After scrutinizing the reference photographs for some time this week, I was eager to get started sketching some figures. I started with simple five minute gesture drawings from the reference photographs just to get into it. Very quickly it became clear to me how incredibly out of shape I was for figure drawing, it felt like every “muscle” was aching from being so out of practice. It got me thinking that once I start the figure drawings, that I should seriously think about having a weekly figure drawing session to sharpen my eye and stay in shape. Drawing from the reference photographs is definitely lacking in terms of that constant rhythm of drawing from a live model. With a live model you have to be so sharp and alert, and I found it next to impossible to capture this same mindset when working from my reference photographs.
After doing some gesture drawings, I wanted to scale down the drawings a little bit so I could begin to think about compositional ideas for these drawings. I had this vision in my head over the past few weeks of layered figures with multiple poses on top of each other. But then when I went to actually draw this image, I hated the results- they just looked like figures with too many limbs. On top of that, it reminded me of the multi-limbed figure paintings I was doing when I had just gotten out of school, something that I want to avoid like the plague. Now I’m completely rethinking how these figure drawings will work. There seemed to me like there were only two other options: one figure or even more figures. After a quick sketch of many figures which was a disaster, I’m now contemplating single figure drawings. Certainly, this would complement the mindset of the self-portrait drawings, which are single figure portraits. I’m torn between thinking that a single figure could be either very boring or very powerful. There’s only one way to find out.