Slowing down and using comparative measurement seems to give the best results for me. For one open studio drawing I moved quickly with comparative measurement and the proportions became more distorted the further I moved down the figure, this drawing had the worst proportions out of all. For another pose I relied heavily on measuring with my pencil, almost every line I put down was checked with head height. The proportions for this drawing were accurate but the figure turned out very stilted. One of the best drawings tonight was done with comparative measurement while moving slowly and methodically through the pose.
The Open Studio Drawings
My warmup, I know this looks weird but its a warmup I designed to test my dexterity all over the page with multiple shapes in different angles.
1.5 minute gestures
5 minute poses. These turned out well. I may need to start every pose with a few gestures first. I find that as the night wears on and the memory of gestures fade my figures become too tight.
Comparative measurement in this drawing, it turned out well, I think because I was moving at a good pace, not too slow or fast, just fast enough to get it right.
Now this was the worse drawing of the night. I hurried through this drawing and comparative measurement wasn’t much help. This vertical pose would have benefited greatly from careful measurement at the beginning to get the placement of the major masses, then moving into comparisons. As such I moved too fast, didn’t measure enough and the features became more and more bloated the further down I went.
After the previous drawing I over compensated for previous errors by measuring too much. This open studio drawing relied entirely on measuring with my pencil. The top three quarters of the body has correct proportion, but the bottom didn’t get any focus due to lack of time and overall the whole figure is very stilted.
This could have been a much better drawing but I focused too much on shading. It would have been much nicer to focus on my line weights and proportions throughout the form.
For this drawing I decided to have a bit of fun with my pen. I worked methodically from the head down using comparative measurement trying very hard not to mess up because I can’t erase the pen. It all looks pretty good except for the arm on the right is obviously off.
Its seems like the first 5 to 10 minutes of a drawing are crucial, if you get everything correct the rest is easy like icing a cake. But, if the first 5 to 10 minutes is bad it may be better to just start over and use those first few minutes as a warmup. If there is one thing I have learned, its that the drawing or painting is always better the second time round.