Tag Archives: figure

More figure drawing

12 Jun

Here is a figure sketch based on a fashion photo, in which I tried to draw in two steps, a design phase for the overall structure of the figure and a refinement phase, in which I concentrate more on the details.

Clothed figure sketch 15 2011/06/12

It’s still a rough sketch, made in 20 minutes, but I think you can see I’ve done a few dozen sketches (short, 7 minutes long each). The drawing looks more considered, more thought-through. There’s still room for improvement, quite a bit, actually, as there always is. Still, I think I captured the idea of the pose.

I will be doing more of these brief sketches, to develop a feel for proportions. Of course, the drawing above isn’t very well suited for that, because the figure isn’t standing upright, so it’s harder to check the proportions.

One could argue why not do unclothed figure sketches? I’m surely want to do those too, but good (non-pornographic) images are less frequent than good fashion photos on the Internet. Also, it’s much easier to ask someone to pose for me with her or his clothed on than without, in real life I mean. Typical clothed figure rates are 10 euros per hour (if I go by the rates my local community college uses). My guess is that nude models are much more expensive, but I could be wrong.

I’m still not confident enough to hire models, though, so for now I’m trying to improve my skills by using photos and short candid pose sketches (people in public spaces). Alas, the rates for the figure sketching course at my local community college has gone up this year (now 16 euros per 2 hour lesson, excluding modeling costs), so I’m unable to attend those, as I had planned.

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Figure drawing

6 Jun

I decided to start drawing figures based on fashion photos. This is to learn the ideal proportions of the adult human being. As my guide I use the book by late Barbara Bradley, Drawing People; How To Portray The Clothed Figure.

Clothed figure sketch 1 (2011-06-06)

The ideal figure is eight heads high and can be used to compare people’s proportions with. I’m trying to learn this ideal figure by using fashion photos as reference. As a bonus I get to learn something about fashion, of which I know little.

Clothed figure sketch 2 (2011/06/06)

Drawing people is hard enough, so if I pick a subject, I’d better choose something I enjoy drawing, like pretty girls. This drawing is based on a fashion photo. This girl was a bit of a problem, because she has a more complicated pose and her clothing obscures the lines of her body.

Three important parts of the body are the head, chest and hips. In most (natural) poses most of the weight is on one of the legs (here her left leg). This weight-bearing leg is roughly underneath the chin. Furthermore, the groin is at the halfway point between the heels and the top of the head. So it makes sense to put the chin and heel of the weight-bearing leg on a vertical line and determine how far to the right or left the groin is. You then need to determine the angles of the head, chest and hips.

You would think it would help to draw a “through-line” that indicates the pose of the figure. However, I found that you first need to learn how the body works by drawing. Once you have a basic understanding, I suppose you can abstract that knowledge by drawing that through-line. At the moment, I’m still trying to understand.

Clothed figure sketch 3 2011/06/06

In this sketch I saw the limitation of my drawing method. Somehow I need to imagine the pose myself, perhaps even stand in front of a mirror. The way I’ve done it here is too mechanical, too much trying to copy from the original.

Clothed figure sketch 4 2011/06/06

In this sketch I have added more thought and planning. I didn’t stand in front of a mirror, but I imagined how the general pose was (through-line), and how the hips were thrust forward, slightly slanted to her right. She clearly wasn’t 8 heads high, so I had fudge the pose a lot to make it fit the ideal proportions.

I see an improvement, compared to the previous sketches, like I’m getting the hang of it. A few more of these improvements and I can get on in the book by Barbara Bradley.

If you want to see how a more experienced artist does this kind of drawing, I invite you to watch Leilani Joy on YouTube.