Colour Theory – Shapes

SHAPES ON CANVAS

DRAW OUTLINES FOR YOUR PAINTINGS

Today we will keep the article very short and simple; not because sketching is an easy job but because going into very deep detail is beyond the scope of this tutorial. For more information about sketching you might want to start reading here:

In any case, applying sketching knowledge to painting will definitely help you and allow you to progress and understand things faster. Very roughly, due to perspective, shapes distort; for realistic paintings you have to draw in perspective rather than regular shapes as you already know them (read here). Also, tones change due to distance; colours look paler as you move further away and more vibrant and “complete” as you come closer. We will cover all these aspects in due course. Regarding the basic shapes for painting, all you need is either a hard pencil (HB, H or 2H) or a thin brush and acrylic paint.


Previous Article: COLOUR THEORY – COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS


 

Using a Pencil

In the first case, using a hard pencil will allow you to draw your basic shapes and will prevent leaving very heavy and bold marks (which would definitely happen when using soft pencils 2B, 3B etc or charcoal). Light marks on your canvas can easily be covered with paint. Also, you will avoid mixing your paint with black dust (ie. charcoal) which will make the final result dirtier and darker. Of course you can always apply more than one layers of paint to avoid this problem; it’s entirely up to you. I just find it easier to roughly and lightly sketch the shape using a hard pencil and then paint on top of that. See below:

Light marks on your canvas can easily be covered with paint…

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Using brush and paint

In the second case you start shaping your subject directly using paint and brushes. This is very good fun for two reasons. If you use reasonably diluted paint you can always rub it back and clean your canvas. It might leave a mark on your blank canvas but you shouldn’t worry too much as this can easily be covered by the next layer of colour. The second reason is that using a brush and paint you can’t be too precise with your shapes; this way you avoid spending ages detailing something you will then completely cover with paint. I find this technique quite easy, fast, fun and relieves me off the stress of detailed drawing. Of course the amount of detail you want to add is up to you but remember…this is just a trace to help you paint a bit more accurately later.

…avoid spending ages detailing something you will then completely cover with paint.

Few tips when using a brush:

  • Use diluted paint – it’s easier to cover it up later
  • Use light colours – for the same reason
  • Use slightly thicker paint for shapes that are closer to you (gives a sense of perspective – helpful for you); see the blue garlics above.
  • Start simple and experiment – trying a very complicated composition will not help you – most probably will frustrate you.
  • Use less  defined shapes as it is less probable to look wrong (a wobbly building looks very wrong while a wobbly tomato looks like a wobbly tomato…still tasty though!)
  • You might want to use a combination of pencil (for some basic shapes or for perspective lines…) and brush (for rougher shaping afterwards.

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Materials

Presumably, you have already experimented with one technique or the other. I would suggest you choose a simple subject (like the bananas and the apple I sketched above) and try shaping the outlines on two separate canvases using both techniques. You will have the chance to compare the two sketches in terms of detail, speed, accuracy and ease. Allow for 0.5 hour.

  • A small brush (a round brush will be helpful),
  • Some diluted acrylic paint (light colours will be covered easier when you block in colour later).
  • Cloth to erase/rub the paint if you need.
  • 2x Canvas (canvas pad – easier and cheaper for this exercise)
  • A hard (2H or H) pencil  (for part of your sketch you might want to try using a soft pencil – 3B or softer to see the difference).
  • Rubber

 

A quick summary of the above is here:

  • Principles of Perspective and Tone.
  • Pencil – More detailed sketch – think if necessary
  • Brush – less detailed but quick and easy

The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

JOANNA – 2

11/05/2018

This was the second Monday Joanna modeled for us. The session was quite interesting in terms of new knowledge. Once more, our tutor spent more time with myself and another guy who is a beginner; she taught us the proportions and structure of the skull. Recently we studied the ribcage (read: Human Anatomy 1 – The Ribcage) and now we were ready to build up on the structure above.

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We started sketching the top of the cranium trying to replicate the curvature. The tutor pointed out that the curve gets steeper at the rear side. Once the top was done we then carried on to sketch the rear side and the front side. We had to check the angle of the outline of the skull and finally close the shape at the bottom and middle of the cranium. It’s worth mentioning that this point is the “hole” for the ear!

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Once the cranium was in place we had to roughly sketch the front part of the skull; the area where all the facial features appear. For the sake of speed and understanding we sketched that as a simple tube. Also, extra care was needed for the eye sockets and nose but we will look at this more carefully in following sessions. I am aiming to study the skull myself in detail one of the following weeks.

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When we had a good grasp of the outline and volumes of the skull we moved on to sketch from life. So Joanna, being our model, offered some interesting angles and poses for us to sketch her head.

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We were asked to sketch her head as a simple orthogonal box. Just that. Give the orientation and the planes we could see. Then we had to elaborate and fit the cranium and face volumes within that box. We had to remember that the volume of the neck happens behind the “tube” of the face and under the volume of the cranium.

 


The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“It is so amazing when you start studying the human anatomy before you go to the next class. You gain an understanding of how things work together and then instead of just sketching individual shapes and planes you understand how the body structure works as a whole!

 

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

 

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

Colour Theory – Complementary colours

COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS

AN EASY WAY TO ADD SHADOWS

Last week we looked at the Colour Wheel which is the foundation of the colour theory. The complementary colours were mentioned in that article, however we didn’t look at those in detail.

20180523_195621When mixing primary colours (red, yellow and blue), the secondary colours occur (orange, green and purple). An easy way to remember which the complementary colours are, is to visualise the colour wheel. Those sitting opposite are called Complementary colours. See below; green is red’s complementary colour, purple is yellow’s and orange is blue’s.

Another easy way to memorise this is that its primary colour’s complementary is the one created by the other two primary colours. ie. red’s complementary is green (blue + yellow). Anyway, lets not make it to complicated. With practice you will be able to remember instantly, until then just open the Colour Wheel and have a look.

The amazing thing with complementary colours is they have the ability to “mute” the primary colours with which they are mixed. This allows you to easily add shadows to your paintings. It is very very useful when you are working with limited palette of colours (ie. red, yellow, blue).

…complementary colours…have the ability to “mute” the primary colours…

Try mixing red with some green. You will instantly notice that the red becomes darker, almost dirty, which gives the impression of shadow. You might want to experiment with the different combinations. I did my exercise recently; see the results below. Later this week we will look at a more comprehensive exercise.

Materials

Again just try to keep it simple.This is not an attempt to create a beautiful painting; we are just trying to explore how complementary colours work.  Allow for 1.0 hour.

  • A small brush (any type will do),
  • Yellow Acrylic Paint
  • Blue Acrylic Paint
  • Red Acrylic Paint
  • Canvas (canvas pad – easier and cheaper for this exercise)
  • A pencil and a rubber

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A quick summary of the above is here:

  • See the primary and secondary colours on the Colour Wheel.
  • Those sitting opposite on the colour wheel are called complementary colours.
  • Mix complementary colours to create muted colours which can be used as shadows.

The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

Colour Theory – Basics

COLOUR WHEEL

THE FOUNDATION OF COLOUR THEORY

I recently decided to teach myself the basics of colour theory; I started with the colour wheel. This provides the fundamental background of colour combination and allows you to further develop techniques. In following articles we will explore other aspects of colour mixing and combination.

Materials:

Keep it as simple as possible. The aim is to explore the colours and their combinations, not to make the most beautiful colour wheel ever created.  Allow for 1.5 hours.

  • A small brush (any type will do),
  • Yellow Acrylic Paint
  • Blue Acrylic Paint
  • Red Acrylic Paint
  • Canvas (canvas pad – easier and cheeper for this exercise)
  • A pencil and a rubber

 

…fundamental background of colour combination…allows you to further develop techniques.

The principle of the colour wheel is very simple. You start using the three basic colours; red, yellow and blue. These colours are called the primary colours and are the base and main components of every other colour. Having these three and mixing them in different quantities allows you to mix any other colour. The primary colours wheel is the one right below.

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Once you have created the primary colours wheel then, we are ready to start mixing those three together to create our second colour wheel; the wheel of secondary colours. The colours sitting opposite each other in the secondary colour wheel are called complementary colours (this will be useful for creating shadows – see next article). As you might already know mixing the primary colours with each other gives you a first set of very useful colours: Orange, Green and Purple.

  • Blue + Yellow = Green
  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Blue + Red = Purple

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The second step has now been made. We have our secondary colours filling the second wheel. Final step is to create a third colour which will be filled with the tertiary colours. As you can easily guess, mixing the primary colours in different quantities (exactly as you did for the secondary colours above) gives you greens, purples and oranges of different strength. So here you can experiment and create colours you like more by mixing slightly more blue, or a bit more yellow or maybe a bit more red? Create as many mixes you like. For the sake of this exercise I created only a couple of each combination.

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A quick summary of the previous steps is here:

  • Primary colours are: Yellow, Blue, Red
  • Secondary colours are: Orange, Green, Purple
  • Tertiary colours are: The combinations of primary colours  using different quantities of each colour. Create Yellowish Green or Blueish Purple etc.

 


The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

 

 

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

JOANNA – 1

04/06/2018

This Monday’s drawing session was very enjoyable! We had a new model, a middle aged yoga instructor, Joanna. Joanna had a thin but well shaped figure. During this class we did three different poses during which I put in practice my Human Anatomy – Ribcage studies.

The session started with a 5 min pose; the model was lying down, leaning against a low chair. This was literally a warm up exercise for me as I had not drawn from life for almost two weeks. You will notice that proportions and tone are not great. I was not too worried though as I knew it is just a quick introduction to the session.

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The second, was a sitting pose. I was sat behind and to the side of the model so I had a good view of her ribs and  side of  legs. In reality I could only see a very limited amount of her back as that was hidden by the chair. I didn’t bother sketching the chair. I focused on capturing right the pose of the body and the relationship of the head with the shoulders and back. I quite enjoyed sketching the cross leg. Again this pose lasted for less than 10 minutes so I was not too worried about detailing.

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The last pose was again a sitting one, however the model was now on the floor. The chair used previously was now just supporting her one arm leaving the rest of the body visible to detail. I had a brilliant view of her torso and her legs. I am  pleased I didn’t change my position during the break as with this pose I had the opportunity to properly sketch the ribcage and then develop the skin on top of that. Please notice the plane on top of which the head is based. See the connections of the collar bones to the shoulders and how the muscle extends to her breast. I am also quite happy with how the legs turned out. Although I appreciate the drawing is not perfect (ie not even touched tone) I am very satisfied that last week’s hard work studying the ribcage and the upper body structure assisted with this drawing here.

…notice the plane on top of which the head is based. See the connections of the collar bones to the shoulders…

 

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The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“It is so amazing when you start studying the human anatomy before you go to the next class. You gain an understanding of how things work together and then instead of just sketching individual shapes and planes you understand how the body structure works as a whole!

 

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

 

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

JULIAN 3

21/05/2018

As mentioned in the previous article (see Julian 2), I realised how important is to know what actually lies underneath the skin. Having a good understanding of the anatomy and the structure below the surface actually helps to make quicker, more accurate and eventually correct decisions when it comes to life drawing.


Read theory about Rib Cage here.


The previous session went relatively ok however, my tutor and I decided that this time I had to spend some time learning “theory”. Instead of rushing to catch up with the rest of the class drawing the models short poses, I had to observe and draw from a skeleton. My task was to draw the rib cage. No detail was needed really, just trying to be proportionally right. Apparently, the width and length of the ribcage were pretty similar so I ended up with a square.

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I picked up the middle bone which approximately reaches the middle of the rib cage and then tried to shape the outline of the rib cage. I also tried sketching from different angles and this is why you can see the small boxes in perspective. I tried to outline the “box” within which the rib cage would fit later. This is an amazing technique if the ribcage (and later the model) does not look directly at you.

…outline the “box” within which the rib cage would fit later.

Once I got a grasp of what the proportions should be and how the outline of the ribcage roughly is then I tried to understand what the structure of the ribs themselves is. It is fascinating how this slim elements actually form a nice “tube” where all the important organs of a human are protected. It is a very architectural form if you think about it! Once the outlines are in place and you have defined the connection points of the ribs (bottom of the bone in the middle and spine) then the 3D feel of the ribs is not difficult to achieve (my sketch of course is not even close to how the arrangement of the ribs actually is – that wasn’t my intention anyway).

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After spending the first half of the class training my eyes and hands to work together by observing and sketching the rib cage of the skeleton we had a brief break. After the tea break the model returned to his previous long pose (see Julian 2). I got a different seat (on purpose – to try a different angle). During the week I had read that it is very important to define where the joints are and this is what I did. I also tried to implement my new knowledge…you can see the rib cage below.

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30 mins before the end of the class our tutor had a quick look at my drawing. She acknowledged that the upper body structure is looking better and more structured than previously. We were of course not looking for a perfect drawing showing details or tone. Don’t forget that the aim of this class was to learn about the rib cage! Something she highlighted as a serious mistake is making very dark and bold lines. This is not a good method as does not allow you any flexibility to rectify your mistakes.

…a serious mistake is making very dark and bold lines.

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Enjoy the Bank Holiday!

 


The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“Since I joined the life drawing classes, I have really developed a completely different way of looking at the objects around me. I try to spot the details and I try to understand how different elements of an object affect the proportions, the shape and the tone. Studying the human body is quite challenging but really rewarding!

 

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

 

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

Socrates

Ancient Greeks – Portraits

Continuing the line of Classical Greek philosophers, this is the bust of Socrates. Socrates is one of the founders of western philosophy and despite not having any surviving writings of his, references by others inform us about his valuable work and thoughts. Socrates was teacher of Plato who in turn was teacher of Aristotle (see BUST – 3); all of them very important philosophers of Ancient Greece.

This bust; as previously; is drawn using charcoal and a kneadable eraser. After tone was applied I just used my finger tips to blend where required. Similar technique and steps were followed as previous pieces of this collection (see BUSTS).

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A very rough grid was drawn firstly. To do this I just compared the total length of the bust to its total width (not including the plinth). Doing this helped me define the correct proportions of the main shape of the head. In this case, as the bust is slightly tilted to the left, defining the middle point of the face was not particularly helpful. I trusted my instinct and after measuring the proportion of the forehead compared to the total length of the head I made the first charcoal marks showing Socrates’ eyes and eyebrows. To be as accurate as possible and to take into account the perspective of the “mask” I used a slender needle and plotted on my paper the lines connecting the ends of the two eye brows. In the same step I quickly sketched the outline of the nose too.

Using the same technique (needle to measure proportions of lines and angles caused by perspective) I formed the outline of the head and roughly sketched the hairline. After the basic shape of the philosopher’s face was on my sketch pad, I erased back to the point I was just able to see my previous lines. I then started to define better all lines and make more confident charcoal marks.

…I erased back to the point I was just able to see my previous lines…

When I felt comfortable with the shapes and outlines I had, I moved on to my favourite part…adding tone! First, I added smaller amounts of tone just to define different planes on the man’s face. Forehead, cheeks and chin are probably the ones that will make your drawing stand out immediately. From then on it is a matter of adding detail and showing the shadows and light on the face more accurately.

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Final step after I am happy that the amount of detail I wanted to show is there…is to go back and strengthen the tone and highlights where necessary. I quite enjoy this final process as I believe it makes my drawing more vivid and the additional contrasts capture the eye and attention.

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Drawing Socrates was very enjoyable and helped me understand better how face lines work in perspective when the head is slightly turned to the one side!

I hope you enjoyed reading this! You can see my previous bust drawings here:

DSC_006923 - Αντίγραφο busts mobile

THE ARTIST SAYS…

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“Busts is a collection of charcoal drawings which represents my first steps in the world of life drawing and drawing of human figures and faces in general. In these first drawings I am just trying to put in practice the theory that I read in sketching books or the instructions that our tutor gives during our life drawing classes. Hopefully, as I progress and practice more, the quality of my drawings will improve and more confident lines and powerful tone contrasts will appear.”

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves. Meet the man behind the  scenes. Visit THE ARTIST… 

Love Sketching and Painting

CHROMA

Παρουσίαση2 - Αντίγραφο

Aristotle

Ancient Greek portraits

An Ancient Greek philosopher which is a dominant figure in my home city. Aristotle is one of the most important and famous personalities of Ancient Greece and streets, universities and squares have been named after him in modern Greek cities. Aristotle was born in Stagira (norther Greece) and was a student of Plato in Athens. After his teacher’s death, Aristotle was invited to teach Alexander the Great (previous bust drawing – BUST -2). His teachings are foundation of the modern Western Philosophy and cover many areas as physics, biology, arts, politics and psychology.

The inspiration to draw this bust is now obvious. It was a good exercise for me, getting the proportions of the face  and the shape of head right. I quickly put a small grid on my paper and tried to measure the proportions of the width and length of his face.  First step was to locate the zone of his eyes. That gave me a good reference point to build the rest of his face. I achieved this by defining the forehead’s proportion to the rest of the face.

Once the eyes were roughly in place it was easier to define the position of other features. I started top to to bottom. Firstly, I tried to deal with the nose by making it proportionally right to the forehead. The width of the nose was measured proportionally to its length.

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With the nose roughly sketched I looked at the width and position of the mouth and chin. The width of the lips roughly lines up with the middle of the eyes. The chin literally occurred by sketching the outline of the lips. This areas is easier to draw by adding tone rather than trying to precisely sketch outlines.

A new element for me was the hair. It was a challenging task to decide how to better sketch the hair. I am not sure this is the best way to do it yet but it seemed a bit easier roughly shaping it and then defining it better by adding tone. The same applies to hair on the head and facial hair.

After having on my paper and being satisfied that I don’t want to add any more details (mainly because at this point I am quite tired already) I add some highlights by rubbing out the charcoal or strengthen the tone in some places. This way I increase the contrast and make the drawing a bit more impressive. Still working on this though!

I hope you enjoyed! You can see my previous bust drawing here:

DSC_006923 - Αντίγραφο busts mobile

THE ARTIST SAYS…

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o

“Busts is a collection of charcoal drawings which represents my first steps in the world of life drawing and drawing of human figures and faces in general. In these first drawings I am just trying to put in practice the theory that I read in sketching books or the instructions that our tutor gives during our life drawing classes. Hopefully, as I progress and practice more, the quality of my drawings will improve and more confident lines and powerful tone contrasts will appear.”

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves. Meet the man behind the  scenes. Visit THE ARTIST… 

Love Sketching and Painting

CHROMA

Παρουσίαση2 - Αντίγραφο

BETH – 2

19/03/2018

After being on holidays and missing my life drawing classes for two weeks I was happy to be back and get my charcoal and papers again! To my disappointment, in absence of a new model, our tutor had to invite the same girl we had a few weeks ago. However, she did a new pose for us and that was a good opportunity for me to practice despite working on a familiar body.

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Another benefit of having the same model is that we can now compare my progress after a couple of classes (see work from previous classes with Beth here: BETH). I believe it is really helpful to quickly sketch the outline of the body and pay some attention to maintaining correct proportions and making sure things align as they should do (finding relationships between parts of the body and ensuring the are drawn roughly in the right place).

Once we have this first draft-structure on our paper we can then go back and start taking more precise measurements and check if the angles of what we have drawn are correct. In my point of  view is much easier to spot a mistake when you actually have something drawn on your paper rather than trying to guess where things go.

 

  1. Draw it
  2. Review it
  3. Correct it

 

I acknowledge that my face sketching skills need loads of improvement so in Monday’s class I made sure I spent about 10 minutes sketching the models face. The results as expected are not amazing. However, that was a good start and the face I created…looks like a face! I ll be working on faces the following months! Here are pictures from the class:

 

 

 


28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_oThe Artist says:

“I recently decided to attend Life Drawing classes; all the work produced during these classes can be found in this collection.

The sketches here are not necessarily finalised pieces of work; this is not my intention anyway. This collection mainly aims to provide with a timeline showing how my work improves as I attend more and more classes. Hopefully, building up experience and skill will be reflected on the quality of my sketches.”

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

 

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

SARAH

26/02/2018

Tonight we had a new model; a middle aged woman, Sarah. She had a really thin and delicate figure and she mainly did poses on a chair. After 3 short poses of 5-10 min each we ended up with her sat on a stool. From my point of view there was a clear view of her face, breast and lap.

Also, today I managed to work a bit faster and finish the main shapes of her body on time allowing myself some time to experiment with tone! Here are the results:

 


28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_oThe Artist says:

“I recently decided to attend Life Drawing classes; all the work produced during these classes can be found in this collection.

The sketches here are not necessarily finalised pieces of work; this is not my intention anyway. This collection mainly aims to provide with a timeline showing how my work improves as I attend more and more classes. Hopefully, building up experience and skill will be reflected on the quality of my sketches.”

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…