Drawing Movement

Figure drawings

Veronica Lawlor taught last week’s Sketchbook Skool klass and it was all about figure drawing and body language. Veronica teaches at both Pratt and Parsons in New York and one of the things she is known for is her reportage work.

Pencil sketch of person in office chair

These drawings were for the second homework that she set, which was to follow one person’s movements over a period of time and to capture what it was they were doing, rather than a portrait or likeness.

Obviously this was best done with someone you know, who didn’t mind being observed for a while. I chose my husband and the drawings I made were of him sitting at his desk at home, trying to work out some kind of computer programming problem.

Pencil sketch of person sitting at a desk

He tends to fidget quite a bit anyway but in the 20 or so minutes that I was drawing him, he moved a LOT. I’ve tried drawing him before and found it really frustrating because of all the shifting around but I think that was because I was trying to capture a likeness.

2 pencil sketches of a person from behind, sitting at a desk.

I realised that by not worrying too much about the likeness and just getting gestures and movement down it became much easier.

Veronica commented that my drawings might make a good animation because my husband moved around so much in each one. Because I didn’t really have enough drawings to make an animation worthwhile, I tried overlaying the drawings on top of one another.

Person sitting at a computer desk

It looks a bit messy but I think it sort of works, just about, because those ‘messy’ lines are what this assignment was about – telling a story by getting down on paper the idea of what was happening, what the person was doing and how they were moving.


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