Chiaroscuro Week 3 Assignment

Light and Shadow Block-in

This assignment was about drawing the figure from the image below of Prud’hon’s “Academie of a seated woman, hands folded”. The concept was to get the proportion accurately, then we had to block-in the shadow to see what parts of the figure it fell upon. It was also about learning to see the bigger shapes and how all the parts relate to the whole. It definitely was an exercise of learning to see the bigger picture of the drawing and not getting caught up in the smaller details of it. It was a little intimidating to get it started at first, mine isn’t at all perfect but I did get a pretty good grade for it. Looking at all the different shapes and angles of the body really helped me to see all the individual parts. I really learned a lot from this assignment, sometimes its easier to rush through the drawing and draw all the little details. It really forced me to look at the overall figure and see the bigger shapes and from there it got easier to see the connections within the smaller pieces. I found that it helped me as well to allow a good amount of time to work on it, I’m so used to rushing through projects… so I tried a different approach and started early in the morning, took a few breaks during the day and finished it before dinner time. And I was stress-free and didn’t lose any sleep over it.

Anyway, Prud’hon’s work is amazing, he had a great understanding of the human body and anatomy. I messed up a few times making the head slightly bigger than the rest of the body, but as I stood back and observed my drawing it became clear that there were a few things off that I had to adjust. Now that I put the original alongside of it, the tilt of the figure in my drawing is a little stiff… and now see that the figure in Prud’hon’s piece is a little more tilted and slouching naturally. Its like training my eyes to see these little details that most of the time we wouldn’t naturally notice. My Instructor for the class Sadie Valerie mentioned that Prud’hon wasn’t very popular during his time which was during the Impressionist Era where everything was loose and rebellious. Sadie also mentioned that in our own era we have been trained to appreciate the rebellious Impressionists and to disregard certain masters of a more disciplined style, he was considered a perfectionist. I think his work is flawless and he had a great sense of 3-dimensional space and proportions in regards to the human body.

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