Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lesson 6 - Designing with Shapes - Children

A common exercise in life drawing classes is to quickly paint in a model as a silhouette shape as he/she holds a series of one minute poses. It's possible to set up a similar exercise with photographs. In this case we collected photos of children playing and did a series of 10, one minute studies.

The next problem is to envision the figure in the rectangle format of a painting. Should the figure be cropped in close? Can you divide the background into interesting shapes? Is the background darker or lighter than the figure shapes?
Give yourself four minutes to draw and block in a roughly 3" x 5" sketch.

In the workshop we did four of these four minute sketches and chose one to develop into a larger 1 1/2 hour study. Many found that having to work fast forced them to simplify and concentrate on a strong design rather than getting hung up on details.

Marsha's figure repeats interesting angles and the green background brings attention to the head.

Jim used horizontal shapes in the background to unite the vertical figures.

Pat created strong skin tones on the face to unite the dark hair and shirt.

Alice ended up with a long vertical format. She created an interesting division of space behind the figure.

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