Materials: 4H graphite, Charcoal “Hard”, white charcoal
Loved the contrast of light and shadows in this pose, especially the core shadow running from the arm down the torso.
Reference: Photo by Stan Katz (https://onefotoperday.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/one-picture-a-day-day-1365-nude/)
Medium: Charcaol white/black, graphite
A fellow blogger, Stan Katz, has an excellent site called “One Picture a Day” where he posts nude figures with professional quality lighting. Perfect for sketching. Thanks for letting me use the photo, Stan! I believe his work is for sale, so check it out!
It’s been a while since I sketched figures, so it was a bit rough, but a great study to work on! I started with 4B graphite, filled in shadow shapes with 3B graphite, highlighted with white charcoal and then deepened the darks with “hard” regular charcoal. It seems like the light was close to the figure highlighting the face and torso, but not the legs so much, so I left the legs with an unfinished look. It was the dark cast shadows that I liked about this study. The face, the breast and especially the outstretched hand casting the shadow across the hip that I wanted to emphasize by using high contrast and sharp edges. I also enjoyed the pose with the hand outstretched producing a highlight away from the body to add variety to the composition. Well done, Stan!
I’m taking a class in Schoolism.com by John Hardesty titled “Realism”. Excellent class. He discusses seeing proportions in different ways, each meathod double checking the other for accuracy. I have a long way to go, but it’s evident 90% of realism is spending the most time double checking and correcting before getting details. Also, less is more, especially around the eyes.
The first round I looked for photos taken a long time ago since they tend to have better lighting for drawing with shadows. On the second session, I found an illustrator with a great reference board on Pinterest. His name for searching is “choonhachat”. He also frequently does live drawing sessions on Instagram. He been drawing figures for years and it’s amazing to see how fast he is. His instagram is also “choonhachat”.
I started a new Schoolism.com class with Johnathan Hardesty to learn to capture realism. We’re on the “blocking in” stage to gain accuracy from the start. I had trouble and I didn’t catch the likeness to Meredith, but enjoyed working through the shading stages and trying to see the figure as just large masses of shadow and light. Difficult, but worth many the million mistakes it takes to get it right. Great class so far. The subscription to that site is worth every penny.
I saw a video where vine charcoal was smeared across the face, then the highlights were produced with erasing. I only have compressed charcoal and I doubt it spread out as well, but it worked somewhat. Most of the time was spent trying to map the face in as accurate as possible. Still have a lot of work to do with this… Fun study!
Reference: Figures & Gesture Drawings, ~3hrs
Today I wanted to try a dark background just for kicks since a lot of photography is done this way. I’m not sold on it just yet. Seems almost gawdy at the moment, but maybe it’ll look better tomorrow. It does help distinguish her figure from across the room and bring out the bold, confident attitude of her pose. Next time I’ll try for the “less is more” style, possibly leaving some of the figure in just the line drawing while the area of focus is a more finished look. I’ve seen many stunning figure drawing done like this.
Here’s the progression picture: