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Setting Up for Success

Lesson 3 from: Introduction to Figure Drawing: Essential Gesture & Structure

Amy Wynne

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Lesson Info

3. Setting Up for Success

Amy talks about why it’s important to stand when drawing, how to feel the pose by taking the pose, why you just might want to start using an easel, and so much more.
Next Lesson: Essential Gesture

Lesson Info

Setting Up for Success

we're gonna transition now into talking about how to set up for success in the studio when you're working from the model and a few things that I'm gonna talk about first. I'm gonna move some of these older drawings aside. So in terms of working in a studio, whether you go to a drawing session, maybe um a public drawing session where you might pay to go draw the model or if you have a space that you can have an easel and a drawing board, there's some pretty important things I think in terms of how you arrange, how you use an easel, how you might put a drawing board up on an easel, how you position your body to your workspace and how you position the whole situation to the model depending on whether you're right or left handed. So I want to talk a little bit about that. So you know I like to have my materials close by, I like to have my materials laid out, I like to have my pencils sharp, I like to have a couple Mimi two or three different pencils pre sharpened and I like to have my tabl...

e either right in front of my easel so I can easily stand at it, Pick things up and draw. You could also have a table to the side, you know um or even like right in front of your of your drawing area. So these are some things in terms of laying out of materials that I really like to have um that I think are really important as for the easel. So currently, you know this easel is set up for my height but I want to show you, you know, kind of what not to do and what to do. So you might come up to an easel and depending on the easel there's probably going to be a top bar which will be adjustable in, in a particular way and there'll be a bottom bar which will also be adjustable in a particular way. This one has like a little trigger that you pull and you can move it up or down and then you just want to make sure that it latches underneath at the height, you want it. So right now at my height, this would be a little high for me. This would be like a little high in terms of drawing, I would feel a little bit like I'm, my arm's getting tired because it's kind above my eye level. And if I was looking at the model across the way, you know, I'd like this to kind of line up with, with the model that I might be looking at. So I'm going to lower this and show you just about where maybe a sweet spot would be for me in terms of draw here, my eye levels right around the middle. The model stand is like very fluidly just past the drawing board. I'm not kind of peek a booing around, I'm standing on a diagonal. My, I can see both the drawing surface and the model stand at the same time. So if this was turned a little bit more in this direction, then it would be sort of obstructing me. So I'd like to be able to see both at the same time and I'd like to be sure to bring the top bar down and just cinch up the drawing surface so that it's not gonna fall over. So you want to create a stable situation for the drawing pad and also an opportunity to look at the model. Now I'm right handed. So this is like a perfect situation for me because I can stand, I can have my drawing tool in my right hand and I can have nothing obstructing my view to the model stand. However, if I was left handed and I was drawing with the easel positioned in this way, I would be blocking my view with my left arm. So if you're left handed, all you would do is just switch the angle of the easel so that you're always open to your subject. That's a super important thing. It just makes life easier really. And then a little bit of fine tuning in terms of easels. Sometimes they have things in the back that you can adjust to kind of move them up or down. I like having it pretty straight up and down. Um And I also like to have my light coming in the way it is right now. So I'm not casting a shadow on my drawing as I'm working, I can really see it all in terms of standing. So some people like to pull up a chair and sit to draw. Um I actually, if you can if you have the energy or the ability to stand to draw, I feel like it's better because when we sit to draw we tend to kind of slump after a while and your body doesn't really have the energy it might have if we stand and if we stand to draw, we remain active and we even, it's like a dance, you know, like you're working, you're drawing, you're standing, you have your feet planted on the floor every once in a while, you might stand back and move forward just to see how it's looking, if you're sitting in a chair, chances are you're not gonna get up, move back, come back, sit down again. So depending on your angle, I'd say standing to draw with an easel on a nice angle with the drawing board, just about at eye level, making sure that you're not looking over your arm to draw. And then really in terms of setting up for success, having a really fun range of materials laid out on a table nearby will really allow you to jump into the drawing process without any interruption. And with tons of fluidity

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Figure Drawing Materials
Essential Gesture
Constellation & Joints Reference
Core Volumes
Core Volumes Twist