Project 4 – The human form

Aim: Drawing the human figure allow you to develop skills in observing underlying structure- the engineering of the figure- combined with the natural grace and flow of an organic form. The object of this exercise is to create a drawing which leads the eye of the viewer into the overlapping twists and turns of the limbs. Use your judgment to make the most powerful statement you can.

Method: Make a drawing of two combined body parts. This might be two feet crossed over, folded arms or a hand resting on a waist. Look at the curves and the rhytms set up by those curves. Look at the muscles and bones under skin and the tension and evergy they give. Make a drawing which has a curving or sinuous composition using parts of the human figure. If necessary, consider lighting the limbs with an Anglepoise lamp or similar to give yourself more dramatic tones in the manner of chiaroscuro. Don’t leave the limbs to taper off into nothing, even if that means cropping. Don’t be more tentative because you’re working from the figure; redraw and correct vigorously to achieve the most accurate drawing you can.

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Project  4 – Reflection on The human form

Drawing human main forms are easier and more spontaneous. Focusing on details of parts, capturing muscles, bones  and specially hands and feet has showed to be a bit difficult for me. I went for a live model class for this project but I couldn’t achieve the aim for this project. When I tried sketching on my own hand and feet the results seemed to be more accurate. It is still quite stiff but still more spontaneous than technical and proportional. The human form parts takes endless sketching and practising. I don’t think my drawings direct the viewer’s gaze to specific parts but it is more about the mark making of looking at the subject and sketching. I like one of the sketching from my sketch book where I added a background. It is spontaneous and yet more realistic and contains a certain energy in it. 

Contextual Focus Point : Prunella Clough Tate Archive

Prunella Clough ( 1919-1999) was a British artist. She is known mostly for her paintings of Industrial landscapes , though she also made prints and created assemblages of collected objects. 

Her career began in the 1940’ with her Industrial Landscapes but her paintings became more abstract by the 1960’- 1970’. She was a highly influential teacher and artist to the post war generation. 

Prunella Clough compositions consists in a mild or neutral colour palette, texture – achieved with thick impasto , found objects and juxtaposed shapes and forms. Her art was linked to Neo -Romanticism but it was also influenced by Cubism and European abstraction. Her choice of unusual subjects her  perception of them, resulted in intriguing and contextual art pieces.

“ I prefer to look at the urban or industrial scene or any unconsidered piece of ground” Prunella Clough – Interview in 1982 for Warwick Arts Trust .

For instance, Clough has made a number of abstract works that reference fragments of urban detritus and rubbish that she found on the streets of London such as plastic bags and discarded gloves, and oil stains. 

In resume, Clough’s work was explored and experimented using a variety of tools and materials  to apply paint on canvas creating a number of visual effects and layers using  sandpaper, wire wool, roller, wall paper scrapers and pieces of wire mesh. She not only depicted her Landscapes through paintings but used tools and materials that were part of the subject’s matter as medium. Her work presents a fair amount of studying, investigation and her perception and close observation to achieve balanced and engaging images. In the contextual point of view, Clough works demonstrates concerns with industrial waste, mass production of items connected to Capitalism. Clough’s approach to commodities  evokes Karl Marx’s description of it in volume one of Capital (1867) and her paintings participate in a system of wastage and renewal. 


Waterweed 6 (1988) by Prunella Clough 


Urban Detail (1958) by Prunella Clough