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Pencil figures

September 4, 2013

I wanted to really challenge myself this week, to practice some basic drawing skills including proportion, depth and perspective.

For some reason, the human form is one of the hardest exercises when it comes to drawing. Both my art college professor (12 years ago) and tutor at my weekly studio class have said that once you can draw an accurate representation of a person, everything else should come more naturally. I assume this is because, whilst every person’s body shape is different, there are fundamental proportions that even if drawn a millimeter out, will throw off the whole drawing. Like the width of a person’s shoulders compared to their hips, or leg length as a proportion of their whole body length.

I will admit that I did not find this exercise easy. In fact, I became very frustrated whilst drawing the model lying down because the angle meant a foreshortening of his legs which looked more awkward on the page the longer I looked at it. My tutor gave me a few pointers, but it wasn’t until looking at my drawing a few days later that I thought it looked OK. I still think the lower leg looks a little strange, but overall, it is much better than the first few attempts.


I have left my sketch lines in the pictures to show my technique. I approach this in the same way that I would draw an interior or landscape, first setting out the main composition, then measuring each part of the body (using the well-practiced pencil and thumb technique) so the proportions are correct. I don’t fill in any details until I’m sure the measurements and angles are right.

In the end, a useful exercise, one I will redo regularly because it keeps the fundamental drawing rules in the forefront of my mind, so I can apply it to all other artwork.


From → Artwork

  1. Eal permalink

    Hmmm can’t remember modelling for you!! Terrific, I love these

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