Surgical Illustration Critique – December 8th, 2016
November 1, 2016
Dan Hermansen Awarded the Bob Waters Memorial Scholarship
December 15, 2016

A Close Look – Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing. Long Pose © Adam Pellerite

Figure Drawing © Daniel Hermansen

Figure Drawing © Daniel Hermansen

Figure Drawing © Courtney McKenna White

Figure Drawing © Courtney White

The best places to start for learning about our Portfolio Categories is the Sample Portfolio page – http://medicalart.johnshopkins.edu/sample-portfolio/ and the Admissions page – http://medicalart.johnshopkins.edu/admissions-2/. Let’s take a look at the Figure Drawing category.

We consider Figure Drawing to be the advanced study of the human figure drawn from direct observation of the model. Examples should include both long and short poses and may be rendered in a variety of media.

We ask for a minimum of 5 Figure Drawings, a majority of which should be long poses but please include a couple of short pose drawings as well (see below). Your Figure Drawings should include the full figure, head to toe. Portraits and hand and foot studies are considered General Drawing.

Short Poses

Short poses are demonstrations of quick gestural sketches from direct observation ranging from 1 minute to 30 minutes in length. These drawings are intended to capture the essence of the figure’s mass, gesture, weight bearing and balance

Take a look at these short poses. Both capture the full figure. In the first, with only a few seconds, the artist captured good proportions and perspective. The cast shadow adds depth and weight to the quickly outlined figure. In the second, with a little more time, the artist captured greater detail including fingers, toes, and facial features. There is a distinct light source and an area of greater detail that draws the viewer’s focus and attention. Both examples show distinctive style and mark making.

Long Poses

A long pose is a more highly rendered and detailed figure drawing that demonstrates more refined mark making and attention to details including the face, hands and feet. The average time spent on a long pose varies, but is generally 2-3 hours. However many artists dedicate multiple sessions to a single drawing and may spend 8 hours or more. The main goals of a long pose Figure Drawing is to capture accurate proportions, effective foreshortening, and convincing light on form. Again, these drawings should be completed from direct observation of the model.

Figure Drawing. Long Pose © Adam Pellerite

Figure Drawing. Long Pose © Adam Pellerite

Figure Drawing. Long Pose © I-Hsun Wu

Figure Drawing. Long Pose © I-Hsun Wu

These examples of long poses are more detailed than the short poses above. They still capture all of the important characteristics of a good short pose such as mass, gesture, weight bearing, balance and proportion, but the artists go a step further. The figures are placed in an environment (no floating bodies), and additional time is spent capturing finer detail in the hands, feet, and face. In addition, the artists put greater emphasis on the “topography” of the body providing evidence of the underlying muscle structure through refined shading of the body’s surface.

The examples in the Sample Portfolio show various media and distinctive styles but not at the cost of good form, proportions, and perspective. Notice that there are significantly more long poses than short. This is to encourage applicants also to submit more long than short poses. There are also more Figures Drawings than General Drawing, then Color Media, then Graphic Design and Digital Media.

I’ll be posting more soon on another portfolio category. As always, if you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us – medart-info@jhmi.edu or Request Information.

Have a great week,
Dacia

Thank you for your help with this post David!

More posts in the Admissions Blog.