results were almost the same. Like the first drawing it was quite small and off centre so I included the sofa to give it some balance. I have yet to choose a pose that I am happy with without including a background, maybe this could be a challenge for the 5th assignment.

2 - Rotring Drawing Pen with Sofa
2 – Rotring Drawing Pen with Sofa

The third drawing was of the same pose but this time more care and time was taken and because I messed up on the right arm and corrected it with shadow I tried to balance it out by adding some shading in other areas.

3 - Seated Position No Sofa
3 – Seated Position No Sofa

For the next pose the model was laid on her back, curled up grabbing her knees, I started out with a continuous line drawing to see how could I would be at drawing this pose on the first try. It had to be corrected as it was a very difficult pose to try and complete a drawing of without lifting my pen off the paper.

4 - On Back Holding Knees
4 – On Back Holding Knees

The next drawing was messy, it was all going well until I decided to go over some of the lines again and picked up the wrong pen so then I thought I would experiment by adding charcoal.

5 - Marker, Drawing Pen and Charcoal
5 – Marker, Drawing Pen and Charcoal

From there I went back to drawing with a 0.3 drawing pen, the drawing below may look like I have tried to draw in the style of David Hockney but this was drawn before the last research point ‘How Artists Use Line’ with no particular artist in mind. Everything was going well until I had a problem with foreshortening on the arm but because I liked how the legs stretched back and so I decided to do a larger drawing on A3 paper.

6 - Playing with Phone - Out of Proportion
6 – Playing with Phone – Out of Proportion

The second drawing was a bit more than a line drawing as I decided to add more detail to both the figure and the room. I probably should have took my time and got it bang on but it is a project that I can come back to at a later date.

7 - Playing with Phone A3
7 – Playing with Phone A3

For the next drawing I went back to a seated pose but this time my model crossed her hands over each other on her lap. Her head looks out of proportion but I believe it’s because I have drawn her eyes to high which has made her face look longer. With this drawing I started with the V between her arms and worked up, then worked my way down again. I use block shadow to describe the shape of her body.

8 - Sitting with Block Shadow
8 – Sitting with Block Shadow

The next drawing was done at work from an existing sketch in the Quick Poses exercise, total failure so I decided to do a couple more drawings on the same sheet just to mess it up completely.

9 - Line Drawing from Existing Sketch
9 – Line Drawing from Existing Sketch

The final drawing before going onto research how other artists use line was the ink on A3 drawing below. It was ink on drawing cartridge paper, totally forgetting what I had learnt about drawing with ink on watercolour paper for best outcome.

10 - Ink on A3
10 – Ink on A3

After the last research point I came back to see how researching how other artists use line would affect my line drawing. The next drawing started off as a line drawing but then I went further trying to produce a drawing in the style of Edgar Degas, something that I wasn’t very successful in doing in my last bit of research ‘using line in the style of famous artists ‘. I had since stocked up with some beige eggshell paper so after drawing the line in Conté I got carried away and added some tonal values in white pastel, unfortunately I zombified my girlfriends face but I was quite happy with the rest of the drawing.

11 - Conte and White pastel on Pastel Paper
11 – Conte and White pastel on Pastel Paper

From there I went back to basics and produced the following 2 lne drawings in my sketchbook with a 4B pencil, what is usually the easiest medium for me to use, after drawing with the pen was the most difficult but I think this was down to the fact that I was aware it could be corrected and because I wanted to fill the paper did so very often.

12- 4B Sketchbook Drawing
12- 4B Sketchbook Drawing
14 - 4B Pressed on
14 – 4B Pressed on

The next drawing was an attempt at drawing with ink again on A3 cartridge paper which kept blotching every time the nib stopped moving and then I realized why, I was drawing on the wrong type of paper so I switched to watercolour paper for the next two drawings.

15 - Ink on A3 - Blotchy
15 – Ink on A3 – Blotchy

The next two drawings were shoddy attempts, on both drawings I started with the arm on top and worked my way down then on to the legs, on both drawings I messed up when I got back up to her belly.

I really liked the feel of the nib pen on the watercolour paper and so I have set it in my sites to do a decent ink line drawing before the end of the course.

16 - Ink on A3 Watercolour paper
16 – Ink on A3 Watercolour paper
17 - Ink on Watercolour Paper Bad Attempt
17 – Ink on Watercolour Paper Bad Attempt

Where did I go wrong?

Well, I think I am still having problems with positioning the figure on the paper as to fill as much paper as possible. I also am still having problems with foreshortening and also,I think, choosing the best pose for the task at hand.

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Pt 5 – Drawing Figures – Research Point – How Artists Use Line

Plague Episode

For this research point we were to look at the work of a range of artists, such as Ingres, David, Degas, Giacometti and Hockney and make notes about their use of line.

I have already started the line drawing exercise and so far I have produced drawings in ballpoint, drawing pen and even ink, a medium that I have been struggling with. For now the drawings I have produced for this exercise are ‘nice’ but nothing special and so I decided to hit this research point early to see how studying different artists’s use of line effects my line drawings from this point on.

Edgar Degas

I already researched Edgar Degas before starting on the last part of this course, Part 4, Drawing Figures and so I had already experienced Degas’s Use of line.

Most of Degas’s drawings were studies for finished paintings and most of these finished paintings such as his ballet dancers were able to depict energy and movement. His line drawings seemed to be experiments that helped him to achieve this.

Edgar Degas -Little Dancer
Edgar Degas -Little Dancer

With Little dancer above it seems like the line acts as a frame to contain the minimal detail between them. If you take away those lines the figure would be difficult to make out and yet with the lines around the chalk and pastel, they help to contain enough detail to depict an ‘effortless gliding figure’ while the double lines in certain places help to capture movement.

Edgar Degas - Danseuse à la barre - Dancer at the Barre c.1880

 

With the dancer at the bar above he seems to have corrected his position while drawing the dancer in order to get a better prospective, however he hasn’t erased the lines from the corrected drawing, he chose to leave the lines rather than correct them which depicts the dancer’s former position and therefore ‘movement’.

Edouard Manet, Bust-Length Portrait, 1864-65
Edouard Manet, Bust-Length Portrait, 1864-65

The bust length portrait of Edouard Manet above is something completely different, the flat line drawing of the suit helps to emphasize the more detailed head drawn with thicker lines, helping it to stand out.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Whenever I come across an artist that I am not familiar with I get excited and seeing the line drawings of Ingres was no different.

Unlike Degas who preferred chalk, graphite and pastel on wove, laid and eggshell paper etc. Ingres preferred a sharp graphite pencil on smooth white paper for his drawings.

Also unlike Degas his lines were smoother, cleaner and seemed to be more planned out. It’s hard to know which was drawn first, the figure or the faces, as like the Bust Length Portrait of Manet above the lines of the bodies in the drawing below seem to do the same job, to support the detailed faces.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Portrait Drawing
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Portrait Drawing

Ingres not only uses heavier lines on the head to give a sense of three dimension but looking at the body of the figures he uses a darker heavier line on one side of the body and a thin crisp line on the other by doing this he manages to depict form and weight. This is something I had never even thought about.

The Alexandre Lethiere Family 1819
The Alexandre Lethiere Family 1819

Gustav Klimt

Would it be wrong to look at Klimt’s erotic line drawings of seated women revealing themselves for this research point? In these drawings he captures his model in intimate and secret moments before ‘concealing them in his paintings beneath Sparkling Ornaments’ – Klimt, Gilles Neret.

Klimt’s erotic drawings are drawn with wobbly, unfinished lines that continue to double over the top of each other to create a sense of writhing in ecstasy.

Klimt Seated Semi-Nude Reclining
Klimt Seated Semi-Nude Reclining
Klimt Woman Seated with Thighs Apart
Klimt Woman Seated with Thighs Apart

Alberto Giacometti

Giacometti was a Swiss, sculptor, painter, print maker and draughtsman and probably one of the first artist’s who’s drawings make me feel as uncomfortable as the annoying buzz of an electric light on a horror movie.

I love surrealist paintings but I find surrealist sculptor makes me feel kind of tense and that’s what I feel when I look at Giacometti’s portraits of Sartre and Diego below where he has built up the 3D

form of the face with expressive, straight heavy lines, making sure he defines the shape of the eye sockets.

Alberto Giacometti, Jean-Paul Sartre, 1946
Alberto Giacometti, Jean-Paul Sartre, 1946
Alberto Giacometti, Portrait de Diego,1958
Alberto Giacometti, Portrait de Diego,1958

On the other hand I really like the ballpoint drawing below where he has used a continuous wire like line to build up the 3D form.

Alberto Giacometti, ballpoint on paper. Giacometti House, Paris
Alberto Giacometti, ballpoint on paper. Giacometti House, Paris

David Hockney

After browsing the works of Alberto Giacometto with their intense, awkward lines, researching the line drawings of David Hockney is a breath of fresh air. To me Hockney draws with what I would describe as relaxed baggy lines and creates a sense of three dimension by using space and perspective, leaving more space between the lines that form the shapes of the body parts that appear to be in the foreground, and in some cases, exaggerating shapes such as line drawing 2 and 5 below.

Line Drawing David Hockney 1
Line Drawing David Hockney 1
Line Drawing David Hockney 2
Line Drawing David Hockney 2
Line Drawing David Hockney 3
Line Drawing David Hockney 3
Line Drawing David Hockney 4
Line Drawing David Hockney 4
Line Drawing David Hockney 5
Line Drawing David Hockney 5

 Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele used rickety lines to describe skinny, almost anorexic women in sexy poses. It seems like he was describing not only the complexity of the human skeleton but also the frailty of these female figures and in doing so capturing what he found sexy or erotic about them.

Egon Schiele Reclining Nude
Egon Schiele Reclining Nude
Egon Schiele Reclining Nude in Green Stockings
Egon Schiele Reclining Nude in Green Stockings
Egon Schiele Reclining Woman with Legs Apart 1914
Egon Schiele Reclining Woman with Legs Apart 1914
Egon Schiele Standing Female Nude with Black Hair 1910
Egon Schiele Standing Female Nude with Black Hair 1910

Jacques-Louis David

At the first look at the line drawings of Jacques-Louis David below it seems that the four drawings are in two different styles, while all all of them serve one purpose and that is as studies towards a finished piece.

Study for The Oath of Horatii
Study for The Oath of Horatii

The study for The Oath of Horatii above and the Father of Horatii below use fine pencil lines to frame figures with little or no tone, but on the other hand the tone and form of folds on the figures are wearing are well detailed like he almost intended them to be manikins for the drapery which helps to describe the 3D form of the figures more than the lines around them.

Father of the Horatii
Father of the Horatii
Death of Meleager
Death of Meleager

For the Death of Meleager above and the Plague Episode below it seems to be the opposite. He has drawn thick ink lines that act as a container for the ink wash shadows cast be the folds of the drapery and figures of the plague victims.

Plague Episode
Plague Episode