21 September 2009

Figure Drawings - Part 2

Here are the last few figure drawings from this term. I learned a lot the past 10 weeks from Jeff Watts in the long-pose figure drawing class, and from Ben Young in the 20-minute figure lay-in class. Quicksketch and long pose classes are a very effective learning combination, highly recommended. A quicker lay-in leaves more time for the finish.

This term I realized the importance of hands to a figure drawing or portrait. Hands add an energizing secondary focal point, and can be as expressive as the face. No need to perfectly render them, in fact less detail is more interesting. But the figurative artist needs to be able to draw/paint them well....I also observed how diagonals energize the pose by creating long dynamic lines. I saw lots of poses in my figure lay-in class, and the diagonal poses were always more appealing than the verticals or horizontals. The diagonal can appear in the figure itself or the cast shadow patterns. Simple but worth mentioning.

On another topic...An instructor at Watts, Stan Prokopenko, also blogs and recently posted a chronicle of his artistic development from beginning art student to instructor-level artist, over a 7-year period at Watts. It's a worthwhile post if you're curious about what one can expect with time and effort in this sort of learning environment. A sort of art student "before" and "after". Look around his blog while you're there, lots of good how-to and technical content.

Final note: The images above were drawn in 2 hours with a Conte Pierre Noire 1710 B charcoal pencil on 24 x 18 smooth newsprint. Jeff worked up the leg in the first image and the upper left leg in the third image.


  1. absolutely awesome.I can really see the progression of your work. < jealous...lol.... Keep it up!!!

  2. Very nice work! What do you have planned next?

  3. I can feel muscular energy beneath the skin and I also anticipate tension and the movement...womderful.

    The bottom two studies I find interesting the different most basic principle of composition (other than rule of thirds).

    Our eyes move left to right - it is how most westerners read.

    The woman's pose leads you down to the right and ourminds take us to the left again. There is movement - a circle. In bottom image the man's foot is flush left and the compositon is more static - peaceful - our eyes rest at bottom left.

    Thank you for all your kind words.

  4. James, Michael and Amanda, Thanks so much for your visit and comment. Can't take all the credit here. These models all have that uncanny ability to deliver inspired poses. They know you can't just sit there like a lump. Always thankful for a good model.

  5. John, Thank you. The human body is such an incredible object, and such a pleasure to draw. Your comments reminded me of an interesting post by James Gurney on his blog regarding eye movement across a composition. Good stuff. Regarding my comments on you images, very sincere.


  6. Hi, Amanda. So nice to "meet" you. Always happy to find an artist of high caliber, technically and creatively. An instant follow.

  7. Candace, Really great work. You are really taking to this figure work.
    I have passed on the Kreativ Artist Award to you so as I understand it you are to go to my site and pick it up.

  8. I can see a strength and confidence of hand in these. Really stunning. You were already amazing and you continue to get better.

  9. Gwen, Thanks for saying that. I am putting lots of effort into this and like to think some of that time is paying off. I like the gym analogy. At first, progress is slow, but eventually, if you stick with it, you get into shape (master artistic methods). Of course, once your there you need to continue working out to maintian that condition. Makes sense to me.

  10. Hi Candace,
    I am so happy to have come across your blog! You are a huge talent and I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful work. Not only that, but I look forward to learning from your generous posts. Thank you for sharing the wealth of information you are obtaining from your studies.
    Take care,

  11. Nicki, Thanks for your feedback. A positive comment like yours motivates me to keep posting the all-important technical stuff. Good art is a combination of good technique and a strong aesthetic. Best regards.

  12. Beautiful. You are a magnific knowledge of the human anatomy. I love your work. A kiss :-)