4.2.2 A longer study

My daughter Ria agreed to be my model for this exercise, if she could just lie down and  look at the phone and computer.  In the life drawing classes I have attended, there is always one longer study, so this did not feel all new. For this chapter I have always kept to A4 on my lap though, so today I decided to draw bigger on A2 and use an easel.


I started by sketching out the outermost points lightly in charcoal, and then to draw lots of loose lines, finding the shapes.

There was something “off” from the very beginning, and although I kept measuring and comparing, I couldn’t remove that feeling. Instead of just starting from scratch as I should have, I kept drawing for about 1,5 hours- the length of the movie- using charcoal, smudging, lifting out with a putty rubber, filling in the darkest and accentuating the lightest with white Conte.

This is the final drawing:



I got very confused by the hoodie, and chose a really bad angle- hm can’t really think of any other excuses- but the result is very disappointing and out of proportion, the whole figure just too long, especially the upper body.

I do like the contrast between the detailed figure and the unfinished background though.

This IS a difficult pose!


Trying again


I will let this rest for now and work on another pose, there are obviously some skills I need to master before getting this pose right.

Another trial with Ria , she is lying on the bed with the computer nearby. At first I just circle in, observing.  I didn’t want to interfere , but she does some strange poses with her legs in the beginning, so I ask her to change that.

In the name of art she even removes her T-shirt- I realize how lucky I am to have a model available!

Today I have prepared the A2 sheet with random patterns of watercolor to create a background. ( I really enjoyed myself while copying Tracey Emins style ( see Sketchbook 4) , and although I aim at drawing more realistically here, I want to keep some of that playfulness)

A first small and loose trial on A5.


I am really happy with this start. Now I switch to the A2 sheet on the easel:

Immediately cramping up again and in the first version the torso is far too long again.I try to find the looser drawing again , then work on tone – this is the final A2 version:


I decided to leave the background unfinished again. I really like the random color of the background and think it helped me to stay a little looser and more playful, but it is still not as light as the first quick trial which I think looks much better. It took around 2 hours to draw this and I definitely overworked it and especially did far too heavy outlines and too strong contrast of tone.

I still had some backgrounds prepared and drew some quicker poses after we finished the above. This first one is a background of charcoal and ink , with a red Uniball figure A4, stretching the back after too long posing.



This second one charcoal on watercolor A5 (I just imagined away the underwear):


I like trying out various colors and media, and shifting from using only graphite. I realize that I always like the quicker, more spontaneous drawings the best, so I have to let go of the cramping up and “taking it too seriously” of the longer studies that just seem to sabotage the result.




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