live figure drawing class, need feedback.
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    live figure drawing class, need feedback.

    I've been going to the national museum in stockholm for a nude drawing from live models class for the past weeks. 2.5 hours each time, poses from 5 to 15 minutes, sometimes 20. Some light tutoring by the attending teacher but with so many attending it's fairly basic and I basically have access to a live model once a week, which is grea, but I could really use some feedback on my drawings.

    If anything stands out as things I need to work on, any tips on what to do inbetween sessions to improve and get the most of the remaning 6 classes, it would be greatly appreciated. Here are some of the sketches ive made, and at the bottom, theres a link to the thread I've made for all the drawings from the class in the figure drawing link.

    All feedback greatly appreciated.

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    They look fine to me.

    The only advice I have to offer is from my own experience: The practice in present-day art schools of having the longest pose be 25 minutes long gave me all sorts of bad habits....you might want to also find somewhere where the poses are much longer (3-4 hours at least) so you have an opportunity to get more analytical about the forms. Drawing classical sculpture in a museum is also good for this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    They look fine to me.

    The only advice I have to offer is from my own experience: The practice in present-day art schools of having the longest pose be 25 minutes long gave me all sorts of bad habits....you might want to also find somewhere where the poses are much longer (3-4 hours at least) so you have an opportunity to get more analytical about the forms. Drawing classical sculpture in a museum is also good for this.
    Thankyou for the advice, this is the first time ive ever tried drawing with a live model and I'll definitely look into continuing with it after these sessions are over and look for somewhere where I can have an opportunity for longer poses as well.

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    If you are not holding your pencil with the lead sideways, like a violin bow, you should try to do that.

    Pay attention to proportions, action lines, balance and rhythmic lines. You've got a fairly good feeling of mass and solidity, but the flow of line is indifferent. I recommend the book "FORCE: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators".

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    I think you're doing fine in the time. You might want to include a hint of the background to make more of the negative values.


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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    If you are not holding your pencil with the lead sideways, like a violin bow, you should try to do that.

    Pay attention to proportions, action lines, balance and rhythmic lines. You've got a fairly good feeling of mass and solidity, but the flow of line is indifferent. I recommend the book "FORCE: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators".
    when you say holding the lead sideways like a violin, do you mean holding my pen more like a violinbow instead of like when im writing, or just to hold the pen horizontally against the image?

    ie, are you suggesting i hold it like this: Name:  20121029_171140.jpg
Views: 332
Size:  83.3 KB

    instead of like this: Name:  20121029_171156.jpg
Views: 308
Size:  82.8 KB

    Thankyou for the feedback everyone, as well as the suggested reading

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    Like this. Try different mediums as well, it is tricky to get flowing lines as a beginning with a pen, or a pencil. Try black conte on a big newsprint pad with an easel and see how that feels. Other than that work on your economy of line, right now its a little scratchy.

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    This session was half clothed, half unclothed. Turns out I cant draw big honking dresses at all. I think my mistake may ave been trying to capture detail instead of form. Tried the different approach to sketching mentioned above, I'll leave it to you to tell me if its any better,, but at this point i feel im kinda worse at it since its a new way of doing it, so once more unto the breach tomorrow. until then, pictures! all feedback appreciated on, well, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimer View Post
    when you say holding the lead sideways like a violin, do you mean holding my pen more like a violinbow instead of like when im writing, or just to hold the pen horizontally against the image?

    ie, are you suggesting i hold it like this:
    yes exactly. this doesnt work with a pen or mechanical pencils though.

    drawing-basics-how-to-sharpen-charcoal

    you want to have enough lead exposed to get a variety of available widths for your marks.

    another helpful tool is a plumb line... just a thread with something heavy enough on the other end to have it hanging straight down.

    "When drawing from the model," he said, "never be without the plumb line in the left hand" — Every one has a bias, either to the right hand or the left of the vertical. The use of the plumb line rectifies this error and developes a keen appreciation of the vertical.
    Henry Haley quoting Sargent.

    Last edited by sone_one; November 5th, 2012 at 02:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sone_one View Post
    yes exactly. this doesnt work with a pen or mechanical pencils though.

    drawing-basics-how-to-sharpen-charcoal

    you want to have enough lead exposed to get a variety of available widths for your marks.

    another helpful tool is a plumb line... just a thread with something heavy enough on the other end to have it hanging straight down.

    "When drawing from the model," he said, "never be without the plumb line in the left hand" — Every one has a bias, either to the right hand or the left of the vertical. The use of the plumb line rectifies this error and developes a keen appreciation of the vertical.
    Henry Haley quoting Sargent.
    Excellent, ill try this, as well as switching mediums to charcoal for the next session and see how that works out. Would you recommend a charcoal pencil or just pure charcoal sticks for sketching like this? got some pencils of my own with a wide charcoal center and theres, i guess, pressed charcoal sticks available in class. dunno the technical terms for these things so describing them best I can

    Much obliged to everyone taking the time to help out.

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    try both and see what you like best .

    you can aswell try conte pencils, chalk, pastells, colored pecils, standard graphite pencils, those graphite sticks (with no wood around the lead), .... and many more. just not every medium is erasable so you might want to keep that in mind.

    and yeah... get a kneaded eraser . (i prefer faber castell, others are too sticky, or firm, or soft, etc for my taste.)

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    I have been working with Conte 1710 B and 3B pencils on smooth newsprint lately. If you can find them easily I recommend trying one out and see if you like it. For me it flows really nice without being too slick, makes doing a lot of drawing on a large pad even more fun. Looking good though, definitely keep it up!

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    second stab at clothed-unclothed. Male this time, trying to sketch with charcoal and a string with a weight.

    I could probably use some pointers on how to use both, since my drawing has been limited to lead pencils and mechanical pencils so far.

    Im limited to charcoal and lead pencils at this time, since thats the only thing the museum will allow us to use (were drawing in the rooms full of rembrants etc).

    All feedback appreciated, right now I'm thinking they actually look less good than th previous stuff since im not that wellversed with using coal. I'll get better thoguh, and swriching up from what I'm comfortable iwth is definitely a good idea.

    apologies for the non-scanned pictures, recent move means not all hardware connected yet, so photos it is

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    third session with clothed unclothed, tried both graphite and coal, feeling a bit more confident with the coal than i did two sessions ago but still making a mess rather than confident lines. Posting a few of the sketches, for all of em, if you want to see them and care to comment theyre in the link for my figure drawing thread. Next 3 sessions will be 2 models posing together.

    Been trying to use the line and using coal to sketch with, not hold it like a regular pencil and focus a bit more on forms and less on thin precise detail lines. Ill leave it up to you lot if you see any improvement some graphite sketches in here too.

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