Grinding out issues with proportion

Lately at the life drawing sessions I’ve been working to get on top of my difficulty of drawing the figure in proportion. After drawing that sphere I just so wrapped up in putting in the tones and experimenting with different ideas to put down the charcoal in as few strokes as possible which is fine but I ve decided that I need to go back to more basic exercises. Last week I watched the 3 part series on the academic process that the angel academy in florence posted on youtube ( and it occured to me how vital it is to get a strong block in. The “scaffolding” of the drawing really helps you get a stronger image as proportion is more easily maintained and the gesture and movement of the pose gets stronger as well. Even though the series is basically an advertisement for the school I d highly recommend it to anyone remotely interested. I got several fundamental ideas from that short 15 min presentation.

So not surprisingly I’ve been all about creating a stronger block in before proceeding further into the drawing. On monday I brought a HB graphite pencil to draw out a basic plan for the drawing on the newsprint before I proceed with the charcoal. The  HB is so similar to the newsprint that it basically just disappears once I add the charcoal so I get to have my construction lines without them being there in the end.  I ve also been practicing the block in in my sketch book when I’m on the train drawing who ever decides to sit still for a few minutes. I think doing more and more practice with this and learning some fundamental anatomy (just got Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist in the mail yesterday) will go a long way in resolving my issues with proportion and get me farther along the road to making stronger figure studies.

I often struggle with the standing poses like this for some reason so the fact that this is within reason (her arm is a bit long) makes me happy.

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