Grotesque Burlesque

April 5, 2017

Charcoal Figure Drawing

My new Thursday night obsession is a figure drawing meet-up at the Uptown Underground. Tucked away in the back of this basement entertainment venue is a smaller theater where models pose in various stages of undress, while artists sketch away while engaging in casual, bawdy banter. I have joined this group to brush up and perfect my drawing of the human figure.

Figure Drawing is a bit of a challenge for me. While I am pretty comfortable drawing still life (arranged objects), I quickly discovered how frustrating drawing a live body can be, especially when you've fallen out of practice... or get stuck with an awkward angle. I'm concentrating so hard in the moment that I have to wait until the next day to review my work with fresh eyes. Then I can really see what I need work on.

I find my approach to concentrated on not just shapes, but the intersection of positive and negative space. Closing one eye, I can get a more flattened visual of the subject and the surroundings. This also helps me with proportion, my weakest point. I use lines as guides, but then turn them into gradual shading or harsh contrasts. With both eyes open, I judge whether I've captured the image satisfactorily.

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