Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Daniella," Female Life Drawing


It was a nice change to do a life drawing rather than a painting of Daniella.
Some of us were chatting afterwards about how important it is to understand the anatomy of the human body to do a good life drawing. Of course there are many different approaches to drawing the figure, but for me, when I'm doing a drawing like this, the underlying structure is almost insignificant. It's all about the light, and shadow, and the texture of whatever is before me.
That is not to say that you treat your subject as if she were a pile of pillows. No, the interaction in the life room should ensure that the model is always respected as a person, and treated in a professional way.
For me, that is where a small element of portraiture becomes crucial. It takes the exercise onto a different level from a still-life drawing or painting.
A good understanding of anatomy is essential however, for a representational artist or illustrator when they are creating a figure from the imagination. A great example is John Watkiss, who was at Brighton Art College a year or two ahead of me. John's knowledge of anatomy is extraordinary. He has since created comic books, and gallery art, but you would be most familiar with his work, albeit indirectly, through his inspirational studies for the Disney movie, Tarzan.

3 comments:

P Nolan said...

Hi again PJ. Another lovely drawing. How do you go about continuing to grow your understanding of anatomy - or how did you acquire same in the past? Cheers, P.

PJ Lynch said...

Hi Padhraig
Thanks for the comment.
I really am not working at the anatomy side of things at all. I certainly did a good deal of it when I was at college but these days I'm trying to improve my drawing by hard looking at what is in front of me.
With the longer poses it's possible to really get into themost subtle tonal variations.
All the best
PJ

P Nolan said...

Thanks PJ. I can imagine the longer poses are good for the looking. I've always found John Raynes' book 'Human Anatomy for the Artist' a good overview.