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Penciled Nude Studies

March 25, 2011

All the drawings in my sketchbook within the last 2 years are executed with Rapiograph pens and, or felt pens; rarely did I used pencils. I guess I am influenced by my architectural career and perhaps are ‘brainwashed’ into drawing with ink pens. I do remember, however that when I was a youngster pencils were my choice instruments for drawing.

Austria’s Gustav Klimt created many penciled nude female sketches during his lifetime. I am particularly influenced by those where few lines create impressive delicate and sensuous images of his female figures. His sketches however are not single line contour renderings, but rather subtle strokes that seem to accentuate the warmth of the model’s body. Most of his sketches are about 14” by 22” tall allowing his lines to be made up of small shapes, circles and ornaments especially where the figure is partly covered.

Back on the 21st November 2010 when I first introduced a nude study in my Blog, under the title “Using Few Lines to tell a Big Story”, it was such a success that during that week there were 393 hits to my Blog. Then on the 7th (“Using Few Lines to Delineate a Nude Figure”) and 30th December 2010 (“Where to Start a Sketch”) these added female nude studies generated 252 and 189 hits during those two weeks. It is clear then that visitors to my Blog are interested in seeing how I translate the complexities of delineating the female figure into my personal art of sketching.

My partially clad female figures take reference to Klimt’s repertoire where I consciously use a 2B pencil to create soft tone to garments. In the “Nude Front View” sketch, the delicate under garment is used to contrast with the strong outline of the model’s figure, thus emphasizing the roundness of her breasts.

In my other sketch, “Nude Standing to the Left”, the soft pencil rendering technique dominates the overall sketch. The attempt here is to digress completely from the continuous outline contour of many of my other nude sketches. After sketching the body of the model the pencil is used to shade and contour the arm and torso giving the sketch “depth”.

My nude sketches are meant to stimulate your imagination into completing the ‘picture’ of the female figure.

  1. My Nude Sketches are only 4.25″ by 6.25″ tall, 2B pencil and felt pen on card stock.

  2. Last night, 24th March 2010, I saw world famous Italian fashion designer, Valentino Garavani, on CNN’s ‘Icon’ program. He is better known as the designer who made the wedding dress for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I mention this because during the program he demonstrated his sketching skills in designing an evening gown live on camera. It was uplifting for me to see this, because his lines were simple, strong and confident and the end result was a magnificent masterpiece. On the walls behind him there were also many of his fashion sketches.

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