Exercise – Line drawing of the whole figure

I tried this on a pose from a drawing DVD. I made faint pencil marks to give me reference points, then drew it in gel pen. I made a few marks I went over with a white gel pen, but they still show through (on the arm and chest).

Line in gel pen

Apart from the mistakes, I think this worked well. Because of that I chickened out of adding in the facial features! I probably should have played around with disappearing lines as well, as the gel pens didn’t allow for variations in thickness.

This section is a bit Sparse, but my aim is to concentrate on tone more than line in this stage of the course.

Research point

Look at the work of a range of artists such as Ingres, David, Degas, Giacometti and Hockney and make notes about their use of line in your learning log.

Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique (1780-1867)

Madame Ingres Mere (1758-1817) 1814 (graphite on paper)

Madeleine Chapelle (1782-1849) 1813 (pen & ink and w/c on paper)

The Forestier Family (graphite on paper) (b/w photo)

Self Portrait, 1835 (graphite on paper) (b/w photo)

Portrait of a Man, 1816 (print)

I like Igres’s free and simple use of line, with his use of light shading but only in small areas, leaving many areas plain white.

Degas, Edgar (1834-1917)

Portrait of Ludovic Halevy (1834-1908), from ‘La Famille Cardinal’ by Ludovic Halevy, c.1880s, published 1938 (litho)

Portrait of Diego Martelli, 1879 (chalk on paper)

Dancer (charcoal and pastel)


A Dancer in Profile (chalk)

Degas’s work is very expressive, with a limited palette when working with colour. He often seems to leave in working lines and keep working over them, which gives the figures a sense of movement

Trying a piece in the style of his dancers would be good to have a go at.

Hockney, David (b.1937)

Mark Glazebrook (using a camera lucida)

Dr. Leon Banks

Jeff Burkhart


My Hand

Self Portrait

Hockney often uses very simple lines, with detail in the faces, but the rest of the bodies left as mostly white with only their outlines, with the occasional crease and folds depicted as single lines.


Bridgeman Education: http://www.bridgemaneducation.com

Hockneypictures: http://www.hockneypictures.com

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