Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Figure Drawing

> Ballpoint pen, 2 minutes.

> Ballpoint pen, drawn while the model was resting.

> Ballpoint pen, 10 minutes.

> Ballpoint pen, 10 minutes.

> Ballpoint pen, 20 minutes.

Finally went figure drawing tonight after a long break. It was good to get back to basics again.


Kenichi Hoshine said...

Great sense of 'torque' in these...I feel an undulating force and energy, esp. in the first one. Bravo. I wish figure drawing sessions were set up so that they went from 2min ~ 20min then back down to 2min so that you can draw spontaneous figures, full of movement, after your hand/eyes/brain have had a time to 'warm up'.

11:33 PM  
John said...

Lots of energy in these, yet a sense of stillness in time.

Did you use those sb-1000 pens for the vienna sketchbook? What kind of pen did you use for these? Does the type of pen make a difference?

10:41 AM  
Tommy Kane said...

You are too good. What is to become of the rest of us.

12:30 PM  
dex mission said...

i really love you can stay so loose and still stay accurate. everything flows so well, all with great energy and intent. is this a sketchbook drawing? how big is the paper?

sigh..i miss figure drawing.

2:24 PM  
MikeMitchell said...

Man! Your life drawings are always so wonderful. Full of life...

I need to find myself an open session, I miss it too much

5:35 PM  
Logan said...

Yes sir!

This is what Im talking about Mr. Jean.

You balance fluid rhythm with felt mass and form so well.

I just started school back this past Monday, so I've been in the figure drawing saddle quite a bit. There's nothing else quite like it; I know I'm going to miss it alot.

Always inspiring James; thanks for a great post.

5:56 PM  
Jed said...

Great to see you back in the figure drawing saddle! As usual, really beautiful, lyrical, ellegant stuff. I like the balance you seem to keep between tight rendering and expressive linework.

1:12 AM  
Shivangi said...

Wow! These are really wow!

12:16 PM  
tirui said...

great. beautiful. i need to go to that class again too. long hiatus.

1:05 AM  
John Phillips said...

I hate to ask a question that concerns another of your processes, but I was wondering if you used 'bond' paper for doing pencils for any particular reason. I've seen packs of 'animation bond' at our school store here, and it's priced at around $15 (three times as much as good laser paper) - is there any advantage to using bond over regular acid-free paper? Is it smoother? More archival?

Also, do you tend to work with Anthony Ryder's 'block-in' method when drawing figures/objects, or do you have some other approach. I think an explanation of this would help me tremendously, and would allow you to keep your later stages close to your chest. I'd really appreciate an explanation.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous said...



8:54 AM  
Mike Gordon said...

To reiterate, these are just lovely, and the first one has an especially great dynamism.

9:15 AM  
Ben Baker said...

I like it! It's a good training to draw in a minimum time, you learn to draw the essential of a mouvement, or a figure.

10:21 AM  
Jorge Iván Argiz said...

Increbile stuff, real incredible!!!

1:33 PM  
Valerie said...

You're amazing.

2:44 AM  
eli said...

Figure drawing seems to have this uncanny way of making you feel whole again. It also points out your faults when you've been slacking. I've never seen your work from school (figure classes etc.) so without comparisson I think it is safe to say you are not slacking ever, and have complete control of every type of media you work in.

I love this stuff. Seeing other artists figurative work is easily my favorite thing ever. You really get a sense of the artist, and the life and spontaneaty of the work is priceless. This could be one of the most important things you post on here. To show that you are never too busy to go back and find the roots of your passion, or at least that's what I got out of this. Thanks James.

5:51 PM  
kristin said...

i think figure drawing is one of the most liberating things to do as an artist. and somehow it continues to be the most challenging. isnt is great?!


11:21 PM  
Anonymous said...

Nice drawing. The time that i've done doing some figure drawing i always get to caught up in the details. You do a real nice job getting the basic shape in a short period of time.


6:08 PM  
Iqbal said...

Oh Master, teach me in the ways of your b-e-a-u-tiful art!

2:57 AM  
Felicity said...

Beautiful drawings, they have real energy and sensitivity - and so fast!

1:05 AM  
Jeff said...

Very beautiful drawings. I really like Kenichi Hoshine's suggestion of how a figure session could be set up. I often like doing short warm-ups, then a couple 20min, but get bored with the 1 hour laying down poses sometimes. It would be nice to take it back down to a couple minutes.

Very beautiful line work, I like these a lot.

3:27 PM  
Process Recess said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Some answers: Yes, these are drawn with the same pen I used in my travel sketchbooks, and the fine line and smooth response of the pen definitely makes drawing a little easier. These particular drawings were done in a sketchbook measuring approx. 8.5 x 11". For work, I use mostly acid-free inkjet paper. No experience with animation bond, but I'm sure it works well with col-erase pencils and the like. I don't block in the figure before I draw or mark out forms, but I might do that if I were rendering one pose for over an hour, which is something I haven't done since art school. The trap with long poses is that you proceed slowly and timidly, but I think any interesting work demands varying tempos, from rapidly attacking the pose to lovingly caressing the details.

5:40 PM  
craig said...

wonderful sketches. Great choices with such an unforgiving medium like pen.

12:20 PM  
Mattias said...

Stunning work, and so fast as well, loved your sketchbook pages on your site, whish I could see them at larger resolution, it's so fantastic

4:46 AM  
Jim M. said...

Beautiful as always. Such tender, beautiful observation.

3:51 PM  
A. Riabovitchev said...


11:14 PM  
rowan dewar said...

Wow - such energy in your your figures, you've made me want to start life drawing classes again : )

6:09 AM  
Dan Springer said...

Nice work as usual.
Btw, if you're ever back in NYC, I'm going to be hosting a figure drawing session out in Williamsburg every Monday from 7-10 at a place called "Satchmos"- located at 347 Graham Ave.- just off of the Graham Ave. stop on the L train. Feel free to come by and draw.

7:58 PM  
jimsalabim said...

Beautiful work, really. Well observed, dynamic and great variation in line. I like drawing with ball point pen myself, but I never seem to get it to work when drawing croquis. Maybe I should try out another type of pen rather than the cheap Bic pens I've been using.

7:11 AM  

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