Sunday, 30 September 2012

Studies of Structure

Leg and Knee
15 September 2012
Graphite Pencil on Tracing Paper
23cm x 51cm (9" x 20")

Section 18 of the Natural Way to Draw contains a series of exercises that study the skeletal structure of the body in more detail than the Study of the Bones (see Study of the Bones and Skull and Bones).

The first exercise is a 1 hour study of the Hand and Arm. You start by drawing a 15-minute contour study. You place a piece of tracing paper over the contour drawing and spend the rest of the hour studying and drawing the bones using anatomical charts and text books as references.

There are similar exercises for:
  • The Shoulder Girdle
  • The Leg and Knee
  • The Foot
These exercises are quite different from most of the other exercises in the Natural Way to Draw, which require intense observation of a real subject. During the studies of structure, I spent more time studying Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie L. Winslow than looking at Elaine.

Before starting the exercises, I was unsure about the benefit of drawing the bones - why not just study the anatomical charts for an hour?

The drawing of the Leg and Knee supplies the answer to the question. It helps to identify the gaps in my understanding. By comparing the drawing with the anatomical charts I can see I’ve made the bones far too thick. I’d better pay more attention to this in the next study of the bones exercise.

15- Minute Contour Study
22 September 2012
Graphite Pencil on Paper
25.5cm x 35.5cm (10" x 14")

The studies of structure also include 15-minute contour studies of ears and eyes. These are more like the majority of the Natural Way to Draw exercises and involve some serious staring.

I have noticed some improvement in my drawings as I learn more about anatomy, but it is a slow process.

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