Life Drawing Class – Geometric shapes


Geometric shapes

On Tuesday our life drawing lesson was to concentrate on geometric shapes.   A lot of subjects can be simplified to geometric shapes, such as boxes, pyramids, cylinders, and spheres. Instead of starting with the large shapes on paper, you simplify your subject in 3-D.

Geometric shapes

I was rather excited by this exercise and quickly got ready with my paper, thinking I might be rather good at it, as I work in three dimensions all the time in my sculpture.  How wrong could I have been.  I found that any automatic thought about the shape I wanted to draw had to be discarded, and I sat looking at the model for a long time, trying to establish if part of the arm was a cylinder, cone, pyramid – and thus I made very slow progress.  In fact I felt cack-handed and unable to draw.   Maybe it was the straight lines?  This is going to be something I need to practice.

I think this is the sort of thing I was meant to achieve.

Hand drawing made from geometric shapesDrawing of handWe did quick drawings with poses of  just a few minutes and then we were given longer to draw.  Firstly getting the overall shape and perspective of the figure with the geometric 3-D shapes and then refining with the real outline, either drawn inside, or as in this example, outside the shapes.

Drawing with 3d shapes

I feel a bit ‘undone’ by this session.  Normally if I’m looking at something with a view to carving it, I am looking very closely at the relationship of shapes and thinking of the skeleton.  At first glance the body appears cylindrical, with cylindrical arms, legs and neck – but if I make a body like this, even if I pay attention to grooves and bumps, and put them in, it looks wrong, and for me much too symbolic, or symbolic with bumps on!  In sculpting I have to think much more about the skeleton and how the muscles and tendons attach, to get the shapes something like.  It was this way of looking that, for drawing, I had to lay aside, and I found it very difficult.  Perhaps I’m over-thinking it.  Practice.

If you’re drawing, do you use this method to get a good overall proportion and shape – if so, do pass on any tips you might have.




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