Sunday, 6 April 2014

Exercise: Three Drawings - Lying down

The second in the series of three drawings was to be with the figure lying down. The instructions were to 'position yourself at a slight angle to the head so that you are looking down on the model. Note the foreshortening before you begin to draw."

This was a major challenge and I really struggled with it. I decided to use charcoal as there was more scope for corrections to be made than with ink. My first attempt was really not very good at all. I hadn't done any measuring and so didn't capture the foreshortening. He looks as though he is leaning back against an upright surface rather than lying down with his feet towards me. The second attempt was a bit better but on this attempt his arm looked at to be at a very unnatural angle.

First Attempt: I have not adequately
represented the foreshortening 

Second attempt: Foreshortening improving but poor
observation on the arm and shoulder

On the third attempt I used conte' crayon and had the model lying face down with his head towards me. The foreshortening was getting a bit better but I hadn't thought about the composition before I started so his legs ended up bang in the centre of the page. I also really struggled with his hands and found it impossible to make the corrections with the conte' as it stained the paper so I couldn't remove it. I abandoned this attempt.

Poor composition and appallingly bad drawing
of hands - this attempt was abandoned
On the next drawing, you can clearly see how much I struggled with this exercise as you can see the ghosts of the erased lines. I drew it then realised that it wasn't correct for the foreshortening so I spent some time measuring and redrew again on the same page. I was really surprised how dramatically the foreshortening alters the proportions. On measuring it was very clear that my mind drastically underestimates the effect. Lesson learned: where there is foreshortening it pays to measure what you are seeing.

You can clearly see my struggles with the
foreshortening here

Final attempt. Better than the others but there are still problems. His left shoulder
is wrong and I am still not sure about the foreshortening. Also Hands!!!!
The final drawing in this series is the best of a bad bunch. I like the angulation of his head and the positioning of his right hand relative to the head. I like the strong, dark triangular shape of his sacrum. I think the foreshortening is better but am not sure it is right. When I posted this on the OCA sketchbooks group on Facebook I got feedback that his feet and lower legs were too small.  There is a problem with the position of his left shoulder which seems too large relative to his right. Also, knowing how difficult I find drawing hands it was perhaps not my greatest idea to choose a composition in which his hand dominates the foreground.

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