Now in my seventh week of life drawing class I find myself facing the same barrier as before - foreshortening. It's hard enough keeping things in proportion, finding a line to sum up mass, refraining from drawing outlines and understanding the relationship tones have in a drawing, but doing all of this in perspective too is proving really hard.
More on this further down, but for now, have a look at these warm-up sketches I did at the start of the class. Our model did four short poses - no more than 10 minutes each:
With warm-ups, I always try to draw as quickly as possible, almost just using the time to react spontaneously to what I see without any planning or measuring and marking out. That way I get into the "mood" for drawing - the blank paper in front of me is much less intimidating at the end of these short poses. That puts me in the right frame of mind to approach the long pose of the evening.
As for what I was saying at the start of this post i.e. keeping track of all the elements of drawing - last week I tried marking in where and how the environment and props related to the model to help keep me on track when drawing the human form itself:
(Ignore the weird shapes on the left edge of the page - those are just little notes on working out construction).
The idea was to use the prop and surrounding space as a guide to placing the model convincingly in situ. I didn't get very far as we only had 30 minutes and I got carried away with the damn chair! Lesson learned.
This week however, for our hour-long pose I worked really quickly when marking out the extremes of the environment - like the outer regions of the sofa, any obvious regular intervals that recede in perspective and key intersections between the prop and model, before drawing in the model herself:
(click image for a larger version)
I don't think this drawing holds together any better than the previous one. I feel there's not enough coming through from the environment to support the notion of the woman actually existing in that space. If I had to pick one thing that really bugs me the most about this drawing, it's that left arm. The twist that was occuring isn't represented at all and proportions are ofcourse way off. There are also major issues with the foreshortening of her left leg and right forearm.
It was a very tricky angle for me, and I think spending a little more time on understanding the space and working out the series of incidents occuring in my field of vision as I sketched would have gone a long way to improve the output.
Still, it's all about the process at this stage and getting a deeper understanding of what that is, is really where it's at.