Avoiding the Christmas Blues

I woke up with one of the worst cases of the Christmas blues I've ever had. I often get down around the holidays, but it usually goes away on Christmas Eve. I suppose it's because I know it's almost over. Some of it has to do with being lonely as a kid at Christmas because it was the busiest time for my parents, who ran a portrait photography studio and always were finishing up high school senior orders for people who wanted to give the pictures as Christmas presents. Many a year I was out on Christmas Eve delivering those orders to people's homes. One year we got a Christmas tree for 50 cents (cheap even for that time) because my father didn't have time to shop for one until Christmas Eve.
So I drew today for my standard three hours. Which really helped. Working a seasonal job, I haven't had much time to draw, so it was great to get back at it. And I was able to put some of Robert Beverly Hale's anatomy lessons to work. He often talks about locating the scapula and how it rotates when the arm goes above horizontal. This pose is a perfect illustration of that. Hale also talks about how the gluteus maximus (buttocks) muscles are the defining characteristic of human anatomy, being much more developed in humans than in animals, as they're what keep us standing upright. They're well defined in this pose.
I think I've got a fairly good handle on getting proper shapes and proportions, so now it's working on relative values, something I need a lot of practice on. Here's the studio set-up for drawing practice. Note Scrooge with the ghost of Christmas present in the background. I always watch (really listen to) TCM while I'm drawing.
Unfortunately, he also talks about not slavishly copying what you see, but using what you see to create the illusion you want to portray. In this case I copied the dark shadows behind the scapula and across the top of the model's left buttock and even darkened them. Since those shadows were in areas that are overall light areas of the form, I should have kept them a lot lighter so they didn't cut into the light areas so much.
Studio set-up


By kencrocker

Fine artist; graphic artist; draughtsman; digital artist

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