In this video critique of the week we help out Hillary with her life drawing. To quote Hillary, I was going for a precise likeness by searching for shadow shapes, but once the drawing looked like her, I didn’t know how to develop the forms.
To be specific there are four ways to promote the three dimensional form of the head.
First you have to use multiple pencil strokes directions. You can use a straight up and down pencil stroke to block in tone quickly. You can also use a diagonal stoke to do this as well. However what works best in promoting form is layering form lines on top of the already established tone.
If you just block in tone in essence you are using flat graphic shapes. Adding into the mix curved form lines will create three dimension.
Second, you will definitely want to incorporate convex lines that wrap around the form of the head starting from the contour line. Without the use of convex line your contour line will add to flat graphic look of your drawing.
Third, look for value shifts. For every different value on the head and face there is a different surface plane. Light hits form and that form comes in the way of surface planes.
Fourth, use the modeling factors when possible. For those of you who have been with Drawing Tutorials Online for a while I’ve been teaching the modeling factors for years. It’s a way of shading that enables you to turn objects from the light into the shadow via a gradation.
Of course you have to pick and choose your battles when you are completing a life drawing that goes for roughly three hours. Three hours really is not that long of a time to use all of these techniques in a complete way. However even using them partially will most certainly promote form.
Thank you so much for reading this post. If you are interested in getting your artwork critiqued in a kind and informative way, consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online.
We post up member critiques every Monday afternoon. Thanks Hillary for sharing your work.
Great topic Matt! You’ve made it very clear, in just a few steps how to enhance form in a portrait figure drawing. I’ve taken notes and will incorporate your suggestions in my next drawing.
BTW…this is one of those drawings that makes me say, “I wish I could draw like that!”
Well done, Hillary!