The Envelope and Block-in Technique comes from a book that I have owned for quite some time, The Artists’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing by Anthony Ryder. I would highly suggest for any artist to own this book.
Tonight in life drawing at Hipbone Studio I was practicing the “Envelope” and “Block-in” technique that Anthony Ryder describes in his book and I must say that all the drawing today went very well. Either I have reached a new level in my art skills or the technique help out a lot.
Like every drawing session I start out with my warmup page. Hipbone studio has begun placing a skull on the model stand before the model shows up. Which is nice as I can get some skull work in. I should probably put a skull on my christmas list.
Gesture drawings… Sigh… I’m still not where I want to be on these.
With these 5 minute poses I have begun using the block-in technique somewhat.
Envelope and Block-in Technique
Here is a photo from Anthony Ryders book where he demonstrates the “Envelope” on the fart left then proceeds into the intermediate block-in and then the advanced block-in on the right.
For this pose I seem to have passed up the envelope stage and went straight for the intermediate and advanced block-ins.
Here I’m practicing placement on the page of the figure, you can’t see the very light lines in this photos but I placed some marks indicating the top and bottom of the figure and placed the drawing within those lines.
This is probably one of my best drawings for the night. The envelope was great at determining placement on the page and the intermediate block-in was a very quick and easy way of getting major proportions down fast. The rest was all about refinement with the advanced block-in.
This on didn’t go as well. Many times I can look at the model and know right away if the drawing is going to turn out well or not. It’s strange and I can’t describe it well but with some poses I can just see it all and how it’s going to unfold when I draw it. For some reason I wasn’t able to “see” this pose well… Not sure of a better way of describing this phenomenon.
Usually for the last drawing of the session I will relax a bit and focus more on form and value rather than line. Or just do whatever I feel like. Tonight was no different, I didn’t worry about getting the while figure in I just enjoyed focusing on rendering the models portrait and working slowly with detail from the top down.