Project Gesture : Energy

Warrior 2 in Conte on A4

In the instructions for this exercise we were to ask the model to adopt a dynamic pose such as lifting an arm, twisting the hips, turning the head stretching the arms or walking. I had an idea of what I would be doing for this exercise from the start, so I asked my girlfriend to do the sun salutation for me and to hold certain poses that I thought may work well I stayed close with my A4 sketchpad.

1 - High Lunge 6B on A4
Warrior 1 6B on A4

Warrior 1 was easy to draw with the 6B pencil on the textured paper and as can be seen in the enlarged photo . However, I can never seem to use long flowing lines but am really sketchy and use lots of broken lines when faced with the task of drawing quickly within a time frame. The drawing itself would probably would not have expressed energy that we’ll so i added more pencil lines to depict movement.

Warrior 2 in Conte on A4
Warrior 2 in Conte on A4

This was the same for Warrior 2, which was drawn a lot faster and with more energy but I just think it needed a little something so spiced it up a bit.

2 - Cobra Pose Faber Castell Ballpoint on A4
Cobra Pose 1 Faber Castell Ballpoint on A4

The next pose was the Cobra Pose which after drawing the first one in Faber Castell Ballpoint I decided it was a pose that could be drawn with lots of energy and depict movement quite well if done right so with the girlfriend taking a short break after each one.

3 - Cobra Pose Faber Castell Ballpoint
Cobra Pose 2 Faber Castell Ballpoint
4 - Exploring Cobra Pose in Conte
Exploring Cobra Pose in Conte
5 - Larger Cobra Pose in Conte
Larger Cobra Pose in Conte

There were a couple that were ok and a couple that were totally out of proportion. The thing about the Cobra Pose is that the legs look longer in the pose especially with mygirlfriend who has quite a short body, or high backside as can be seen in the upward salute below.

6 - Arms Stretched Back 6B
Upward salute 6B on A4

I did a quick sketch with my girlfriend in the ‘upward salute’ pose, starting from the waste I worked down to the feet. I should have done it the other way around and drawn the top first because by the time I got to drawing the top she had eased off the bent back position.

7 - Back Bent Further Back
Upward salute Back Bent Further Back

The second drawing of the same pose was a lot easier for us both and this time I started with longer lines from the waist to the breast then from the breast to the wrist then worked my way down to the floor. Her hair flicked back gave me an idea and so i decided to add some trail lines to both drawings, successfully adding energy and movement to the drawings. For the next two drawings we chose the ‘Knees, chest and chin pose’ as I thought, like the Cobra Pose, drawing with energy I may be able to depict movement in the following sketches. This maybe true for the Conte sketch in two colours but not the drawing in charcoal.

8 - Going into Cobra Pose Charcoal
Knees, chest and chin pose Charcoal
9 - Going into Cobra Pose Conte
Knees, chest and chin pose, Conte pencils

That was it for the first day but the next day I had some time to kill between lessons at the language centre, so I thought I would try something a bit different. With 6B pencil in my A4 sketch book and working from two photos I had taken from the bed with my tablet the night before I quickly sketched my girlfriend and then distorted the body parts that had been caught in action (moving) in the two photos.

10 - Experimenting with Moving Limbs 6B
Experimenting with Moving Limbs 1, 6B on A4

In the first photo from what I can remember she was on her way to the toilet lifting her left leg up and swishing her damp hair to one side after making a start on blow drying it. In the second photo she was cooking her log up, maybe scratching the back of the right leg with the top of her left foot.

11 - Experimenting with Moving Limbs 6B
Experimenting with Moving Limbs 2, 6B on A4

The next day I cycled back up to my girlfriend’s home sketchbook in bag but this time armed with my felt tip pens and my girlfriend went through a few more poses to see which would be best as drawings.

12 - Felt Tip Pens Lord of the Dance
Felt Tip Pens Shiva dancing pose

Actually it doesn’t say felt tip pens on the box, it says wwatercolour Pens and the colours are far more vibrant than felt tip pens.

The Shiva Dancing Pose above is a very static pose but I thought by using the vibrant orange to sketch in the form first before I went over it in black it would give it some energy. I don’t think it does, my students think it does, nonetheless it does remind me of Degas’s ballerinas.

14 - Felt Tip Pens Back Bend
Felt Tip Pens standing salute pose

The last two drawings of my girlfriend were again of her in the ‘standing salute’ pose but drawn from a photo her back was bent so far back that I couldn’t ask her to stay like that for any length of time without her falling over especially with her hands together. The first drawing wasn’t in Proportion as her body ws too long and her arms were too short in order to fit her on the page.

The second drawing  was drawn at an angle in order toner her in Proportion and git yer on the page.

15 - Felt Tip Pens Back Bend in Proportion
Felt Tip Pens standing salute pose at an angle

At the end of our second session I got the girlfriend to take some shots of me in various poses, the following sketches drawn in ballpoint pen was the result. A quick sketch, full of energy and reminding me somewhat of a Scheile painting.

16 - Pre-kick Faber Castell Ballpoint
Pre-kick Faber Castell Ballpoint
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Still Life – Check and Log

exercise 2 still life of made objects

Do you think it is easier to suggest three dimensions on man-made or natural objects?

This project has taught me that it is easier to suggest three dimensions on man-made objects rather than natural objects. Man-made objects are usually made up of geometrical shapes such as cylinders, cones or cubes and so the lines of man-made objects are easier to draw and suggest their 3D form using most mediums. The irregular shapes of natural objects means that their three dimensional features are much more subtle with lines that are more difficult to depict and draw.

How did you create a sense of solidity in your composition?

In the exercise ‘Still Life Sketches of Made Objects’ I created a sense of solidity by using various hatching techniques and swapping between pencils of different hardness mainly B, HB and 2B, shadows and tone also played a big part in making the objects look solid.

exercise still life of made objects
Image 1: Exercise – Still Life of Made Objects

In the exercise ‘Composition of Natural Objects‘ working with watercolor pencil I used hatching and layers of darker colour to show solidity.

Composition of Natural Objects
Image 2: Exercise – Composition of Natural Objects

Do you think changing the arrangement of your composition makes a difference to the way you create a sense of form?

Changing the arrangement of the objects changed the way each objects interacted with each other, shadows and light reflected off one object to another and other objects in the composition (such as the plate in image 2) can play a major role in creating a sense of form.

How did you decide how to position yourself in relation to the objects?

For the second exercise I decided to position myself slightly above looking down at the objects so I could see the full form of the the objects and shadows interacting with each other in the middle of the composition, I thought this would help me to create a sense of form in my drawing. A bruised rib from a an accident the day before helped me to reinforce this decision.