[Tutorial by Tenaya Sims, owner and instructor at Georgetown Atelier].
Some important Concepts to Understand
Before moving forward, it’s necessary to address some key concepts and terms. Below is a ‘standard’ full value range sphere lit from the top-left, categorized in 9 values. Value number 1 is white and 9 is black. The light in this case hits the sphere most directly on the top left, making it a pure white value #1 and the ‘lightest light’. Moving along the surface of the sphere away from the light, it gradually becomes darker into the light-halftones, half-tones, dark half-tones, until finally reaching the core-shadow. The core-shadow is the point in which direct light no longer reaches the surface. In most circmstances there is some light that reflects back into the shadow shape, making core-shadow little darker then the reflected light. This is what creates the ‘band-like’, linear characteristic of a core-shadow. If there is no reflected light, everything beyond the core-shadow is black (the moon is an example of this, or in other more extreme lighting conditions).
Role of Rendering
After accomplishing a solid block-in, i.e. all major ‘architectural’ and proportional problems are solved, you can ‘hand over the job to the rendering crew’.* A common suggestion offered in drawing is to ‘bring the whole things up together/at once’. If you’re working on a shorter pose (say 1 session), it makes sense to build your drawing this way. This helps achieve unity in the drawing. However, when working on longer poses and when an objective is to bring the drawing to a high degree of form/finish, it’s more effective to use your block-in as the unifying factor and work one area at a time when rendering.
The finished product of a life drawing is not like a photograph, or single ‘snapshot’ in time. It’s many moments woven together by the selective guidance of the artist. When working from life there are always at least small changes from pose to pose and from day to day. This can be used to the artist’s advantage. Say for example while working on the shoulder you notice a variation of the shadow shape that you find would improve your drawing. As long as you don’t uproot any ‘block-in pillars’, there’s no reason to not take advantage of subtle changes along the way.
Please read the entire tutorial here: http://www.georgetownatelier.com/tut...figure-part-1/