Life Drawing: Demos
As part of the Tutorials and Techniques section, we want share our Life Drawing Demos with you. Life Drawing is really where you learn so many fundamental techniques that are applicable to all types of sketching. If you have never taken a Life Drawing class…do it! You will learn much more than any design sketching class can teach you. The reality of it is…people are HARD to draw, and if you can sketch a face hand or body….you can sketch anything! Enjoy.
Figure Sketch- Body Posture + Process
Well, I was asked to draw a “sexy” chick, and I finally had some time to search for the right pose and draw her today. Here is the process I used to draw this “life” drawing. In this case the pose was from a picture I found on the internet of a nude model. I changed her pose slightly. My objective was to make her have both a sensual pose and look on her face, instead of that of a cold blooded killer. The medium used for this drawing will be pencil. I started the drawing off on regular photocopy/bond paper.
1. First and foremost is to get the correct pose of the person down. At this point, you also have to make sure the drawing will fit on the page. I start by drawing loose and gestural bone structures to get the overall gesture. In order to proportion the body correctly, I use the size of the head as a reference and split up the paper. This allows me to easily make sure the proportions are correct. Remember to draw light, and don’t bother using an eraser.
2. The most important step at this point is to check to make sure the posture, proportions, and locations for all of the body parts are correct. If they are too far off, you can always start over since you have not invested a lot of time at this stage of the drawing. Start off with light and gestural contour lines to draw in the body. Recheck the proportions, and then pick the correct line and darken it, following the nuances of the model. Once the outline of the body is drawn in and looks correct, the facial features can be drawn in.
3. I will usually photocopy the drawing and work out designs for clothing, armor, accessories, etc.
4. Once I have everything correctly proportioned, and the details of the clothing are decided on, I will use the drawing as an underlay and trace over it with Bienfang Graphics 360 marker paper. As I trace I change the pencil pressure to create light to dark lines keeping in mind my light source. This gives the drawing more life and a sense of light. The details are all refined and the drawing is done and ready for photoshop, or shading. Unfortunately I was at the limit of my scanner and so the detail of the sword’s saya (scabbard) did not come through. If needed, you can use a kneaded eraser to lighten up dark lines, etc.
Portrait Sketch- Shaping on paper + Line quality + Process
Step 1: This initial sketch is done with basic straight lines.
(A). You start by breaking the page down with lines that extend off the page. These lines are the dominate composition lines, that help to dictate the main shapes and force of the sketch.
(B). Next you use Medium length lines (built off of the extended lines from A.) to help rough some of the bigger shapes, head, hands body are usually roughly formed.
(C). Using smaller lines, you help complete some of the rough shapes and help to begin the detail elements of the sketch.
Step 2: Using the sketch from Step 1 as an underlay, here we begin a new sketch by blocking out the basic shapes. Circles, triangles, cross section lines and roughly blocked out lines.
Step 3: Using the sketch from Step 2 as an underlay, we start a new sketch using the underlay as the “framework” to hang the more gestural/ expressive line work. Here we are looking to shape most of the final details, begin to build hierarchy and contrast in the line quality and look for value shifts. As the building of line work continues, its important to sketch “inside” the lines…using the cross section lines as reference, you can shape areas like the cheek, nose, mouth, eyes, etc.
Step 4: Here we have taken the sketch from Step 3, a little further with shading, cross hatching, feathering, etc. Using different techniques to help build in value, keeps the sketch alive and dynamic. Working with those different uses of the pencil, you can sepreate skin from cloth, etc. Finishing the light details on the face and hands, help to finialize the sketch. The last few details, I like to rough in a background, to help the portrait step off the page. Hope you can get something from this technique I was taught in a Figure Drawing/Painting class. Enjoy!