Sunday, September 30, 2007


This is Lana, another one of our regular models at VAB. Lana has the pixieish quality that I just love to draw. Her sparkling blue eyes slant upwards slightly giving her that cute impish look, and when she smiles she has one deep dimple on her right side. Lana is probably the one model I am almost always able to successfully capture the likeness of in most of my sketches because of her distinct features.

Here is a very traditional portrait I drew during a longer 30 minute session. I'm quite pleased with the likeness in this one.

This is a looser treatment, as it was sketched in a 10 minute pose. Again, I think the likeness is pretty good here and the drawing feels spontaneous and fresh.

Though I like the upper torso in this back view, I'm not sure about the attachment of her legs. Something feels odd about it. Since I'm more comfortable with line, I think I tend to get a little heavyhanded when attempting tonal studies. Still, it is just a 10 minute sketch...

Just like Heather, Lana also has musical theatre training and a dance background. So she also gives us poses that show great rhythm and graceful form. Some of her quick gesture poses can get pretty acrobatic too, as you can see by that top one in the middle. I believe that a really good model has to have some artistic sensibilities in order to assume poses that create visual interest for those sketching her. An arch to the back, a twist to the torso, and a rhythmic arrangement of arms and legs are some of the elements that I think constitute an inspiring quick pose. As musical performers used to being onstage, both Lana and Heather understand this and are very self aware of how their poses will read to the audience. Of course, more sedate poses are quite acceptable for the longer studies, as it's hard for the model to hold a complex pose for too long.

Here are several drawings in my caricatured approach. In this first one I added the microphone to the drawing because Lana is also a very accomplished singer. I may have made her a bit too leggy in this pic though!

Both of these final two drawings are the type I usually like to do in my caricature style. I find a medium close-up very satisfying to draw, as I can get some body language while also concentrating on getting a likeness of the model's face. Lana has such well-defined and appealing facial features that I can't help but want to capture as close a likeness as I can achieve. This last one in particular is a favourite of mine. I really think I caught something special in her expression and eye direction. This is one I'm tempted to frame up some day. Anyway, these are just a few of my sketches of Lana, and I'll be putting up more periodically.


Ah person said...

these are great ! nice work pete.

i always enjoy you life drawing posts.

Pete Emslie said...

Thanks, Rob, but I must confess that I think my own ability in drawing the figure pales in comparison to much of the student work I see on display in the Sheridan hallways. I like my quick gestures but when I draw in a traditional fashion in the longer poses, I really tend to stiffen up. Part of my problem is that, aside from the gestures, I am hopeless with a stick of conte. I usually switch to either a soft charcoal pencil or my favourite Ebony pencils for the longer studies. With conte I feel I have very little facility.

Also, due to a lifetime of cartooning, I am so used to using outline to portray form. Frankly, my tonal studies leave a lot to be desired! In my opinion, my best work is often the drawings drawn in my caricatured approach. Only on these do I feel quite comfortable and able to draw in a looser, more relaxed fashion. However, I don't want to always fall back on this as a crutch, so I persevere in my attempts to draw the figure naturalistically too!

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Just wanted to add in with Rob that these are really great...I have so much admiration for people with artistic skills as they have totally alluded me in my life.

Keep up the great blog Pete!!

Jeff Cook said...

These are great drawings to study from, as a student myself. I enjoy gesture drawings but I need to discipline myself with proportions.

I really like your caricatured drawings. The line in the first picture (Lana with the Microphone) actually made me think of an Al Hirshfeld drawing. It just has a really organic feel. Very Cool.

clifford chiu said...

these are nice, pete.

i'd say with the 10-minute tonal, her left leg doesn't feel attached correctly because the great trochanter isn't pushing out far enough. it looks like it's been shaved down or something.

and anyway, if you feel weak in your facility of conte compared to some students.. just remember, you'd completely destroy us when charicaturing LOL

Amanda said...

I really adore that full body caricature of her :D

Lettie Lo said...

it really looks like her peter ;) i love it