Drawing exercise: Taping the figure 4/19/18

I began teaching a figure drawing class three years ago at the Roswell ARC. It’s a 2-hour, once a week class of enthusiastic artists with skill levels that range from beginner to intermediate.

At this facility, my models have to be clothed…which is a challenging way to teach the figure. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand how hips are tilted and waists turned, under a layer of clothing.

My method of drawing the figure begins with the torso: finding the angles of the shoulders, waist and hips, and drawing them first. Then I add arms, legs, and head, making something like a stick-figure skeleton. This creates a road map for me to build the volume of the figure. But my students were having a hard time finding these angles.

Out of the blue it hit me that I could mark  the angles LITERALLY on the figure. With a bit of masking tape and a very helpful model, my class could clearly see the opposite directions of the hips and shoulders and other important angles. The students had terrific results with their drawing that day.