Part 4, Project 3, Exercise 1: Basic shapes

Arrange your model at a slight angle in a chair. Establish that they will be comfortable to sit in this pose for an hour or so (with breaks). Before you begin your drawing consider the angle of the central axis that runs through the seated figure. Notice any twists or bends.

Block in the basic shapes. Look carefully at which planes of the body are receding and which planes or lines are parallel to the edge of your picture plane. This will help you establish the bulk of the drawn figure in relation to the space around it.

Identify a measured unit that will help with the scale and proportions of the figure. Draw the model from different angles and positions. Remember to look and measure with each pose.  Identify the possibility of foreshortening and make written notes. Is there more than one line of movement? The torso may have a slight twist to it.


This is an interesting pose because the model is seated in front of a mirror.  His back has a very slight twist due to the positioning of his arm on his knee, whilst looking across at the viewer over his shoulder.

The plane of his shoulders are receding from the viewer.  Since he is sat upright, his back and lower legs are parallel to the edges of the paper.  The top of his leg is horizontal.  In the mirror view his leg and arm seem to go away from you , which is strange as they appear horizontal in the actual pose.  However, it probably reflects the fact that I was at a 45 degree angle to the mirror!  There is foreshortening in the reflected  leg and the models shoulders appear narrower than they do in their reflection.

I think I have captured the essence of this pose.  There is a realistic twist to the torso (albeit slight).  The body is in proportion (apart maybe for the head??)  Once again though I am disappointed in the results using graphite pencil because the outline is over pronounced and the shading is a bit contrived and unnatural!  I could have added a greater sense of presence by adding shadows, context and background.


In this pose the model is sitting straight on with his hands held between his knees- albeit at an angle to me. Using graphite pencil  I Blocked in the basic shapes first; of the torso and arms and even had a more detailed attempt at the head than I have previously.  I was pleased with the result, which was almost a likeness!!  However, there has been a bit of a disaster with the legs, which are too short and skinny and leave the model looking rather dwarf-like!!  There is a sense of form through the sketchy shading, but the outlines are heavier than I would have liked.  I wonder if this effect is exaggerated by the fact there is no background and the figure is basically contrasted against  plain white paper!!  Had I shaded in shadows and a darker background the darker values of the outline might look less pronounced.


This is another attempt at the pose above using more experimental media- I like the use of unrealistic colours.   I tackled this using neocolor II water soluble crayons.  I shaded the main areas of light/ dark and then medium shading, before using a wet brush to create a wash and merge the areas of shading.  I only added the outlines afterwards, working into wet, using a contrasting colour.  At first I really did not like the result, but when I looked at it more objectively from a distance later on, I realised that it has a freedom that the more detailed pencil drawings lack.  There is definitely a sense of 3D form through the use of shading.  The proportions are more accurate although the hint of a head may be a little on the small side?.  I rather like the drips too!!  The reason I did not add background was that at the time of drawing this I became frustrated and disillusioned by the results so I gave up!  However, I wish now I had continued to add the stool and flooring/background shading.  There is foreshortening in some of the proportions- the fact the body tilts away from me means that it is narrower than it would have been were it face-on!



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