pencil studies of Cleopatra from VMFA

about 8 hours in this study

This is graphite pencil. The challenge here is the forshortened arm. I got it right by using the head as a unit of measure. I hold my pencil out at an arms length, close one eye , and put my thumbnail on the pencil about an inch down, resting my arm on my sketchbook. I had to check the proportions of the head, elbow, and shoulder against each other again and again. Then later come back and make corrections by just eyeballing it. Just measuring isn’t enough to get it right. And just eyeballing doesn’t get it right. To draw the figure well you have to practice drawing forshortened limbs. Sculptures make good models, because they’re free, they don’t move, the lighting is good, there’s no competition for the good spot in front of the model. And you can take as much time as you like. You can see my grid from checking proportions, and my smudges. Its ok, I transfered the drawing to another paper anyway so I could use my 3 conte pencils to draw some volume in with light and shadow on the next picture.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. toemailer
    May 06, 2012 @ 20:58:39

    We would love to post that at toemail if you do not mind? Would the location be Richmond, VA?


    • chris ludke
      May 07, 2012 @ 08:54:12

      hi toemailer ! Your blog looks like fun. I have a friend who would love it . You can put my post of pencil drawings of Cleopatra on your blog if you want to. Yes, it’s in Richmond VA.


  2. toemailer
    May 11, 2012 @ 23:47:30

    It’s posted now. Thanks so much for participating in toemail – we really appreciate it!


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