Category Archives: Figure Studies

In 2011 I was lucky enough to find a regular figure drawing studio session here in Bruges. Bruno cracks up the jazz and off we go with short or long poses. The four minute poses are great for capturing the gesture quickly and decisively; I usually use cheap tinted sketch paper with a stick of charcoal. The fifteen minute poses allow for more refinement; I usually use toned charcoal or pastel paper, with conté crayon and/or pastel chalks.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, December 16, 2019

Our model tonight was Melissa (or possibly Lisa, I’m not sure). Otherwise known to me as the-lady-with-the-glasses. She has thick thighs and a thin upper body. An interesting combination to attempt to capture. So here’s the catch of the night with my favorite in the spotlight. If you look at that one closely you will see the light (erased) pentimento from my first strokes. I almost had given up on the drawing (really!) but just kept feeling and probing until the figure began to emerge. It’s satisfying to pull something out of the trash – and finally make it work.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

 

 

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in

Figure Drawing, November 25, 2019

Tonight we had one of our regulars, a large, jolly lady who usually brings her own props with her. Tonight, though, no props, just flesh. But because she is so massive and takes interesting poses – particularly on the shorter ones – I found that the four minute sketches turned out better. So here below are some of the shorter poses, including the spotlighted one displayed above (shown on the wordpress site but not the ezine):

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, October 14, 2019

Last night our model was Soeren, one of our regulars. He’s really long and lanky. You can’t apply “normal” proportionalities to his figure, for he has a large and bony head, also big feet and hands, so he presents a particular kind of challenge. Last night I was lucky to snag a few keepers from the longer poses and also to find some of the gesture drawings interesting enough to keep.

Also, I had an interesting experience tonight of dropping my kneaded eraser in the middle of the sepia colored paper drawing. Couldn’t find it. Had to make a choice: continue without my trusted third hand or give up on completing the drawing? So I let go of my safety net and found my eraser afterwards. And the drawing worked out anyway. 🙂

Two fifteen minute figure drawings.

Soeren, folded. Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Soeren, Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Five four minute figure studies.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, September 30, 2019

I love fat chicks. Maybe it’s politically incorrect to say so. So OK, sue me. But it’s only because they are so satisfying to draw! It’s like sitting down for a good chin wag with an elephant. Dipping your hands into the earth and feeling the earth give back to you all its goodness. Skinny models are great too, especially for gesture, but with elephants it’s all about the muladhara chakra. A deep grounding.

So last night we had a wonderful “fat chick”, with a great sense of humor. She has modeled for us before, sometimes with black wings and stockings. Last night she brought white wings and a white blouse (!). The white wings quickly broke so we reverted to the blouse. Fine with me.

Below are four fifteen minute studies. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

  

And two four minutes gestures drawings. Black charcoal on sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

 

Figure Drawing, September 23, 2019

The model tonight was a regular but one I have not seen for awhile. She’s a good model who takes interesting poses and holds them well. I had more success drawing her on the sepia toned paper than on the gris fumé. That’s how it goes sometimes.

What’s interesting in the spotlighted drawing here is that it is similar to the other one on sepia paper – but different: both were fifteen minute poses; in both the figure was well placed in the center of the page; was traced out in umber; and both had the flesh toned highlights of yellow and peach. But in the case of the highlighted one I had a minute extra to add some deeper shadows and extreme highlights. It really works. It pops.

Three fifteen minute poses. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Two four minute gesture drawings. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.5 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing September 16, 2019

We had a new model tonight – which is to say this was her first time modeling for a figure drawing session. She did very well: took interesting poses and held them; plus she had a muscular body that was interesting to draw. For some reason I had more success with the longer poses tonight.I like the spotlighted one because she arched her back for that and I was able to capture some aspect of the arch. Plus I had enough time to add a few white highlights – which always makes the drawing pop.

Here below four fifteen minute poses. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

And one four minute gesture drawing. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, September 9, 2019

Our model tonight was Eva. One of our regulars, though I have not seen her for awhile. Racially, she comes from India though she was raised in Belgium and feels herself to be fully Flemish (or so I gather). When I draw the human figure I am interested to convey warmth (not coolness) but because of her skin and hair tonalities I find drawing her very challenging. The highlights of her hair are almost blue while the highlights of her skin tones vary from light gray to light brown.

Tonight I started out on gray charcoal paper but quickly ditched that and opted for the sepia. At least I had better results with there, though in general, I would say the more successful drawings of the evening were the four minute sketches.

Here below two fifteen minute sketches. Conté pencil and crayon on Canson pastel paper. 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

  

Five four minute sketches. Black charcoal on tinted sketching paper. 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.