The Figure and the head. Part 4. Project 3 Form. Exercise 1. Basic shapes. Reflection.

Exercise 1 Basic shapes

Arrange your model at a slight angle in a chair…..begin your drawing consider the angle of central axis that runs through the seated figure…… Block in the basic shapes…….look for planes of the body receding which lines or planes are parallel to the edge of the picture plane….help to establish the bulk of the drawn figure in relation to the space around it……Identify a measured unit, scale and proportion…..Identify foreshortening.


For many weeks I went to St Albans Art Society Life Drawing classes, there I studied the seated figure, both nude and clothed.

Here is a selection of my drawings, the models are male and female from different evenings. These models were either seated on a chair or stool.  The sketches range from 5 to 10 minute drawings. I don’t usually measure in the traditional sense, I use shapes and positive/negative spaces to get the overall shape of the body. You can see in many of my drawings I have explored different lines and marks to gain the figure’s position on the chair or stool. With materials, such as pens or pencils I like to draw rough loose lines, with ink and washes the line is broken and sketchy, with washes showing light and dark areas.

Where there is a problem with hands and feet I left out any details, but made gestural marks to emphasizes those features.  I understand foreshortening and in most of these drawings I have attempted to draw knees or elbows larger that expected. The bottom drawing of a girl sitting sideways on a chair (Fig 11) was challenging because of the twist in her body, which made the feet look small. I made lots of over drawing marks to get her shape, it was a tricky pose to sketch.

I think I prefer the very open lined drawings of the clothed figure in a chair (Fig 3) as I feel it looks like that model and as I have drawn with felt pen the open and sketchy lines reflect the models pose really well. Also the proportions are better than some of the other sketches too.

I’m not sure if I have answered the brief for this exercise, but I did fill the space with the bulk of the figure and explored a variety of mediums.


Man ink and wash sketch. Fig 1

Back of girl in pencil. Fig 2
Quick sketch of seated man. Fig 3
Side view sketch of seated man. Fig 4
Man on a stool in white pen on black paper. Fig 5
Man on stool in conte pencil. Fig 6
Woman on stool in pencil. Fig 7
Man on stool in charcoal on toned paper. Fig 8
Back of clothed man in felt pen. Fig 9
Man and girl in pen on toned paper. Fig 10
Side view of girl in pencil. Fig 11

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