Figure Drawing with Susan Lyon

Susan Lyon Photo

Artist Susan Lyon shares her figure drawing techniques in our Autumn Issue of our Artist eNewsletter.  "I think that in order to get good at figure drawing you must try to draw from a model at least two to three times a week" explains Susan. "I currently do a quick sketch session once a week. I start off with one minute poses and work my way through progressively longer poses until, at the end of three hours, I finish with a 20 minute pose." 

Following are some of the techniques and drawings Susan shares with our newsletter readers.

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5 Minute Pose
I start off with a small piece of General's Chalk in sienna. I sand the rough edges down so I can use the side of it to mass in the shadow areas. Once I get the big masses in I clean up the light areas with a kneaded eraser, then use a pastel pencil to define a few lines.

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5 to 7 Minute Pose
I kept the left side out of focus because that is the shadow side and I don't want to show any details in the area. Sometimes I don't even use a line where the form on the light side of the figure meets the background; I will use it only if it's necessary.

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10 Minute Pose
I start off the same with shorter poses, I just study a little more and add in some lines with a pastel pencil.

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Shadow Study
I try hard to only see the form in light and dark shapes. I use a strong spot light so the shadows will be strong. I always start the drawings by massing in the darks.

Download the entire article Strathmore Artist Newsletter: Autumn 2011

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