Brief: Pose your model in a reclining pose, perhaps lying back in an armchair or with feet up extended on a sofa… Focus particularly on tone and explore the subject’s pictorial possibilities. Make the background important as well as the figure.
My friend Cameron agreed to pose for me. He is great to draw as he is able to relax and adopt very natural looking poses. Also he has lovely legs!
I am reasonably pleased with this picture and feel it is much more successful than my first drawing for assignment four (thank goodness).
The overall composition of the picture feels OK. I like the chunky sofa cushions; they provide a good background. The foreground foot provides an interesting feature. The cushions around the head also provide visual interest and they and the sofa cushions help to frame the figure. Overall the proportions and perspective are reasonable. The hands look realistic and it looks as though there is a skeleton under the skin. I feel I have used tone reasonably well to describe the form and managed to include a variety of textures. I am pleased I did not let the challenging perspective put me off.
There are imperfections, of course, but nonetheless I feel this is one of the best pictures I have drawn and I know that I could not have accomplished this a year ago. Something must be sinking in!
What doesn’t work so well?
I worked hard and checked and checked again to try to get the overall proportions correct but even so, the torso is a little long. There is also something very slightly rigid about body. The face is about 90 per cent Cameron but something isn’t quite right. I think it is that the neck is little long.
Exploring different poses
I got Cameron to stretch out on the sofa with the newspaper and I sketched him from a couple of different angles. Strong daylight was coming from the windows which were at a right angle to the sofa. Light was bouncing off the leather sofa.
Exploring detail and colour
Don’t be put off by difficult perspective / foreshortening but do lots of practice sketches before embarking on the final picture.
Tiny errors in proportions can cause surprisingly big distortions.
In this kind of pose, feet can be much bigger than your eye might be telling you. I like to think that I don’t need to measure but I do!