How to begin longer poses

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by mianewarcher 7 years ago.

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    I know somebody already asked this question, but there wasn't really an answer, so I'm going to try again. ;-)
    When I do short gesture poses, I just start with a few lines indicating the general flow of the gesture. It works fine. But it doesn't usually show the exact outline of the body.
    Now, with longer poses, I'm never sure what to do. If I start with those same lines for the 25 minute pose, I'm sure they're going to get in the way sooner or later and I'll want to erase them, as on the 25 minute pose I'd want to start adding detail and shading.
    So would I start those long differently than the short ones? Or begin them the same way and just keep building and building? I get the feeling, when I do that, the drawing gets messy (as the first quick lines aren't the outlines of the shape.
    Anyone understand what I mean? How do you do longer poses?

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    Hi Anya, I have the same difficulty to be honest as it has taken me a lot to go into line drawing because I want to get so detailed. On Wysp another practice site they use a frame. So they start with the lines then place the head the ribcage and pelvic area in circles and broad shapes and then you hang the rest of the figure on that. It is a nice way of doing it. I'd recommend you check that out. There are a few free guides there and some paid.
    That's how I think I'm going to approach the longer poses but not too sure just yet.


    Hi CeriH,
    where did you find that info on Wysp? Info?
    Thanks! :-)


    Hi Anya, I just stumbled upon Wysp. I'll try putting a link in this post.
    Your text to link here...


    If you type that into your search bar you should get to it. Some nice little online lessons there.


    In the Learn section there is a course library. There is no course mode but you can set the number of drawings you do and you can set the amount of minutes you want to spend on each drawing. In the Female anatomy lessons there are images that show a broad outline of head, ribcage, pelvis, and then it goes into more detail in an image next to you can go over your lines and then in another image it shows how it ought to look without the guidelines and with detail. It's great to follow for tips on how to set out your composition.

    The hands lessons has something similar but it starts off with guides and then they slowly fade to be more detailed drawing and you can follow. Wysp records your progress (you rate your drawing from 'didn't get it' to 'nailed it' and based on that it gives you a percentage of how far you are in the course.
    It also shows how much time you have spent on it and how many skills you have mastered.


    Hi Anya,
    When you do a longer study you have more time to analyse the object or figure you are drawing.
    So when you do this you want to spend the first 5 to 10 mins(depending on the length of the study) to "set up" your drawing. What this does is gives you a solid foundation to build a beautiful extended study that does not get awkwardly cropped off because of poor placement on the page.

    To start off your extended study, draw a loose light gesture to place the figure on the page and get the flow of the pose down.
    Next, you want to start finding the directions of the major body masses and lightly sketching them in with just a simple straight line.
    Moving on you start building up the body masses with either blocks or cylinders(keeping it light so you can keep building the drawing), always measuring distance and watching the negative space around your subject.
    From this stage, you can start to add in your anatomy, minor/placements of details, and begin to block in some rough tones. At this point, you should be near the end of your drawing and should be tightening up your details and shading.

    This is just a basic walkthrough of setting up an extended study. If you want an example of the process I can like you to my instagram account. I hope this helps out a little. Sorry if I sounded a little too much like I was lecturing you. I just really love teaching life drawing and would be happy to help out in any way if you have any questions.


    Thanks so much for this detailed answer! It was very helpful. I'd love to see an example, but I don't have instagram.


    No worries, you do not need to have an instagram account to view the images.

    The sample above, if you click through the images you will see the progression of an extended drawing.
    This was done in pen as a demo. Usually, I would take a little longer to nail down the proportions and draw in pencil to lift unneeded pencil marks as the drawing progresses.


    Awesome! Thanks so much! It's quite different from the way I work. I like it!! :-)


    I like the one line thing. I usually go for outlines right away. I see now that I shouldn't!


    You are most welcome! Always try to work from the inside out. It really helps to get your proportions and pose down faster.
    Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm always happy to help.

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