Art is more than just proportion and likeness. An artist’s energy and motion are connected to the model at all times. The artist must have the mental toughness to go slowly and analyze the structures and points, get involved in the process little by little. Define the underlying structure and observe the geometric shapes.
Once the structure is understood shadows as shapes and proportions are rendered before adding details such as lines, wrinkles, hair. Each line the artist puts down becomes part of the drawing whether it is erased or not, it is still there.
Drawing with emotional involvement, what you feel, defines the beauty of the form, emphasizing the muscular features. Use imagination to portray a hero or heroine, wretch or a rogue. Pay attention to the tension in the various parts of the model’s shape. Look for angles, new and interesting perspectives.
To inform your craft, look at how models are interpreted in drawings and paintings in museums, libraries outside the studio. Research is an essential component of learning to draw. Read about different philosophies and styles of drawing. Try to emulate others work without losing your own identity and authentic style.
Notes taken at a lecture by Qimin Liu, Art professor at Eastern Connecticut State University.