Find a pose that your model is comfortable with and that they can hold for an hour, such as a seated position; take breaks every 15 minutes or so.
Draw small marks onto the sheet of paper indicating the outermost points of the figure (the top of the head, the angle of the shoulders, the tips of the toes, knees, etc.). This will give you confidence that you’ve measured the proportions correctly and that the whole body will fit into the rectangle.
Draw a long pose with your chosen medium. Keep checking the body measurements up, down and diagonally, comparing one part with another, for example the length or width of the head compared to the hand. Remember that the lengths and widths that you see (the visual measurements) are often very different to the‘actual’physical measurements due to viewpoint and perspective.
I was very pleased with this drawing. I feel that it completely captures the essence of the pose. I managed not to overly dwell on detail and feel that pastels was the best choice for this piece of work. I tried not to outline, but to create form and edges using just shading. The white highlights lift overall effect. The proportions do look correct- she had a beautiful shape so it was easier to capture the contours. There is a sense of weight- the back is straight and there is a sense of physical mass in both stance and form.
This drawing did not work so well. The pose was not so easy- but I choose to work from this angle because of the practice in dealing with foreshortening that it offered. I think the arms are too skinny and his position looks a little unnatural- bending slightly too far back. There is definitely a sense of form and the shading works too.
This drawing is slightly comical- apart from the green head, the face and features are too small for the body and the legs are also too short and skinny. I think I became overly caught up in details of the elements of the pose, and forgot to step back often and look at the picture as a whole. The chest and stomach are quite well observed I think. Next time I will try look at the overall body as a complete shape rather than break it into smaller elements.
One this that works in all of these drawings is the background and surroundings of the models. I have not gone into great detail but shadows and the shapes of the cushions etc give a sense of presence that is lost when I have just drawn the body in isolation. The cushions/flooring also help to add a sense of weight and mass to the pose.
This drawing works on some levels but would have benefited from filling the page more. The deep dark shading around the legs makes the pose believable. However, I need to add a little more highlighting to lift the effect. I find this difficult using pastels because the fixative reduces the brightness of the lightest colours creating an end result that can be slightly toned down and dull.
This drawing made a nice change. I worked on kraft paper using coloured charcoal pencils. I like the way the white hints at highlights, while the dark colours create shadow. I enjoy using the mid-tone colour paper as it stops me getting too bogged down in detail in the mid range. This picture incorporates some foreshortening on the legs (is that what it’s called when the legs are going away from the viewer?). The model has a sense of weight and mass on the chair and highlighting through the holes in the chair back hint at the shape of the model’s back.
This picture used a different approach- using just one colour on white paper. Immediately I arrive at the use of a pencil my approach becomes more caught up in detail again. The body is overly outlined, which reduces the sense of physical mass. I prefer the drawings that rely more on shading the create a sense of form. I cannot decide if the rear leg is too long? It is hard to compare it with the other leg which is significantly foreshortened by its orientation towards the viewer. I did measure but that is not always a guarantee of accuracy!!