STUCK IN THE CAGE

Human Anatomy

The Ribcage

In this article we will see step by step how to draw the front part of the rib cage. I only tried this myself a few days ago so I am sure it will be very helpful for absolute beginners. I will try to keep the article short and easy as usual.

Continue reading “STUCK IN THE CAGE”

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

 

 

JULIAN 2

14/05/2018

This time I decided to delay my article for a week to have a shorter gap until the next issue (the second part will be published tomorrow). The main reason being that they are kind of complementing each other. We had the same model as previous week, Julian . However, this life drawing session revealed a weakness in my drawing and in the second session we tried to improve that aspect working with my tutor.

Last week (14/05/2018) Julian, started as usual with a  short pose where his back muscles were stretched. He was just lying on the table looking the opposite direction from where I was sitting. This was a great angle if you wanted to observe the structure of the back. I didn’t spend too much time detailing as it was a quick pose anyway. Very roughly sketched the outline and a few basic lines and then I blocked in some tone to make it look slightly more complete.

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We then spent ages trying to set the second short pose. In fact we spent so much time trying to sort that out that eventually we decided that this could be the long pose. So we ended up with quite an interesting pose where the model was sat upright on the table with his legs bent. One of his arms was just hanging supporting its own self weight on the table. The other one though (which made the drawing more difficult for me in the next session) was resting on the man’s knee.

Everything was going relatively ok with no major frustration or any problems. However, when the drawing was finished, a quick evaluation from the tutor revealed major issues which I didn’t spot when drawing (I didn’t even realise I made mistakes…). The way the head was positioned on the shoulders and neck and the alignment and angle of the model’s torso was wrong. It might not be visible in the first instance however not being accurate causes this feeling of unnatural pose.

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the alignment and angle of the model’s torso was wrong…not being accurate causes this feeling of unnatural pose.

Not having enough time to start from scratch, I decided I would try to sketch the head only, this time in the correct angle. All the drawings included in this article show the correct head position. The head was tilted downwards with the chin resting almost between the shoulders. What I like about this sketch is the kind of free-ish charcoal marks.

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We decided that in the next session instead of following the rest of the class I would spend more time “studying” the rib cage and the upper body structure (which was genuinely very interesting!)


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…

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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

JULIAN – 1

30/04/2018

Today the session was different to the previous ones. First of all we had a male model which I had never drawn before. But the main difference was the content of the session itself. Our tutor organised for us two exercises.

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The class started setting up the model…behind a screen! We couldn’t see him at all. We were only allowed to quickly go behind the screen and take a brief look and then run back to our easels and sketch. We were allowed to go back and forth as many times as we wanted however we couldn’t take our sketch pads with us.

Aim of this exercise was to improve our observational skills and our memory. A good understanding of the human body structure was very helpful as by picking up some information then you could build up and complete your drawing. Most of the students struggled (including myself). I managed to make the following drawing which did not please me at all. I acknowledge that this was a very useful exercise; very frustrating though!

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Following this first challenge our tutor had prepared another task for us (and the model…). The students were sat in a circle leaving a small “corridor” empty in the middle of the class. The model had to walk slowly up and down the class making a small stop in the middle taking a pose for a few seconds. We had to capture the movement in our drawings. Purpose of this exercise was to create quick lines with flow instead of completed sketches.

A second wave of frustration hit me as I managed to quickly draw different poses along the way however I completely missed the element of movement. Again I understand the value and use of this exercise but I think it needs loads of practice to actually capture the flow and the movement!

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Finally, the tutor set up a long pose which lasted for about an hour. The model, who was a tall muscular middle aged man, was holding a spear with both hands. This led his muscles to stretch and his torso to take a very sculptural form. The pose was not particularly easy as from my position the neck was hidden – i couldn’t understand how the head sits on the shoulders. I had to scrap my first drawing before I actually managed to form the correct figure.

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The Artist says:

“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

 

 

Alexander The Great

Ancient Greeks – Portraits

This is a bust of Alexander The Great! I decided to start drawing this one because it looked a bit simpler and also because it is one of my dad’s favourite historical figures. The main lesson I got from this one is that even if the charcoal produces beautiful contrasts with the white paper…you still need to be careful not to overdo it. I believe I used more charcoal than necessary resulting in a “smudged” tone in some areas! A mistake to be avoided!

You can see that although the final result is quite impressive thanks to the strong contrast between the dark charcoal and white paper, in reality the drawing starts in a very basic format. You must focus on getting the basic proportions correct. This is the first step. Then you can build up adding tone and details. But remember…the most detailed drawing…will just look bad if the basic proportions are not right! Spend some time in the beginning to get that foundation correct!

This ties in brilliantly with my Life Drawing classes. See sketches from the weekly life drawing classes I joined recently here:

LIFE DRAWING

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THE ARTIST…

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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 be improving with more confident lines and more powerful tone contrasts.”

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

TESS – 3

23/04/2018

Today was Tessa’s last week (she might be back though later this year – see previous sessions with Tess here TESS and here TESS – 2). I admit I went to class quite late and thus i almost missed the first short pose. I manage to work for about 2minutes on that (third picture below). Although I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to do a proper drawing I challenged myself and joined the others as quickly as possible. I am quite happy with the result.

After this rush, there were 2 more short poses about 5 minutes each (first and second picture below). Here I had slightly more time to work the shape and add some indicative tones. This was a good warm up for the following long pose.

As usual the long pose was carefully set up by the tutor so people could continue their sketches from previous weeks. As I have done previously, I changed my position completely so I can practice sketching from a different angle. Today I got a seat looking at the models back which despite having less detail to sketch, it was really interesting. I learned about the different planes that a person’s back forms and how the light is being affected by these planes (last two photos below and cover photo).

I am quite happy with my sketches this time. I see there is loads to improve, however it was the first time my tutor complimented my work! She commented on the back’s planes and the light reflection on those but generally she was happy with my development. Really looking forward to next life drawing session next week!

…it was the first time my tutor complimented my work!

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28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_oThe Artist says:

“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

TESS – 2

16/04/2018

So…this was the second Monday  drawing Tess; she will be with us for one more week. Again, our tutor introduced us to the main subject of study…that was muscles around the breast, the shoulders and the shoulder blades. As usually the model posed for 3-5min in different positions highlighting how these muscles stretch and contract.

Following a short tea break we got back to class for the long pose which we agreed last week. Although I didn’t manage to complete my drawing last week, I decided to change position so I had the chance to practice looking from a different angle. As you have probably understood already my aim is not to create a portfolio of complete drawings at this stage, but to practice my drawing skills.

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This week I was really pleased to reach even closer to a more complete result. I was happy to understand how the bones under and around the neck sit and how the muscles pull around the shoulders. Next week I ll focus even more on this (I ll be starting a new sketchpad anyway…you can see the lines from a previous quick sketch I had to erase as I ran out of paper…).

“…my aim is not to create a portfolio of complete drawings at this stage, but to practice my drawing skills.”

I understand there is plenty of work to be done  here, however in combination with practising on Busts I feel experience is building up.  If you have any feedback even at this very early stage I would be happy to hear!


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

BUST – 1

This is my first ever attempt to draw a bust. When I was a student a few years ago, taking free hand and architectural drawing classes I was always jealous of one thing! I was jealous of my classmates who were preparing for the Fine Arts School exams.

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They had to train sketching busts. All shorts of Ancient Greek philosophers, poets and politicians were standing there on  the selves ready to be drawn! It was so amazingly impressive how the students used to use charcoal and within minutes their white paper would turn into the face of a philosopher. The contrast between heavy black and plain light describing the sculptures’ surfaces would just amaze me. I wanted to be able to do this….and here I am! Starting with this first bust…not quite sure who this is but definitely a good start!

 

This ties in brilliantly with my Life Drawing classes. See sketches from the weekly life drawing classes I joined recently here:

LIFE DRAWING

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LIFE DRAWING


 

 

THE ARTIST…

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 be improving with more confident lines and more powerful tone contrasts.”

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