Constructing the human form.

Okay so that’s the first month down feeling pretty pleased with my progress. Some updates on what’s going to be happening for the next month or so. Firstly I’m going to start teaching myself how to construct the human figure from memory. Unfortunately what that means for the would-be reviewer of my drawing is that it may appear to be very boring. As I will be constructing it from the beginning to the very end. That said if you’re looking to do the same thing and get good at drawing the human figure then you will see how I’m going about it step by step. Secondly, you will have noticed in the last month I think based on the quality of the work that I was happiest drawing portraits. So once a week I will continue doing the occasional portrait just so as I can keep myself happy while I’m learning what I need to learn. Finally, I Wanna take this opportunity to thank Davy for keeping us both honest and on it. Hey buddy one month down get in!




Day #031 – Drawing Picasso’s Igor Stravinsky Upside Down

Well that month flew by! I don’t know if I’m happy that I’m successfully completed the first month of the challenge or upset because one twelfth of one year of my limited lifespan has gone so quickly… You can’t help but notice time passing when you are posting a picture every day. That’s a good thing but for motivating a continued adherence to this drawing commitment but not so great for managing melancholy. That’s pretty pretentious right there. My apologies.

Got to the first drawing exercises in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. The author, Betty Edwards, had us draw this Picasso drawing of the composer Igor Stravinsky. The twist? You copy it upside down!

Igor Stravinsky by Picasso upside down


The reason for this is explained in the book. Basically it’s to do with the two ways we view the world. When we are viewing it with our ‘left brain’ we see in symbols of how we think things ‘ought’ to look like which hinders us drawing things as they really are. On drawing upside down Edwards notes:

For reasons that are still unclear, the verbal system immediately rejects the task of “reading” and naming upside-down images. L-mode seems to say, in effect, “I don’t do upside down. It’s too hard to names things seen this way, and, besides, the world isn’t upside down. Why should I bother with such stuff?”

Well, that’s just what we want! On the other hand, the visual system seems not to care. Right side up, upside down, it’s all interesting, perhaps even more interesting upside down because R-mode [Right Brain] is free of interference from its verbal partner, which is often in a “rush to judgement” or, at least, a rush to recognize and name.

She talks about how her student’s drawings would instantly improve when drawing this picture upside down. Suddenly difficult areas like the crossing of the legs would look extremely accurate where right-side-up the foreshortening would often render the copy a very poor likeness indeed.

Here’s my effort (turned back the right way up, although I did not see the finished product this way until I’d completed the last line!) and I do think it looks pretty accurate which is definitely interesting. Without doing the same drawing the right way up, however, I cannot be sure to what extent this is improved over what I would have done. It definitely felt different though and I’ll be doing a few more upside down drawings over the next few days as instructed by the book.

This drawing of Igor Stravinksy was copied from the Picasso original turned upside down.


Day #030 – Fun with a Pencil Part VII

Today I did another page of drawings from Fun with a Pencil. Although I think I’m getting better at copying things (which I guess is good because it means I’m seeing a bit better) I don’t like how off my intuitive guesses are when I draw the initial circles (for the head) and then attach shapes (for nose, ear and chin usually). What often happens is they are way out and I end up having to go back and just look really carefully at where Andrew Loomis has drawn them. What would be cool if I just had a ‘feel’ for where they go. I hope that if I continue that will come but it might be that I need to do work away from the book just practicing creating my own heads over and over.

Usually, in life, whatever is the more difficult option is the one that offers the highest rewards… also, in life, humans (or me at least) have a massive tendency to want the magic pill, the short-cut, the “lose a stone in 7 days” diet…

Anyway, here’s the page. Tomorrow the first exercises in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain begin!

The seventh day of drawing along with Andrew Loomis's book Fun with a Pencil


Gesture drawing female movement

Started experimenting with gesture drawing these were some I did of a female in movement. They’re not very good butimage like everything you’ve got start somewhere.


Some eye sketching

Been busy of late so not really have the time to sketch anyway but have done half-hour hearing there when I can these are some eyes.image