An exercise in figure drawing: mass and tone

To obligate the student to see and draw masses and tones, avoiding initial delineation of outline (flat, “cut-out” style) and thinking rather in terms of dimensional space, volumes and haptic (tactile, muscular) responses and textural elements, I use a transparent black cloth veiling the model. A light behind the veil will throw into relief the articulations of planes of the figure (according to the illustrations below). Not being able to see precise contours obligates the aspiring artist to approach form and shading in a different spirit, with a new strategy and concept.

photos by Marcelo Lima (c) 2005


Anonymous said…
I am going to try this at my next life drawing class- only questions are - does it have ot be a thin cheesecloth type black fabric? And must the light be behind the person who is behind the cloth - or inbetween the person and the cloth? I will let you know how it went....
In the photos you see indeed a thin black transparent cloth and the light is on the model, but you may find other ways of doing it.