This year I made a promise to myself to get back to more figure work. I’m lucky to have some really brave friends, so I spent a few hours drawing my friend Lisa, who was good enough to pose. She got to lay out and watch some modern family, while I got to draw!
Some tea,desert, chatting and general catching up passed the time too, very glamorous is the life of a model 🙂
As its been a while since I got to draw figures, it got me thinking back to when it was all new to me. To be honest most of my college experience is a blur of random painting and photography but something I remember vividly, is my weekly life drawing module. I love drawing figures, I can honestly say I am at my happiest when I’m zoned out in a haze of shadow and light hitting the skin. Pure beautiful!
In college it was my favourite part of the week- One full day of drawing and painting with a real model, sometimes two. We painted many different figures over the years, young,old, male, female, various shapes and sizes.
If you are new to painting figures, i wanted to share some ideas for pushing yourself. These will help you test your skill, stumble across new techniques and maybe get some inspiration for a series of pieces. Anyone can learn to draw figures beautifully but here are some tips to help you find your own style and get a bit more creative. If you are working on you portfolio for a college, I would recommend getting a notebook and a willing friend (or mirror) and start sketching. This would make a good addition to your work
Here are some ideas to kick start you:
- Do “blind” drawings- don’t look at the page,look only at the model/mirror
* shine a bright spot lamp on the subject- focus only on the dark shadows and bright lights with some tonal studies
- Try a while where you focus on small sections of the body only
- Draw with your non dominant hand
- Draw without raising the pencil/charcoal off the paper
- Do timed work- ten second drawings, 1 minute drawings (in my experience for someone as rigid in their ways as me, this was a great tool for practicing on loosening my style)
- Experiment with washes of colour on paper before you add charcoal
- Experiment with different backgrounds-text/rolled out or splattered paint/newspaper- note ow it changes your whole approach
- Get a twig and use instead of brush, see how this changes the texture and look of a drawing
- Get the person to hold stick/broom and see how it affects the tension in the body
- Add texture study of sheets/cushions/background props
- Get the model to curl up/stretch out/sit wrapped around leg of chair just change the view of the body
Just a few little ideas.Some of these really work for any sketching, not just figure work so have fun with it 🙂 I personally am grabbing some twigs next and trying some texture work 🙂