Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Life Drawing: Day of the Dead (Mexico)

Designed to create personal experiments and see what works best for future drawing sessions:
Choice of Day of the Dead theme not only because holiday is near, but great opportunity to explore colour as well as shape, form and composition, said by Vicky, though I felt colour would really get in way of my ongoing practicing and learning of drawing more believable and flowing body composition. Some problems I still want to overcome - accidental foreshortening/widening of body, forcing to draw smaller, balancing body detail and overall action line, etc.
One aspect I have started to discover is that I should not longer feel the urge to draw the head at the top first (observing other people's works) - torso/shoulders/arms really are among most important body components (plus action line), capturing overall motion, and head should be added later (don't simply draw from top to bottom, look at Mattesi and Williams books again):

Floral bride on multi-coloured set next to decorated skeleton:
Exploring shape, composition and shading, ending up putting more focus on centre woman rather than surroundings, but really enjoy trailing through dress creases, arm postures, etc.:
Close-up of multi-coloured set design:

Motion-tracking studies (from three minutes to 30 seconds) - dancing postures to Mexican folk music, holding skull mask in one hand and fan in other:
Example of capturing energy of model in motion - life studies for main character in Sleeping Beauty (1959), Marc Davis, Disney Studios
Eventually did not care that much about initial problem of making studies too big so having to quickly change papers at irrelevant times - really like energetic drawing at large scale, as paper size does encourage me to so in first place: 

Motion-tracking studies:
Motion-tracking studies:
Motion-tracking studies - 30 seconds for each pose:
Light box and acetate paper of colourful patterns to contribute to sitting model heavy on light contrast:
Thirty-minute model (focusing solely on her, rather than standing surroundings) - quite pleased with turnout, though was trying really hard not to fall into trap of foreshortening or widening body, really wanted to pay attention to shape and shading, and successful at erasing wider shapes not needed in final product (learning to use more often):


  1. The first drawing in red is very dramatic and expressionistic! I like it a lot

  2. I like your second sheet - the longer motion tracking studies. Very expressive :)

  3. Love the final drawing! You have a really unique style. I think you did a great job :)

  4. I can understand why using colour can feel a bit weird when you want to learn composition, but it can be useful for such. Perhaps skin and body shape in one colour, clothing in another. Or the outline in one colour, details in another.

    Testing is all part of the learning experience. But if you do want to practice your forms, the sketchbook is your best friend as a means of practice.