I started out doing comparative measuring. I held my hand out straight in front of me with a knitting needle between my index finger and thumb. I measured from the bottom of the neck to the top of the head. This would become my unit of measure that I would use to compare everything else on the figure.
After roughly calculating the height and width of the figure, I did an envelope or lay-in of the figure that consisted of 10 to 15 straight and diagonal lines. Subsequently, I did my best to locate common figure landmarks, like the shoulders, sternum, navel, indentation of the inside of the elbow, iliac crest, etc. I have found that the more skeletal/muscular surface anatomy you know the better you are able to narrow in on proportions and depict the surface of the figure better. I highly recommend Anthony Ryder’s “The Artist’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing“. He has a chapter devoted solely to depicting surface anatomy.
I did not focus on one area to long, I spread my attention around the whole figure, jumping from one figure reference point to the next constantly comparing one surface mass to the other, again hoping to increase my accuracy.
In conclusion, I have to say that this one drawing pushed my patience, concentration, and knowledge of anatomy to new levels. I consider this drawing complete (tired of staring at it), but their always room for improvements.
I am finished with graphite and charcoal for a while. Switching to oils to do my sketches. So stay tuned for some gesture oil sketches. Really looking forward to doing those.
Comments, feedback are always welcome!
Tools used: Plum line, knitting needle, kneaded eraser, Mono Zero eraser, Creator Color Monolith graphite, Stonehenge 11 x 14 vellum finish paper.