Today our model was JB. I decided to challenge you all a little by having JB hold a reclining pose for 40 minutes. For many of you this meant drawing extreme foreshortening.
In class I mentioned the book "Drawing from the right side of the brain" which is a book that focuses on the importance of learning how to turn off the meaning-making side of our brain so we can focus on drawing what we see and now what we know.
Extreme foreshortening presents us with a very distorted view of human anatomy which helps to confuse and shut down the side of our brain that wants to tell us how to draw general human anatomy. Instead we are forced to pay closer attention to what we see - which is hard work. I think it is a good exercise.
After the reclining pose I had JB do a few short gesture poses to hopefully help relieve the stress of the previous drawing - a warm-down perhaps. I also think it is important to try and develop both the close observation you practiced with the reclining pose and the ability to see over-all movement and gesture. Somehow we have to do both simultaneously.
In the critique I talked a little about how the thickness or thinness of line (line quality) can be used to reinforce highlight and shadow. I also talked about how points of high contrast create focal points which can be a good way to lead a viewer through your composition (it can also create confusion if you emphasize something seemingly unimportant or emphasize too many things equally).