Nudes ... the human body

Joining the class on the Human Figure intrigued me. The first attempt found me confused. Our teacher noticed and said, "find an interesting line and work from there." I did; it was an exquisite experience.

No. 1I find bodies to be beautiful and learned in this class they are also fun to draw. Doing a 'gesture study' can be frustrating at first because you have to work fast. Models typically hold the pose for about a minute. The idea is to increase observational skills and get the basic gesture, or statement the model is making with her body. You have to look very carefully to capture it and be as loose and free as the studio models exhibit.
No. 2One challenge in any drawing is to give form and volume to a three dimensional subject, like a leg, while working on a two dimensional surface, the paper. In a ten minute study like this one, an additional goal is to develop a composition with good values, line, and overall design. This piece was selected for an art show and is titled "Study in Black and White."
No. 3This is a favorite pose when drawing the human figure for it forces the artist to work and make the knee come forward. This is called 'fore shortening' and is a skill all artists need to develop for drawing a knee, as in this instance, or the front limb of a tree. What is closest,in distance, to the observer needs to come forward. Artists want to be able to portray this realistically.
No. 4Here is another ten minute study. You see how I worked to place the figure into a 'painting,' one with overall design or compositional qualities, e.g. the angles are interesting, the shapes created by the body (and the body itself as a whole) are unique shapes. The non-descript darker values in the background help to add depth to the figure.
No. 5This is another illustration of fore shortening. The model's right elbow comes out directly toward me. I was working so hard to try and capture this, that I did not have time to develop the hand, so I created a 'symbol' for the hand. Doing this helped give me a sense of completion as time was running out for the ten minute study.
No.6Another form of quick gesture drawing takes place when you look only at the model and not at the paper on which you are drawing, making the complete drawing 'blind.' This works best if you keep your drawing stick on the paper and once you begin you just keep going, concentrating totally on the model, letting your mind direct your arm and hand.
No. 7When drawing the human figure (or any subject) you have to decide where to begin, what to include, what to leave out. The more artists practice doing this the more skilled we get at thinking--and executing--a composition, that is how to fill the canvas with the most interesting of lines, shapes, darks, and lights.
No. 8This shows a group of one-minute gesture studies--the same model quickly shifts the stance minute by minute. Sometimes it is fun to work a bit smaller and make a series of studies to form an overall composition. The final drawing (on the far right) was one step too far for this composition, however, I really like the overall feel of this large page.
No. 9It might help you to know all these studies were done with charcoal on large newsprint 24 x 36. Thus you can imagine, hopefully, the large size of these studies. In this study I particularly like the dark values surrounding this figure and how those push the figure forward, especially the arm.Thank you for visiting my Nudes Gallery.