Friday, October 05, 2007
That's right, this is not a figure drawing, but rather a memory drawing.
One of the things I routinely did in order to better assess my skills were memory drawings. Years ago, when I started drawing the figure, I would test myself to see how well I understood the anatomy. During the drawing session I would make a mental note to myself about a particular pose, and then -- the next day -- draw that pose from memory. This drawing you see is a memory drawing.
Doing this exercise was incredibly helpful because it allowed me to spot deficiencies in my work. If I had a problem drawing shoulders, feet, or hips, I could immediately spot the problem in my memory drawings. I would then compare the memory drawing with my original figure drawing from the night before in order to see how close I could get to the original. How well did I remember the pose.
Sometimes the poses I drew from memory were slightly different, but the information in my memory drawings had to work nonetheless. The memory drawings had to work in and of themselves, not just a copy.
One of the things that motivated me to start this exercise was noticing other artists that were really good at drawing the human figure when it was in front of them, but would literally fall apart when they had to draw a human figure from memory. I vowed that was not going to be me! Wherever I spotted a problem in my memory drawings, I would pull out my anatomy books and concentrate on that specific part of the anatomy. Doing this, my drawings improved rather quickly.