A Drawing A Day 0836

The following is a black chalk drawing on toned Fabriano Accademia paper,
50 x 70cm

Progress Shot 07

So, before doing any more work on the middle figure I’ve decided to explore the lighting conditions a bit further. In my experience, drawing is a kind of a dance. I have several features at hand that need work – composition, anatomy, light, line and tone….and I suppose, part of the creative process is tending to one or more of these at a time. I take the anatomy further by the refinement of line and tone and then leave it for a while until I establish the light. Now by tending to light, I suppose, I also alter the anatomy. Perhaps other parts of anatomy are now more important that before. Now that I have adjusted the anatomy, the light has changed too…..and so on and so on. You get the picture. It is a dance of going back and forth until one is happy with the magic.
So, I have adjusted the light on the leftmost figure compared to the yesterday’s drawing by increasing the intensity of the contrast where the light meets the dark. That indicates that the light falling on these figures is quite strong. Not the kind of softish, diffused, averaged out light.

A Drawing A Day 0835

The following is a black chalk drawing on toned Fabriano Accademia paper,
50 x 70cm

Progress Shot 06

So, I put in the third figure as an in between pose. Tracking the change in posture from far left to the far right. The middle one is very rough at this stage, however it also gives a good estimate of how much changes one can get away with when drawing lightly. As I said earlier the water colour coating is great for creating lighter tones by erasing some of the colour, however it can be quite unforgiving when you need to erase a drawing mistake.
Also did a bit more definition on the right figure.

A Drawing A Day 0834

The following is a black chalk drawing on toned Fabriano Accademia paper,
50 x 70cm

Progress Shot 05

What I’m trying to do in this version is to push the shading to a certain extent so that I can start balancing the composition. So, now the drawing is a bit heavier on the right. Seem a bit better balanced that yesterday, although there is still quite a bit of space on the far left. I think I will need to sketch in the third figure in the middle next.

A Drawing A Day 0833

The following is a black chalk drawing on toned Fabriano Accademia paper,
50 x 70cm

Progress Shot 04

It boils down to a personal preference when choosing one of the 2 common ways of building a drawing. One being a complete focus on construction. Pretty much disregarding the tone and light, working only with lines to build the outline of the figure. This way you could also outline the shaded areas inside the body without really filling them with tone.
The second approach is to work primarily with tone and build the figure using the connection and / or juxtaposition of tonal shapes.
I would recommend the construction approach when learning to draw. There are a fewer things to consider and therefore fewer opportunities to make mistakes. Once the drawing is solidly built then one can focus entirely on the tone and light.

The way I work is a bit of both. I like to start with the construction approach but soon enough I get enticed by the light and have to add a bit of that as well. In this state I am adding a second figure and slightly regret I did not plan the composition more carefully. I should have placed the first figure further to the left to fit 3 figures comfortably, now that I started to indicate the third one in the middle, the three of them feel a bit sqeezed with some spare room on the far left. We’ll see how this works out.

A Drawing A Day 0832

The following is a black chalk drawing on toned Fabriano Accademia paper,
50 x 70cm

Progress Shot 03

Earlier I forgot to mention the paper. The yellowish tone is done by applying some water colour to the white Accademia paper. The only drawback I can think of with this process, is, that it limits the ability to use an eraser. The colour rubs off and thus creates a lighter tone. I use this device to create a scale between a highlight done in white chalk on top of the surface and a lighter than background tone done by erasing some of the watercolour. It’s only a problem if you need to erase your black chalk without wanting to reveal some of the whiteness of the paper underneath. Some bypass this problem by building a solid drawing on a separate sheet of paper and then transferring this semi finished drawing onto the toned paper.

I am progressing the drawing by refining the existing work rather than adding more features such as to the head, hands or feet and lower legs. I am kind of building both, the light and the construction at the same time alternating between the tools – line and tone (shapes of the surface).
Again, although I am refining the existing work, still, I am not very worried about either the lines or tone being exact in position and quality. I found that it ads a playful freshness to the drawing. It also allows me to get back to my anatomy books and work out what is happening on the model should I get lost and then make the changes I need.

Comparing state 2 and 3.
At number 1 – refining of the tone by adding more detail to the size, intensity and position of the shapes. At number 2 – refining the lines a little past the point where the rectus femoris of the quadriceps group originates and interacts (in this position of the upper leg in relation to the pelvis) with tensor fasciae latae.

A Drawing A Day 0831

The following is a black chalk drawing on toned Fabriano Accademia paper,
50 x 70cm

Progress Shot 02

This is the second state of the drawing. The initial intention was to draw the same body in a few different poses (2 or more). Preferably in poses that would show the change of the bodily masses and shapes in such a way that one would be able to look back and forth between the bodies to track the change.
My usual method is first to establish the structure of the body. The construction. This is quite important as no amount of wonderful shading at the end will compensate for lack of structure and the drawing will still end up lacking.
So that’s mainly what was happening in yesterday’s drawing (progress shot 01), although I have to admit I do get sidetracked by light here and there before the solid construction is in place. So yesterday I already started to indicate some borders of shaded areas before I was entirely happy with the building of the body. For example the lower legs.

In today’s version I further clarified the lines of the outline. For example by making the down plane (red arrow) at the bottom of the rib cage on the right side quite strong so as to indicate it is turned away from the light and thus quite dark. Small signals like that will go unnoticed by conscious mind, however they are picked up unconsciously and greatly contribute to the creation of the illusion of three dimensionality.
I have also filled fairly uniformly the large shapes of shaded areas to create a semi uniform tone. At this stage everything is fairly loose and can be changed and fine tuned. Of course the lightness of the chalk is a must to be able to makes changes.