A charcoal figure study done on smooth newsprint. Reference obtained from New Masters Academy.
Oil figure sketch on 12 x 16 oil primed linen canvas. This was my first time painting on linen and I have to say, it was incredible! It was just the right texture and smoothness that I wanted. Erasing on oil primed surfaces is a dream, compared to the acrylic primed canvases that I have used in the past for sketches. The acrylic primed canvases soaks up the oil, thus making it difficult for making corrections. I have tried Arches Oil Paper for doing sketches, but they are even worse than acrylic primed canvases. Once the pigment is laid down, there is just no removing it, unless you cover it up with another pigment, which is fine if you are sketching with multiple pigments.
However, oil primed linen are expensive! I have decided, however, to use one oil primed linen canvas solely for the purpose of doing sketches. I will simply sketch, take a picture, and erase when I am done. I plan to get a lot of mileage out of it.
Your questions and comments are always welcomed.
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.
Stan Prokopenko went over several techniques that will help you measure more accurately.