Richard Squire made a return visit to Pateley Bridge Art Club to demonstrate how he draws a life model. It was a refresher lesson for some with the chance to do better than last year and something new for others.
The lighting of the subject is crucial to produce a lively drawing. For example lighting from above to one side and slightly behind, produces shadows on one side of the face and body.
He quickly showed how to lightly draw the outline to ensure that all the subject will fit on the sheet. He recommends using the head height, starting with a simple oval shape, as the basic unit of measurement to apply to other elements. For example, the overall person length may be 4 or 5 times the head height. Lengths can be based on a pencil held at arms length. Angles can also be reproduced by holding a pencil aligned with limbs or body. It is important to angle the paper at the subject, on a board held nearly vertical to avoid perspective errors stretching the drawing. The closer limbs are often longer than expected, if drawn correctly.
Once the subject has been lightly sketched, the angles and measurement should be checked. It is also useful to check vertical alignments of different parts of the drawing and a final check that the drawing looks right by walking away and coming back to the work with a mind clear of any incorrect imprint. The grays and darks can then be shaded to bring out the third dimension and detail added.
After a quick drink of tea, members then produced quick sketches, with advice from Richard. The model was very good at choosing an interesting pose and holding it, the varied drawings arising from the members’ seating positions.