My personal thoughts on drawing one part 4 – the face and figure

my thoughts on finishing assignment 4

i found drawing one part four a  very inspiring and rewarding section of drawing one.

i feel That part 4  has  helped me along my journey and that I have learnt a great deal. I have looked at the structure and form of the human figure. I have looked at proportions including foreshortening. I Have attended local life drawing classes working directly from a male and female model –  the only downside is that I didn’t attend as many  life classes as I Felt I needed due to work commitments and the half term holiday. But nonetheless i found the classes very helpful. I went on to study facial features  – an area that I found very challenging. I still need to work more on facial features. I leant many new skills such as where the darkest and lightest areas are found on the face. I enjoyed the research projects and discovered some interesting contemporary artists and looked at some of their drawing methods. I used larger paper and tried out some different media including hard pastels and compressed charcoal. I have used my sketchbook more and finished one of them.  I Attended a really inspiring study trip to the British museum and had the opportunity to view original drawings and learnt about the drawing processes of both historical and contemporary artists. There was also the opportunity to sketch the original drawings. I look forward to exploring further some of the skills that I have picked up from the course – with the opportunity to advance my own working processes and studies. I have really enjoyed the course. I also feel that I have grown in confidence.


drawing One – part 4 – assignment 4 – self portrait final piece

once I had experimented with capturing the form  and structure of my head and had spend some time  looking at contemporary artists – I did an initial  drawing using graphite pencil and Mark making to suggest form.  I then used waxy crayons to do a drawing in candlelight  concerned with tone and shadows. I then did the final piece in a darkened room lit by a dimmed lamp. I used blue paper and hard pastels. I placed the mirror fairly close and used the pastels to capture the light source, tone and form. The lightest area of my face was a patch of white light on the bridge of my nose , an area of my neck and some strands of my hair. The darkest areas were around the hair on my shoulders. I was not concerned with colour as much as lights and darks and mood.I was wearing a heavy dressing gown so attempted to capture the weight of the grown on my shoulders. I attempted to capture mood and expression. I had very little light in the room which I think added to the atmosphere. I have never used hard pastels before  and found them quite challenging as they do not blend as well as the softer varieties- but I liked the effect on the paper and the way the eye blends the lines together.


Drawing one part 4 assignment 4 – self portrait

for this that drawing the idea is to produce  a self portrait or portrait combining line and tone using any size paper and medium.. The features should be in proportion to the rest of the body – neck shoulders and chest.

Look at interesting positions from different angles using mirrors. In my sketchbook I began by looking at contemporary artists and explored some of their techniques – I looked at Elizabeth Peyton’s portraits where she uses coloured pencil. I looked at Alay Raich and liked  the confident way in which he uses felt tip pens as a medium and hoe he skilfully builds  up form and colour using lines. I looked at the charcoal heads of Agnes Grochulska and Frank Auerbach, both of these artists seem concerned with capturing structural elements of the head shape often using charcoal in layers.

I began by doing a series of quick pencil sketches looking at my head in a mirror and moving  my head to capture different angles

I also explored coloured pencil and felt tip pencil in my sketchbook. I was largely concerned with capturing form, shapes  and structure rather than a likeness. I think I made some progess with my drawings and I found it both a challenge and an interesting experiment.

Drawing one – part 4 assignment second drawing

The second drawing for assignment 4 is to draw a figure using tone but this  time we were asked to draw  a reclining model. The instructions is to dress the model in fairly tight fitting clothing. Also to allow the light and shadows to fall across the figure in an interesting way and also to look  out for negative spaces., form and atmosphere.

once again I used my daughter as a model. I did a couple of basic and quick sketches in my sketchbook.

I got my daughter to lay back against a soft armchair- I let her choose a comfortable position as I was aiming to capture a natural position. used a large  lamp which produced large areas of light that fell across the figure producing a  bleaching effect on her clothing.

Again I used A1 paper – heavy weight with s smooth texture. For the medium I used charcoal – soft thin sticks of willow charcoal and a extra large compressed charcoal block as well as charcoal pencils to define areas of my drawing , similar to how contemporary artist Agnes Grochulska uses charcoal.I lightly sketched in the form of the figure being careful to fit the whole body onto the page. I  then blocked in tone and built up my drawing. I left the areas of my paper where the light fell across the figure just white – using the white paper as the lightest tone. I used my hands and fingers as well as a putty rubber to work and lift up the charcoal- this technique I found very liberating, exhilarating  and uplifting as I felt I was literally working in the very core of my drawing.I was influenced by the charcoal drawings of Frank Auerbach – the way  he works his drawings are fascinating he draws his drawing then  erases it , then redraws it again  then repeats  this process. In comparison my drawing is maybe Auerbach’s first part of the process as I only spend 2 hours on it and didn’t erase all of my drawing. I recently saw the Auerbach exhibition at the Tate earlier and last month I was lucky enough to look a drawing of his in the British museum. I am in awe of Auerbach’s beautiful drawings and I am impressed and inspired by the intensity of his drawings and the way he captures structure. I only spend 2 hours on my drawing and feel that I could have continued with it – but I felt it was okay as it was,  and I feel that I managed to capture my models likeness. I really loved doing this drawing and found using charcoal was very refreshing and exciting.. I loved the freedom of it and I enjoyed working this way. As I drew I looked out for negative spaces. The hands look fairly large but I was careful to measure them against the head and the face  and they were fairly large in proportion due to the angle. I also think I managed to capture the foreshortening of the figure .All in all I am quite pleased with my drawing .

Drawing one- part 4 assignment 4 – first drawing seated figure

for assignment 4 the instructions is to do three figure studies

The first drawing  is of a seated model in an upright chair – this drawing is about capturing the figure as a 3 dimensional form using line – either using a single line or a combination of lines – both narrow and thick , curved or straight – fractured expressive , gestural , dynamic and dramatic.

I used my daughter as a model and got her to seat in a chair. I started by doing some quick sketches primarily looking at form. I then drew the final piece on A1 paper. I used a heavy weight smooth paper. I used graphite pencils and once I had established the shapes playing attention to the negative  spaces I build up the form of the figure using lines –  a combination of lines some curved and some straight , some small and sparse and some thicker.. I was particularly interested in capturing the form and structure of the body with my mark making. I also measured the chair to plot the porportions of the figure. I lightly sketched the background to add a sense of depth to my drawing. I found the drawing a challenge as i Do not usually draw in this way but found it very inspiring and interesting. I think the hair and facial features are the weakest areas of my drawing. – and I  Struggled to capture her facial  likeness – I feel she looks older than she actually is. I think the limbs work really well and I managed to fit the whole figure on the page. I did however experience difficulty photographing my drawing and getting a clear image.

Drawing one part 4 – the face And the figure – project 5 – the face -exercise 3 draw a portrait from memory or,from the imagination

for this project the idea is to create a portait of a fictional character based on a description in a book. I drew a graphite and charcoal pencil portrait of Catherine Earnshaw from the novel “wuthering heights ” by Emily Bronte. In the book she is described as wild and unruly with a love of the Yorkshire moors. In my picture i included an imaginary Yorkshire view. I have read the novel several times and although  Catherine has an wild unpredictable side to her personality she is also a victim , raised by her father with a brutal and cruel older brother  so in my drawing I   also wanted to focus on her relative youth and her vulnerability. She is also described as being proud and haughty – so I attempted also to show this in the  facial expressions as well as capturing a sense of her unhappiness as I also feel that in parts of the book she is extremely unhappy and unsettled.. In the Novel ,  the characters and the moorland land setting is described as bleak so  I decided to do a black and white monochrome drawing I used A3 cartridge paper photographing my drawing as it progressed.I felt reasonably pleased with my drawing.

Drawing one – part 4 – the face and figure – project 5 – exercise 2- your own face

for this exercise I did a series of five minute sketches of my own face on a piece of A3 cartridge paper using a 4B pencil  I used a mirror and moved the postition of my face. I found it a challenge to do this exercise as 5 minutes did not seem long enough !

some of my drawing I did ‘blind’ so that i  could focuse on shapes and tone moving my pencil rapidly across the paper. I struggled with the positions of the facial features,

drawing one -part 5 the face and the figure – project 5 – the face- exercise one – facial features

I spend a couple of days observing faces and focusing on individual features – I looked at magazines and the television drawing and copying features in my sketchbook- I drew noses , ears , lips and eyes. I then drew hair and some entire faces – looking at tonal values.

like drawing trees earlier in the course I really enjoyed this exercise.

drawing one part 4 the face And figure – project 5 the moving figure – exercise 2 – group of moving figures


this exercise is about observing groups of moving figures and recording in sketch form different kinds of people

I spend time at cafes and at the Royal festival hall at the south bank drawing moving figures in pencil, biro and coloured pencil. I used my sketchbook to record moving figures and I did some blind drawings. Again a useful and very interesting exercise.