For this exercise I used three 10-minute poses from two separate but close together life-drawing classes – so in total I have the 6 drawings!

I used 5B/9B pencils and charcoal stick, smudging in some for the darker tone on a couple of the sketches.  As the exercise suggested I tried to use tone contrasting it against the white paper background, with a little soft B pencils to help with cross-hatching and shading,

The first three sketches of the longer limbed figure had better light on the day streaming into the room than the later three.  The first attempt with the model turned away from me was perhaps a little too heavy in overall tone than the brief had asked for but I quite like the stark contrast and think the buttocks worked well against the upper thigh and because of the heavy tone I think it gives a sense of weight to the pose.

A3 sketch using 9B and smudged charcoal

For the next two I wanted to try a lighter touch and used pencil only.  The way the model used her arms and legs allowed me to focus on the negative space, hatching in the shaded areas around her using the background to bring the figure out but also combining line and tone.  I must admit I found the crossed leg pose difficult but it was helpful not having to focus on the detail and furthermore avoid a more obvious mistake.



Again, using the 5B pencil for the back pose created an subtler image out of the three and I feel the overall proportion of the model is slightly better.

For the most recent life drawing class I decided to start off with an A2 piece of paper using mainly charcoal.  However, I couldn’t get a natural gestural image of the pose and the torso turned out a little longer than in reality and therefore the proportions do not look correct.  I think this is because the way the model is turning with her arms holding her waist meant even though I was aware of the central axis of the figure I should have drawn a line from where the top of the head to the feet were to get a better representation of scale.  The face detail is unnecessary but I had drawn the line of the form relativity quickly and once I had smudged the charcoal, I was done so spent a minute filling in.

The last two sketches answer the brief the best because I have managed to focus on the darkest areas without over-emphasising them.  The lines and shading represent the tone and the paper is left untouched and works with the overall image.  The second image of the model with her arms resting on her hips has the best weight and seems to more substantially meet the brief.   I think the area around the shoulders  works, I trusted the space and missed out lines where the light was hitting the skint;  the briefs “essential elements”.


For the final sketch I tried this approach again with the similar pose.  I looked at the central axis and thinking about the brief broke it down, as I tend to overwork things and I must remember to focus on the light and dark areas.  I am not great at cross-hatching but that’s ok as I can either practice it more and/or use smudging, lines, squiggles etc.  I hope I have managed to capture the proportions, the tone (in some of the sketches) in the correct places and use of the central axis with some gestural elements.


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