Layering Process (10%): As in most drawings for this figure study course Line Drawing is a layering process that starts tentatively (drawn lightly and rough with fluid line) A line drawing in early stages initially maps out subject matter (and ideas) in basic shapes (planes and other basic shapes) No detail in beginning stages of figure drawing.
For longer poses, tentatively (lightly) map out entire composition before committing to detail or exact locations of shapes. Overall anticipate at times a messy process of restating and editing to occur during the layering process. Neatness, detail, contrasted (darker and thicker) line will strategically occur in later stages of layering process. Generally the line drawing should be a record of thought processes depicted through layering and primarily additive revisions. There should be very minimal use of the eraser! (Never use an erasure during very short poses and gesture drawings)
Accurate Proportion (and sometimes Perspective) (45%): Utilize measurements, and horizontal/vertical alignments when working with the figure from observation.
For the sake of proportions if possible it is most ideal to start the drawing in the center and usually from the torso area, working directly out and around from an initial shape (that is usually rectangular or square in shape such as the torso). Use initial shape (usually the torso) as a building block and as a reference for comparing proportion and choosing composition.
When working from observation as an option general theories of perspective (vanishing points & horizon line) can be used but only at later stages of drawing. Perspective (as an option) can sometimes be used auxiliary tool for checking accuracy of proportions, scale, etc. Whether working from observation or constructing an imaginary scene do not lock into horizon line and vanishing points until proportions are resolved.
Fluid Line and Various Line Characteristics (20%) : Fluidness and strategic use of line weight variation will bring depth of space, sense of 3 dimensional masses, character and life into the drawing. Repetition and taking the time to practice and figure out a way to enjoy the act of drawing will always improve line characteristics or qualities in any drawing process. In the early stages of the line drawing keep the line thin and light. As the drawing develops towards the later stages anticipate variations of line characteristics to include ranges from curved to angular, quick to careful line applications on the drawing surface and in some areas progressions from thin to thick lines and light to dark lines. (Let the line flow!)
Strategic Use of Detail (12%): Anticipate that progressively there will be less detail as the viewer moves back into space of the picture plane. Some forms on the model/figure and any objects or planes surrounding the figure may require various levels of detail in foreground and at times in the middleground. This is the final stage of the layering process. Make time to allow for some careful finishing touches and to strategically refine or layer over rougher areas in the work.
Mass/Volumes & Space (10%): Clear depiction in the illusion of 3 dimensional forms in space that progresses in a clear manner from foreground to background. Over lapping of forms and strategic use of detail, line variation, angles and composition will all be crucial in achieving a strong illusion of 3 dimensional mass and depth of space.
Composition (3%): Locate an interesting view with a reasonable level of difficulty that is unique and has complex interactions of shapes through out picture (including border of drawing) and choose a composition that is conducive for presenting the objectives for the assignment. In terms of composition also consider how the white space of the page works around the figure and within the negative spaces created by the figure.
Formal Requirements of Tonal Figure Drawing
For any assignments regarding the black and white rendering (shading) of the figure the following ideas will need to be considered; anatomical proportions, layering process, articulation of detail (and progressive lack of detail), different levels of high and low contrast, the strategic use of hard and soft edges, grayscale, full range of mark making will be required.
Anatomical Proportions (45%):
As in the line drawing assignment proportions of the figure will be very important for assignments in the figure study course.
Layering Process (15%):
Begin the drawing with basic planes of light and shadow, gradually build up drawing thinking about the flowing ideas below. Mistakes are inevitable, consider a layering and editing process as you gradually accumulate layers on the drawing. Consider additive and subtractive processes but do not obsessed with perfection during the early stages of the drawing. For gesture drawing you will need to rely on repetitive practice and instinctual processes more.
Strategic Use of Detail (15%):
Through practice the goal is for a refined rendering style that offers a strategic use of detail and high contrast in the foreground. Ideally the drawing will progressively decrease in detail and contrast as the viewer reaches the background. Do not get overwhelmed with the need to have detail and precision in the entire drawing.
Strategic Use of High and Low Contrast (10%):
Increased contrast can assist the edges in the foreground to appear sharper, while the edges of forms in the background begin to slightly dissolve if contrast is low.
Strategic Use of Hard and Soft Edges (10%):
Generally hard (sharply in focus) edges should be in foreground areas while edges progressively become softer (out of focus) as shapes progress to background
Full Range of Mark Making (3%):
Within the layering process of the drawing allow there to be different types of mark making where drawing strokes (and applications of drawing materials) will range from being loose, textured and expressive to controlled and smooth.
Strategic Use of Grayscale (2%):
Consider a range of grayscale in the work, particularly when there is a desire to create difference or similarity form one form to the next. This is related to strategic use of high and low contrast but focuses more on the gray tones between the extremely light and dark areas in the drawing. When using black and white materials a sensitivity of mixing black and white will be required.
The grayscale in a drawing is achieved by layering a black medium and allowing different levels of the white of the paper to come through in a drawing, OR a grayscale is achieved by mixing black and white mediums to achieve the range presented in the above grayscale. Often drawings use a combination of both methods (utilizing the white of the paper AND mixing the white with black drawing mediums together)
Creating your own grayscale for each drawing medium will assist in learning about each drawing materials characteristics, plus will allow you to practice depicting and to be more sensitized to the full range of grays in a drawing.
Keep in mind that for this course grayscale will emphasize depicting light and shadow. Generally translating colour into grayscale will not be part of the assignment requirements.
Drawing Material Choices:
Graphite Sticks or Woodless pencils:
Strategically using a full range of graphite from 2H to 6B, and having a kneaded eraser
Note: Graphite only used early on in course and will not be options for any homework assignments or for in class assignments after class 4.
Black and White Conte:
Strategically using a full range of mixing black and white conte. With this medium layering will be required. Eraser will rarely be used but if an eraser is required a rubber eraser with offer the most success. A needed eraser will tend not be successful with conte.
Is easily manipulated and erased but depending on the brand of vine charcoal can be difficult to get dark areas to create strategic areas of high contrast in drawing.
As an option white chalk or conte could be strategically placed and or mixed in vine charcoal drawing.