Proko Tracing #1, supplementary figure drawing practice

December 7, 2014

Further to tracing #1 in Proko’s new Anatomy for Artists course, I thought I’d play around with linking my new anatomical understandings to some other photographic references, while adopting some of the aspects of Proko’s Figure Drawing course.

The muscles are over-developed but that helps me “see” a bit more clearly. By contrast, the drawings in, say, Civardi’s books assume and obscure a lot, simply because the models are much more natural-looking.

At the moment, I’m using A4 photocopy paper, drawing on both sides. This helps me to (a) not be too precious about the results; (b) work reasonably quickly (so I can translate this pace to life drawing situations) and (c) help keep my figure drawings separate from other work.

With Proko’s Figure Drawing course, I’ve been drawing on A4 photocopy paper with a graphite HB pencil. With a pencil that’s any softer, I tend to get too fluid and expressive and make too many marks (though I make too many marks anyway instead of “ghost” drawing before making a mark on the paper!). With a harder pencil, I tend to work too slowly.

Today, I’ve used two pencils, a generalised figure underdrawing (gesture and structure) in HB, then some overdrawing in graphite 4B, exploring some of the anatomy. Of course, the anatomical over-drawing has a tendency to “flatten” the result, so the outcome is a mash-up of the expressive with the mechanical. A way of avoiding this problem would be to do the underdrawing more strictly following the Proko Figure Drawing course and then do a tracing of the anatomy over the top with tracing paper, in the style of the Proko Anatomy course.

There are plenty of faults and weaknesses in these sketches, but I’m happy about improvements in my “seeing” things like the top of the traps at the skull and the presence of the C7 verterbra. Plainly, I have a long way to go in working with the scapula muscles, especially the teres major.

I noticed by the fourth drawing that I was starting to add large areas of tone, mostly because of the lighting used by the photographer – there’s a certain tussle or struggle between drawing what I can’t see as well as needing to learn to draw from my imagination. They are starting to look like Steve Huston drawings and having later flicked through a book of paintings in the Vatican, I notice this technique of large areas of shadow is very prominent in Michelangelo frescoes and paintings by Tintoretto.

Tomorrow, I move on to the female model and a front view.

tracing 1 supp 1tracing 1 supp 2tracing 1 supp 3tracing 1 supp 4

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