Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quick Sketches

Quick Sketch

Here is a handout that separates some of the elements of the quick sketch. I originally got a simpler version of this handout from Glenn Orbik. I've added my own process to this handout and hope it helps.

-In the beginning learning construction and relevant anatomy is very important. Most students start with gestures and short poses starting form 1 minute onto 10 or 20 minutes.

-The goal of the quick sketch isn't always to get in as much information as possible, it's about slowing down and showing the viewer enough information to make the pose read - it's also a practice in simple construction, shadow shapes, use of negative shapes ....... all the fundamentals of drawing applied to the figure - to create a simple but effective statement, and hopefully a beautiful or powerful drawing.

In the handout above all the elements of the Quick Sketch are listed.

** not all of them will apply to all poses. Here is a simple breakdown of the most common approach to a 2 or 3 minute pose.

1) Head Shape
2) Angle of shoulders
3) Angle of Pelvis
4) Long line or weighted foot
5) Construction of Forms

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Working on Toned Paper - Shapes of the head

Drawing on Toned Paper

For this drawing I'm using toned paper. Strathmore Velvet Gray with Carbothello Dark Red charcoal and White Charcoal.

-When using toned paper it's an easy way of working into the half tone, rather than having to create the half tone yourself on white paper. The trick is knowing where the halftone exists and letting the paper do the work.
-The most common mistake made on toned paper is treating the drawing like it's on white paper and adding too much to the paper.
- If you choose a perfect Mid Tone for the paper then depending on your light patter you should only need to use equal parts of dark pencil and white pencil. If you choose a darker toned paper then you would need more white pencil and less of the dark pencil.

This drawing is on a perfect mid tone so I pretty much used equal parts of my pencils and let the paper come through in the half tones of her face.

Shapes of the Eye

It's very common to misread the shapes of the features of the face. For the eye it's important to build the structure on top of the whole ball of the eye, wrapping around the cup of the lower lid. There is a light shape on the inside of the lower lid that creates a 'line' under the Iris. It doesn't connect all the way under the eye, so it's easy to flatten out the eye by creating a line there. It's important to memorize the standard shape of an eye under a light and apply that knowledge to the model.

The eye is built under the brow and the lids of the eye sit at an angle. The upper lid is thicker than the lower lid and it casts a shadow onto the white of the eye. The shadow sometimes joins in with the pupil and sometimes it casts all the way onto the lower lid. There is a very specific pattern of form and cast shadows that creates what our brain reads as an eye. The good news is - the shapes are always the same, they just slightly shift from person to person.