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Expressive Figure Drawing

Conveying Mood & Emotion

with Richard Scott
Expressive Figure Drawing
Harness the elements of artistic expression to create emotive drawings that captivate the viewer!

Learn how to use composition, placement and movement to convey emotion as award-winning artist Richard T. Scott guides you through the design principles behind some of history’s most celebrated masterworks. Transform a simple line into an expression of weight, shadow and gravity, and create a compelling visual narrative using gesture, rhythm and repetition. Use triangulation to easily and accurately map proportions as you create a lifelike contour drawing of a plaster cast. Then, use charcoal and an eraser for a reductive cast rendering with atmospheric depth and sculptural form. Learn the visual language of mood and emotion, and translate your expressive intent into a striking work of art!


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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Introduction

  • Meet your instructor, artist Richard Scott, before diving into an exploration of various expressive works and the artistic decisions behind them.


Lesson 2. Form Sense, Placement & Line

  • Discover the difference between Dionysian and Apollonian styles, and learn how both techniques can affect the look and feel of works in different ways. Scott walks you through various works in regard to their universal or individual focus, and discusses artistic choices regarding composition, placement and movement.


Lesson 3. Gesture & Rhythm

  • How do artists use charcoal, graphite and paint to suggest an inhalation of breath, the emotions a subject is experiencing, or even the presence of dreams? Discover the answer to these questions and more as you explore various artworks in regard to gesture, rhythm and implied meaning.


Lesson 4. Lighting & Contour Line Drawing

  • Bring drama and dimension to your subject with professional lighting techniques. Scott demonstrates a range of lighting effects on a sculpture cast to show how you can create various moods, and teaches you how to draw using a measurement system called triangulation.


Lesson 5. Properties of Light & Reductive Drawing

  • Using the techniques you learned in Lesson 4, Scott shows you additional ways to work with light. Follow along as you use a reductive drawing technique that incorporates charcoal and an eraser to capture the play of light and shadow, and learn how to explore atmospheric depth and sculptural form in new ways.


Lesson 6. Refining & Avoiding Common Hurdles

  • Discover some of the most common mistakes artists make in expressive drawings and ways that you can avoid the same problems. Scott also offers valuable tips on refining your drawings as you use value and light to your advantage.


Lesson 7. Charcoal & Graphite Technique

  • In the final lesson, Scott refines a charcoal and graphite drawing to demonstrate ways to achieve strong contrast and expressiveness. You’ll gain deeper insight into paper selections, how to work from photographs and discover new ways to bring dimension and intellectual depth into your work using subtle details.

"Great articulation of the classical approach to a subject with lots of wonderful information!"
avatar - ChristyOlsen

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