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Drawing Lesson 20, Part 1 – Drawing a Body

Drawing a Body – The Belvedere Torso Drawing

Video Lesson Description

In this video lesson, you will discover Drawing a Body techniques on example of how to draw a man’s torso in graphite pencil.

The well-known antique sculpture called the Belvedere Torso will be our model for the drawing. This torso is now displayed in the Vatican Museum.

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Drawing a Body – Constructive drawing

In this “Drawing a Body” video lesson you will discover the classical drawing approach, which included the following steps:

1). The process of Drawing a Body was started with the decision of which point of view we wanted to draw. The model was observed from various directions and the best angle was chosen to portray its pose and features; the choice was also influenced by the particular creative task we had in mind.


Drawing a Body
2). The next step of Drawing a Body was to decide on the drawing support material, size and position. In our case, it was heavy-duty white paper with a smooth surface and a pleasant tooth.

For the purpose of this lesson, I chose a relatively small paper format. The paper was positioned in vertical layout as it fit the figure the best.

3). Fow Drawing a Body, with my paper in front of me, I imagined how the finished artwork would look, its size and position on my paper. Only then did I begin drawing in graphite pencil.

4). The outer edges of the figure were marked down when drawing a body. The outermost top, bottom and side marks indicated the figure’s position on the drawing. The ratio between the torso’s width and height was measured and the accuracy of this proportion was checked on the drawing.

5). Drawing a body with straight lines, the big masses of the figure were indicated. These straight lines are imaginary and were marked with a light pressure applied to my pencil. They are temporary helpers to be erased when they’ve served their purpose.

6). The torso’s outlines and contours were constructed on the drawing with shorter, straight lines. The accuracy of the lines’ angles and lengths were checked with my pencil while drawing a body.

7). Anatomical proportions of a male’s body were considered for the drawing a body. Elements of the constructive linear drawing were measured in relation to each other.

8). While continuing drawing a body, the contours and outlines of the torso were fine-tuned. Straight lines and segments were smoothed out to portray the realistic shapes of the model.

9). The figure’s shadows were indicated in light pressure pencil hatching. This helped to reveal the three-dimensional nature of the model and drawing a body with more realistic appearance. At this step it is still not late to fix any mistakes made and forms misjudged. All lines are light and easy erasable. We have not invested a lot of work into the shades rendering as yet.

9). Redundant straight lines were erased with a soft kneaded eraser that didn’t leave rubber residue. These virtual helping lines have served their purpose for drawing a body and were no longer required. In some cases, these lines can be left partially un-erased. They will blend with the rendered tones of the figure and background.

10). The three-dimensional character of the model is now being further developed with graphite rendering.

These 10 steps conclude the first part of the drawing a body. In next video parts I will continue the Belvedere Torso drawing, rendering shades in graphite pencil.

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