Have you managed to make a complete statement in this time? What were your main problems?
I believe I made a reasonably complete statement in the hour-long drawing. I did a lot of quick sketching practice and this has helped. Having the extra time enabled me to add the context – the bed, the drapes and some light and shade to the body.
This was a difficult pose – not one I would have chosen – the foreshortening on the face in particular is quite ugly but this is not an exercise in beauty…
My habit of going back over my lines to neaten them is not necessarily improving my sketches. Sometimes I think it might be better to let a simple instinctive line speak for itself.
How well have you captured the characteristics of the pose?
Although I have captured the pose, I do not yet feel my sketches are very expressive… they are exercises rather than art. It was really interesting in the life drawing class to see how the experienced artists used line in a very loose and sometimes abstract way, sometimes just focusing on a body part. I feel I need to develop my understanding of the body and proportions before I can free myself to be more experimental.
Do the proportions look right? If not, how will you try to improve this?
In the hour-long pose I do feel the proportions are just about right. My other sketches are mixed and there are quite a few instances of torsos that are too long, heads too small and short legs but overall I feel my figure drawing skill has already started to improve. I found I didn’t have time to measure when doing the quick sketches or mark up the page. I did do some measuring with the longer poses which helped to some degree but I don’t think my measuring was very skilled. With the practice I felt I started to gain a slightly more instinctive understanding of the proportions.
The advice to start in the middle rather than with the head was invaluable and this was reiterated during the life drawing class because there are more points of reference in the middle. It was suggested that I should try to be aware of the how each line relates to the surrounding shapes and angles. These are incredibly helpful tips that I will remember.
In a couple of sketches that I’ve annotated I have not been happy with the way the legs join the body as it has not looked natural, and this is something I need to work on. No doubt developing a better understanding of the skeletal structure will help.