Creation, Proportions.

Graphite Study of the Couple for Upcoming Painting

It is weird drawing a pose that doesn’t exist, yet all the parts are from real models. They did pose together but the logistics of finding beauty of every section, the right expressions, and weightlessness meant that I had to create one section at a time, never being able to see the whole pose.

Normally when drawing a whole pose I get to triangulate the bodies’ landmarks, like a foot-to head-to elbow. And keep calibrating all the landmarks based on what I am seeing. The process for this drawing is radically different. Instead of have having a map overview, I am on a path and can only see up to the nearest bend. I started with their hands in the background. Triangulating each of the fingers in relationship to each other, based on a reference photo I took of the session.

Then began the delicate balance of using my knowledge of body proportions, like the pubic bone is the halfway mark of the body including head, the knees a quarter, as well as lower sternum, horizontal to the heart. Add the very complex perspective that in drawing and painting that objects in the distance shrink and objects in front expand, which means their hands in the distance are smaller than the hands in front.

Meanwhile the goal is to make them look totally natural. Anytime you see a natural looking figurative work, chances are that is after the artist studied 20,000 hours.

I’m looking forward to putting in her hair, it will be flowing upward as if under water.

I made one miscalculation and that is his left foot will go off the edge, but I will paste some added paper there, keeping his foot attached.

Da Vinci, wrote about the ideal distance of the artist’s view from the object they are drawing. I believe that was 16’. Da Vinci: “When you draw from nature stand at a distance of 3 times the height of the object you wish to draw.”*

If the artist is too close, then outrageous distortions happen, making massive hands in front and microscopic hands behind. So then a questions how intimate a closeness does the artist want. I’m opting that the viewer is about 8’ away from them.

Michael, Idyllwild, June 18, 2022

Frame of References:

*Da Vinci. The Complete Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, translated by Jean Paul Richter. Page 190.

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