Friday, 2 May 2014

Contours and Shading the Figure

This past week, I was teaching my Contours and Shading workshop. I have a set of life drawing workshops, that build incrementally on each other, but each one stands alone as well. In this workshop, we look at expression through line, considering light and value throughout the entire picture plane, and different light effects in shadow, different light effects in light. All the while, in every workshop, understanding the function and value of gesture, and other aspects of drawing, like proportion and composition.
Training to draw well through figure work is one of the hardest challenges one can take. Drawing as a response, in the moment, to the pose a model takes. For me, it's completely rewarding. I love getting so deep into the drawing that you forget all space and time continuum.

This is one exercise to observe how light affects round objects. Quite sensitively rendered by one of my students this week,, how does this relate to light on the human form? See the orange drawing below,...

We study gesture in all my life draws, as gesture is the basis of all expression. This students' whimsical charcoal drawing playfully explores tonal gradation through sensitivity to pressure. I love taking a topic like gesture, and looking at it from as many points as possible, to give our concepts and creativity as wide a berth as possible.  

This is a drawing I did recently, that simplifies the value system. There's light on the body, but in the shadowed areas, it appears that the shadow closest to the light, actually has the darkest value, within the shadows. Every light situation is different, but in this case, there was a lot of reflected light on the models' upper back. This piece was done in one hour, on Canson mi-tientes, with an orange conte pencil. I love the effect of the darks, around her eyes and hair. This piece isn't finished. I'm going to modify the contour line, and add detail to the skirt, which was full of light. Another day,.....

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