Etiqueta: portrait

Part 4 The figure and the head

Project 3 Form – Exercise 1 Basic shapes

This was my models first time at modelling for someone, but as an avid selfie taker she was willing to pose for about the hour required.

There were some restrictions in what I could do and time was one of them so after finding a suitable position with natural light – on a very sunny day – but with the model out of the sun, I went straight into the drawing.

I sensed her feeling her a little awkward/stiff and even more so as her boyfriend made a video of most of the drawing session.

There was a slight twist in her body and she moved her hair on several occasions.  There was a general consensus among the family audience that there was a good likeness in the face and body.


Early measuring was done with fast light marks, gradually building up tones to represent the basic shapes of the body – during the drawing I kept thinking about shape and the building up of three dimensional form using tone.  I believe that I achieved this successfully in the drawing.

I have used a wide range of tone (not well shown in the photo), introduced an interesting texture using the surface of the paper and also patterns made with line, and the jeans and teashirt were sensitively rendered.

When working in photography, I was always careful to place the hands of the model/subject – this model had her hands in her lap – almost nervously clasped together and I think that this feature together with her gaze in front helped to make a successful portrait.


Part 4 The figure and the head

Project 2 Proportion – Exercise 2 A longer study

I especially enjoyed this longer pose of my wife watching TV…


Willow and compressed charcoal on Strathmore Charcoal paper 95g – 12 x 18″


Once again I have a achieved a good sense of space and used a wide range of tones to depict form.  The drawing is in fact a good likeness and I had to use foreshortening in her left arm and legs. Darkening the background allowed me to model the outline of the face which was in the light – without resorting to line.

The surface was easy to work but I had trouble in smudging the willow charcoal which insisted in maintaining a flat even tone – I had to use compressed charcoal to increase the depth of the darker tones.

In answering the questions in the exercise:

I have captured the pose well and used an interesting perspective – standing over the model with light from the RHS.

The weight and presence I feel were ok and using details of the sofa placed the model well. The weight of fabric was good and reflected the fall/behaviour of this tea-shirt type material around the figure.

The arms were a little clumsy and lacked clear outlines. I will work on this further during this part of the course. I need to pay more attention to the structure of the body – the bones – skeletal landmarks etc,


Part 4 The figure and the head

Project 2 Proportion – Exercise 1 Quick studies


Charcoal – A2 250g/m2 Mixed media paper


Charcoal – A2 250g/m2 Mixed media paper

I feel very comfortable using charcoal – a medium that I used little in the past.

The above were some quick studies before continuing on to two 10 minute studies. The quick study concentrated on using line and the second batch blocks of charcoal with some added lines.

The comment in the exercise text about ‘drawing over and over until the lines and marks begin to work was interesting and really did work – especially in the drawings below in which you can see some of the original marks that were incorrect – but add a dynamic to the finished images…


Compressed charcoal on 250g Mixed media paper



Compressed charcoal on 250g mixed media paper

Whilst there were some inaccuracies in my line work, in general I placed the figure well within the sofa and actually achieved a good likeness (in the second) – the first image gave my wife a beard!


These were predominantly line drawings which did give a sense of space and depth by added small details of the sofa.  I did not have to do much measuring and felt that the proportions worked (rough measurements give overall body height approx. 6x the head – possibly up to 7 times )

I think it showed in the drawings that I enjoy working on figures/portraits.