- Lesson details
Here is the final week’s recording from Art Mentors’ 10-week class in which legendary illustrator Mark Westermoe teaches figure drawing using the Reilly Method. Mark finalizes a rendering of a standing female figure by resolving the shadows throughout the entire body. He also refines the half-tones and demonstrates how to design the foot. We hope you enjoyed this class, stay tuned for more lessons on the Reilly Method by Mark Westermoe!
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In this class, legendary illustrator Mark Westermoe teaches figure drawing
using the Reilly Method.
Welcome to the 10th and final class session.
Today I’m going to take some areas of the figure to what is pretty close to an outright
finish and also go over the construction of the foot.
I’ll give you an approach to drawing that appendage.
So with that, let’s go ahead and get on.
I hope you’ve learned so far from it, and today I’m going to take some areas of the
figure to what is pretty close to an outright finish.
I’d like to find the time, if I can, to also go over the construction of the foot.
I won’t go into detail, but at least I’ll get you an approach to drawing that appendage.
So with that, let’s go ahead and get on.
Before I get started, I found a really good product.
You may want to invest in it.
I used to use plug-in electric erasers.
Then I couldn’t find any good ones anymore.
Apparently, the new generation that they’ve manufactured is just—they fall apart right
But this one, made by Sakura, it does just what I want it to do.
In fact, you can take it and maybe a little later I’ll demonstrate it.
You can erase the entire cover off of Time magazine.
What you’re left with will be just the paper stock before the print it into press.
Let’s see how it works on our drawing on newsprint.
You just have a red button and you push that.
There we go.
The batteries are dead.
So I’ll do that and I’ll demonstrate it during class.
We do have some areas you might see if you close in on the figure here and here where
adjustments have been made.
They still leave a ghost of the charcoal drawing that was first done.
With this eraser we can actually remove all of those.
It’s about $19.99 or $20.00.
It’s a really reasonable price.
Okay, now, in these areas I’m going to saturate—that is to say—fully darken the shadows, as we’ve
seen in some of the quite finished academic studies that I’ve introduced you to.
I’m putting in something that is if not black, right close to it.
This is going to give me a great amount of leeway to place my halftones next to and around
I’m pressing very near to the tip of the lead which is quite sharp.
I’m close to the tip but not quite on it.
I may leave a little bit of gray just before the silhouette so that we can clearly show
that there is some reflected light.
In particular, I’m focusing on the shadow from its edge outward.
I’m focusing less on the shadow itself.
And I’m being quite careful with the character of the shadow edge.
If the form is round then my edge is going to be soft.
If the form is firm, then my shadow will be just that, firm.
If I have a bone just beneath the surface of the skin, I won’t use the hard edge or
a soft edge.
Rather, I’ll use a firm edge.
Something almost hard but not quite.
So, for edges that are, for forms that are round, I use soft edges.
For overlaps or cast shadows such as—well, here for instance, that would be a hard edge.
Be very sensitive to the character of the form and, therefore, to the edge between the
light and the shadow.
I’m pretty much not drawing anything within the shadow itself.
I’ve already designed the shadow.
Fine with me.
You can use your Conté for this.
It’s probably faster to get a really strong, simple dark black than if you use any other tool.
In any case, it works for that.
You know, with the back extended, these muscles that run along the spine, the erectors of
the spine, they become they become quite hard—not hard, but firm in their edge where they meet
If, on the other hand, the torso were flexed, rather than extended, these edges would become
soft, or the shadows could entirely disappear.
I actually enjoy the stage before this more than I do filling in the tone.
It’s just a little bit repetitive, but with painting you can do this quite quickly.
Just put some really dark paint on your brush and apply it.
It’s not a problem.
It takes a little time.
Soft edge because the gluteus muscle is round.
The contour of the shadow, its shape, will also describe the form that courses over.
That’s what we’re getting here at the hip.
Next term I’m teaching head painting, and I’ll be using several different approaches
In the first case, it’ll be a two-week pose, and I will be applying just burnt umber, very
dark pigment right out of the oil paint tube, and it’ll be very fast to lay-in my darkest
This takes a little time.
I you zoom in on my pencil lead, you can see a comparison between the lead and the lead
as it was when I started on the left.
Look how blunt it’s become.
Still sharp by many people’s standards, but it’s getting blunt.
I’m not interested in any texture or detail within my shadow.
Notice, I don’t go right up to the edge sometimes.
I leave a little breathing room right there.
If I do, if I go all the way up the edge—I do that in certain areas—but if I do it
on a wholesale basis the figure will look cut out or stamped or plastic.
That’s not what I would like to have.
Don’t change values in the process of putting in your flat, darkest dark.
Don’t lose the shape that you’re designing either while darkening.
I know that there are overlaps happening here.
I know that her rib cage and shoulder are overlapping her breast.
But for now, I’m just going to disregard that and treat everything in one flat black.
There are ways, actually, of approaching this drawing at this stage where you don’t have
to go everywhere with flat black, but for this demonstration, that’s what I’m planning
The breast is overlapped by the torso.
Overlapped forms get a little bit softer edges.
You’ll see on the photo that that’s a very, very hard edge right here.
Notice the reflected light under the gluteus maximus muscle right there.
That might be a good place to press not quite so had and leave a suggestion of a lighter
value at the end of the form shadow where the buttock picks up some reflected light
from the thigh below.
The core of that shadow still is the darkest part.
Feather at the edge.
Can use short, brisk strokes like I just employed.
Anything to keep that edge soft.
There is a strong overlap here above the thigh.
Keep that edge quite hard.
Don’t lose your patience.
Keep moving through the figure.
You can simplify your value pattern even more than the photo does.
It’s better to simplify than to complicate.
this one is made by General—if you go back in with such a pencil, you can make it basically perfectly flat.
Within the figure itself, I’m going to use a kneaded eraser and a 2B charcoal pencil.
A 4B would also work.
A charcoal pencil must be kept very, very sharp.
These half-tones, although they can be darker than before since we have such a black shadow,
still, these half-tones could not be as dark as anything in the shadow.
One edge of each half-tone, plain, has to be harder than the opposite side.
Sometimes it’s just the weight of the pencil itself that determines the value. You don’t have to even push.
It’s something to carry with you on all your drawing trips.
It’s battery powered and here we go.
This is taking out charcoal that otherwise I could not remove using just a kneaded eraser.
Okay, so that can help in certain circumstances.
Now, down by the feet we can see it, too.
Okay, I’m going to take a pause.
I’m going to come back. I’m going to summarize a little bit about the construction of the foot.
Okay, I think just before I’m going to duck into a little description of the foot.
Let me do one or two more things here, and then we’ll— I think you will have gotten the idea.
There is some light on her hair just beneath her hands, but I’m trying to simplify it,
so I’ll just ignore it for the time being.
Again, I’m leaving some of the silhouette edges quite soft when it comes to the hair.
Even some of them on the figure itself.
Let’s just keep on the subject of the hair for the moment.
I talked earlier in this class, in this course, about the importance of having areas of simplicity
that contrast with areas of pattern.
Well, These dark shadows are our areas of utter simplicity,
and so they are a great foil to stage the areas of pattern,
which include some of the shadow patterns, particularly this one,
but also all the half-tones that we find in the edges along the form shadow.
To draw one and not the other gives us a little bit of a distorted perception
of what we’re doing with this composition.
That’s why I’m taking these few minutes here to go right ahead fill in my dark pattern.
Now you can see here the areas are surrounded by dark.
Unless you lay a tone over them, they really appear to jump out unacceptably from the pattern.
You would want to lay a half-tone over those fingers as you move on toward the finished drawing.
You can see how the hands just kind of come out and shout at us.
We need to lay a half-tone over them to make them work in this context.
To do that, let me go back to our charcoal pencil.
It’s now sharpened up nicely.
I’m not going to do any modeling really on the hands. I’m just going to lay a half-tone over them.
This is just a 2B General charcoal pencil sharpened up very tight, very sharp.
There we are.
That’s enough for now.
Same principle applies here on the upper arm. I’ll just knock that back a little bit
Alright, so for now, that’s probably enough. I could carry this half-tone,
I could carry this half-tone down. Just the weight of the pencil, nothing more.
We talked about the time and the concentration necessary in just filling out your dark pattern.
It’s the same with filling out half-tones.
It doesn’t have to take very long, but if you rush and you put them in all scratchy and then it’s a different matter.
You’ll have to redo what you’ve done. It won’t really be effective.
I’m hoping that this gives you a pretty clear idea about an approach that could take you from a hand-done finish
—or rather beginning—when you’re doing the lay-in or the spacing and placing, as I call it,
all the way to the finish because you’re going to go through the refining and designing
and then onto the completion and finish.
the construction of the foot.
You can’t really go far without learning to draw the hand and the foot well.
These are eight different angles on feet, actually 10 or 11.
I’ll use a black wax pencil made by Prismacolor.
I’m also going to show you some view beneath the foot.
The foot is made up of three sets of forms.
One of those sets of forms is here.
This one comes from the heel, which is another of those forms, and it extends to the outside
of the little toe, filling in this space and corresponding on the underplane of the head
to one of the pads that dominate the underplane of the foot.
The third form is here.
These are the tarsal bones.
With the exception of the calcaneum, which is the tarsal bone at the back.
These tarsal bones overlap the ankle at the outside of the joint, and the ankle overlaps
here, the calcaneum or tarsal bone.
These are digits—five toes, each with three phalanges except for the big toe, which has two.
The big toe tends to lie flat and the other digits come down and press with their last
phalanx against the ground.
There are two bones that form the ankle joint in a joint with the tarsal bones, one bone
here is held between the outside lateral malleolus or ankle, and then the other side here is
overlapped by—these are the tarsal bones here—overlapped by the medial
or inside angle.
In other words, the medial malleolus.
So together, that’s the heel.
Here is the medial malleolus.
Here, at an angle about 30 degrees off, this is the lateral malleolus.
These are two bones.
Here, the tibia.
The main bone of the leg—in other words, the leg below the knee.
Here is the fibula, and the fibula is the second bone of the leg.
This is the heel bone behind.
Here, these are the tarsal bones.
The first tarsal bone that’s held in place between the two malleoli is the talus.
That’s where the joint is formed.
Beyond it, we’ve got five other bones.
I’m not going to name them off, but these are the bones that
extend down to the metatarsal bones.
The smallest bone is the 5th digit here, and the longest bone is this digit.
The other toes fall into line like that, with the big toe being the second longest toe.
Okay, now the musculature and the palm, or the sole of the foot, which is analogous to
the palm of our hand, we’re going to discuss next.
Here, this is the calcaneum.
All of this area has very thick padding, so the joint here between the first digit and
its metatarsal bone is completely covered with padding.
This is the calcaneum right here.
Beneath it is padding like that.
All of this is padded, forming the arch.
Let’s give you a look into one of the really good books on the foot.
It’s called Dynamic Anatomy by Bern Hogarth.
If you look at the foot there are these particular points, the heel along here with the arch,
and then here is the padding, like the knuckle pads on the palm of your hand, for the toes—5th,
4th, 3rd, and 2nd.
This is the pad at the base of the metatarsal bone for the toe, the big toe, and this is
where we bear our weight.
This here is an opening between this form and then the inside angle of the foot and
the ankle beyond it.
When you draw the foot you want to do this.
If the foot is facing you, simply do this.
Draw as though it were a footprint in the sand.
Those are just a few of the basics.
I’m not going to go beyond that because the scope of the class doesn’t get into
too much detail on facial features.
I did go over the hand or the foot.
Next term I’m teaching a class in head painting, and we’ll be using oil, acrylic, and gouache
in that class, and each week we’ll have a two-week pose.
You’ll be well-suited for that class having taken this one.
Once again, the class will be returning to live models.
Let me say a—just very brief as that’s all we have time for.
Let me say a few things in review.
We worked on a male figure with a pose that could not be held in a live pose, and we worked
on a male head.
We did a study of a female back view, nude figure.
We also did a specific study of the hands.
That’s pretty much covering most everything that you’re going to encounter in the figure.
There are certainly different types of poses like kneeling or climbing
and reaching or reclining.
There are too many, thankfully, by the way.
Too many to cover them all in just 10 weeks.
But, I think really even the material I’ve given you on the poses that I’ve just summarized,
they should be able to help you in the cases of those types of poses as well.
I want to say thanks for joining the class and participating in it and following through.
Continue to study what we’ve gone over in this 10 weeks.
It’s pretty substantial, and I hope to see you in my next class.