Monday, April 16, 2012

Rendering Form

These drawings came out of an old sketchbook and form the "secret story" of three (Yes, three!) poses by one model done at different times. 

The  nude was done more than a year before the clothed figure. It's a similar pose, - but that's not the secret here.  The connection between the two is that the common purpose of both poses is to show the "form" of the figure, - to see the figure as a solid.  We know that lighting plays a part in our perception of form, but we should be aware of the figure as a series of solid "cylindrical" forms and  curved surfaces.  On one hand a sense of volume and weight, on the other, light and shadow on surfaces.

The clothed figure is actually two separate poses, one done "nude" then a week later the model returned and donned that simple dress for a second session in the same exact pose. It's not a whole new drawing, the dress was added directly to the nude drawing.  It's really a learning experience!  It shows us that having knowledge of anatomy is a plus whether  gained  through study or through observation as we did here. 

These particular drawings are very different from the majority of the figure examples I've been posting.  Here the emphasis is on accurate drawing, good proportion and most importantly,  using shading, shadow and contour lines in rendering "form", - the 3-dimensional  aspect of the figure.  BTW, I remember being very happy with this clothed figure when I'd finished it,  but we can see now there are a couple of proportion problems, - the head a bit large, the hands somewhat smaller than they should be.  I am, however, happy with the way the dress hangs on the body.  There's a sense of weight in the fabric draped on solid shoulders, breasts, knees and thighs.  If you look closely at the nude on the right, you can see lines drawn around the bulk of the thighs. These contours enhance our understanding of the form and the shape of the surfaces. If the model's dress hem had lain on the legs at that level, we'd see how the limp edge would follow that line, the surface contour, across the top of each leg then dip between the two.  Look closely, draw carefully, pay real attention to form.

"Form is the shape of content."  Ben Shahn

"Drawing is your understanding of form."   Edgar Degas

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