Understanding Form – Nicole


Hi Matt,
thanks for your last critique. As you recommended, I used the negative space to get the proportions. This technique worked better for me, but I think I didn’t match the values right this time.

I have problems with the direction of my shading lines. I’m not sure whether to place my shading lines on the long axis of the shallow ovals or on the short axis. And I become completely confused in areas where two shallow ovals meet.
I hope you get what I mean. I don’t know how to describe it better.


Posted on

January 24, 2021


  1. Zoran Popovic

    Hi Nicole,
    I love your subject, it is complicated and you did great job here. My drawings after scanning appear “pale” compare to original and transition dark-mid-light feels rough a bit. Do you have that issue after scanning or photo from camera? My camera isn’t to good. I can honestly see only 2 heavy lines on your drawing. Viewers right “V” line and under right breast a tad heavy line.
    What is size of your drawing? Going to try bust drawing for a critique one day…

    • Nicole Schwabe

      Thank you Zoran.
      I used the camera of my iPhone 7 without any artificial light source or flash. In my opinion the light and midtone values and the transitions were captured really well, but there are some dark areas in the drawing that have lost their intensity.
      Maybe it’s just because the dark areas are so extremely small – this torso is just about 6 x 2,8 inches.
      I don’t like to use a scanner because it changes look of my drawings – too much contrast, hard transitions, not my drawing at all.
      I also tried a DSLR camera but I have no idea how to work with it. So I just used the automatic mode which only results in gray images without any contrast.
      To be honest, the thick lines just came in by accident. My skills are not advanced enough to know where to put thick lines and where not. I think the most thick and unhappy outline is the one on his longer upper leg. Fortunately, the camera did not capture the darkness of this line – it is really heavy in the original drawing.

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