4.4.1 Structure

For this part of the chapter, I will take a closer look at the underlying structure of the body- the skeleton, the body’s measurements and mechanics. I have had a lot of fun just drawing less detailed figures and rough form so far, but now it looks like it is time to get serious 🙂

I start by drawing the skull in coloured pencils on A3:


And my first attempt at a skeleton, in ink on a newspaper:


A more detailed skeleton in my A4 sketchbook:




A very basic first approach- I really just have to learn everything.

A4 sketchbook pages:


In my small brown book:


TOES , coloured pencil in black A4:



Coloured pencil on black A4:




LEGS, A4 sketchbook



Felt tip pens in A4 Sketchbook:




My hands :


TORSO, A4 sketchbook

IMG_6431 arms and torso

More studies:

Quick ink, no details:


This is a very helpful exercise, and I will come back to it again with more parts as I continue drawing. Especially hands need more exercise!








4.4.2 Three figure drawings

My friend Isa is modeling for the first of my three figure drawings- lounging.

I felt a little nervous and too eager to show her a good drawing even as I started out and opted for a pencil drawing on A2. Unfortunately I had the eraser ready as well and the whole got as cramped and stiff as I felt:


Also I did not use the whole of the page, the drawing looks better cropped:


( I did some 2 minute prep sketches but left them behind in my sketchbook in Indonesia and already landed in Portugal again..)

Here I try one more time from a picture I took during the first session- this time with Conte sticks, A2:

I am still unsatisfied with this drawing, the bottom half works well but the upper bent arm and the head are not right.

For the drawing of a seated figure, I am drawing my dad reading on the sofa.

This time I chose coloured pencils on A2 and hid the eraser well. I focused on holding the pencils lightly and only scribble light marks over and over again. Also I started by imagining the skeleton and actually made use of what I learnt from the last exercise.

2 min sketches:


A2, about one hour:


The proportions are not perfect, but I am really happy that I managed to keep the light scribbly marks flowing and that I tackled the crosslegged pose which I found tricky. Here too, the figure is a little too small on the page- I just have to get used to drawing on bigger paper! But here it disturbs me less than above as you can imagine the living room around. Also I captured my fathers expression.

For the standing pose, I chose to work from a picture I took of my partner Andre when sketching some poses that I posted in the “Sketchbook pages”. This is a pose I have tried to draw correctly several times. The slightly forward bent posture and sloping shoulders is really tricky.

These are some of my old sketchbook trials:

Now I draw in blue ink on A2:

I think I finally captured the pose, and am happy with the scribbly markmaking. But then I decided to add some water with a small brush for the shading:

I regretted this- I preferred the scribbly marks. I am also VERY disappointed in my expensive aquarell papaer that still got wobbly.

Then I tried to fill in the background with solid blue ink:

The figure started out with standing under a lamp, and now looks like it is standing at the edge of a precipice. I am unhappy with the uneven background though, so decided to experiment with some bleach:

Now the background got more interesting. I added sprinkles of bleach and turquoise ink.

Then I redrew the darkest shadows of the figure. This is very different from what I had in mind when I started, so it was a fun experiment just going with “the happy accident”.

I feel like the last exercises of the underlying structure have helped me improve somewhat my sense of proportion.