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Sketchy Saturday No. 3

Going into our third Draw & Sketch class we weren’t exactly sure what to expect, as our instructor hadn’t previously mentioned anything about the topic to be covered. I’m glad to say that it turned out to be another excellent, information-filled session, and am thrilled to be able to share a taste of what I learned with you for this week’s Sketchy Saturday post.

Hope you enjoy!

As with both the first and second classes, we began with some free drawing to warm up. Since the subject of the evening turned out to be learning about proportions of the human body, we were tasked with doing a quick sketch of – wait for it! – a human body. Here’s my rather scrawny, alien-looking figure.

Draw & Sketch Class 3

Then it was time for the lesson, where we learned that keeping a drawing of a realistic (not cartoony) adult human body proportionate is all about measuring everything against the size of the head. Here’s the exercise our instructor gave us to demonstrate.

First, draw a vertical line down the page (think of it as a sort of spinal cord) with an oval head on top – then draw a series of 8 horizontal lines that cross the vertical line, with the space between each horizontal line equal to the size of the head (top to bottom). Then draw a body with the following proportions:

  • Head to line 1.
  • Neck and torso from lines 1 to 4.
  • Shoulders are each one head from the vertical line.
  • Legs (upper portion to knees) from lines 4 to 6.
  • Legs (lower portion, knees to feet) from lines 6 to 8.
  • Arms (upper portion, shoulder to elbow) to line 3.
  • Arms (lower portion, elbow to wrist) from lines 3 to 4.
  • Hands to line 5.

Confusing?! Here’s my drawing, which will (hopefully) make it all a bit clearer.

Draw & Sketch Class 3

During the class an anatomical drawing of a human body/skeleton was circulated and we were encouraged to measure it in heads to check the proportions. Sure enough, everything was in line with what we’d just been taught. (And to further confirm, I did the same with my drawing dummy when I got home, and yep, there it was again.)

Fascinating stuff!

#fmsphotoaday January 17 - Jump

Then we did a little practice with proportions, first sketching a few quick figures and experimenting with drawing the arms in various expressive poses, then building a couple of bodies in creative (but still proportionate!) positions.

Draw & Sketch Class 3 Draw & Sketch Class 3

For the last part of the class we each chose a magazine picture of a person and attempted to draw it, not worrying about the finer details but just trying to get the overall figure sketched out in proportion based on what we’d learned. Here’s the photo I chose…

Draw & Sketch Class 3

…and here’s my sketch.

Draw & Sketch Class 3

And that was it for the evening.

Another great class! Wonder what we’ll learn next time? I for one can’t wait to find out!

How have you been creative this week?
Please share!

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Maria Casale November 21, 2015

    Love this. Learning to draw is so mind-expanding and the best part is it changes how we see.

  • Alana
    November 21, 2015

    I have been enjoying your series. Sounds so simple (I realize it is not). This course sounds like it has been well worth the time.
    Alana recently posted… Local Saturday – Drain Flies and SunsetsMy Profile

  • Cathy
    November 21, 2015

    I enjoyed reading about your drawing class. Sounds really good and very informative. I remember learning some of those things in the two drawing classes I took last winter but I’d never seen it spelled out in a handy chart with all the heads. I really like that. Makes it so clear.

  • Rajlakshmi November 21, 2015

    wow so much technical details behind drawing. It must be tough to keep track of all the measurement. Great going 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted… “Hook Knee on the Shoulder” … Whatttt !!My Profile

  • nate November 22, 2015

    I echo the comments about the benefits of drawing class changing how we see things. And I love seeing sketch marks on drawings; it reminds me that even the masterpieces were taken a step at a time. I have been writing poetry again lately. Oiling those gears feels pretty good.


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