WHAT Large (18×24″) Skeleton drawing in pencil & graphite on newsprint

Fall 2022 Boyer Valley Drawing Class Assignment Gallery on Artsonia

Fall 2021 Boyer Valley Drawing Class Assignment Gallery

Above; Demonstration examples by Ted Mallory from a variety of years. Available for purchase with a gift to the Boyer Valley Art Department.

WHY We want to practice and apply skills and concepts we’ve learned such as comparing/contrasting size/space relationships to “basic unit,” seeing and drawing negative spaces, fitting a composition into a format and imagining subjects on the theoretical “picture-plane.” We also want to get ready for using “sighting” to check and compare/contrast angles and to experience proportions and placement that will prepare us for drawing in perspective as well as faces and figures.

HOW On 18×24″ newsprint pad create a 2″ margin all the way around. Then tone the format lightly with graphite. Using a 8×10′ viewfinder (4×5″ window) sit down and choose a composition to draw. “Block-in” the major intersections and where the subject is cut off by the frame. Choose a “basic unit” (line, space, or shape) and carefully draw it first. Then look at negative spaces between the subject and the four edges of the format as well as the negative spaces inside and around parts of the subject. Next, make adjustments so that the various parts seem to belong together better. Increase the density, contrast and range of your values, doing your best to model depth and form around the bones, you may also choose to darken or erase out the negative spaces. Finally look for surface textures, details, shadows and highlights and clean-up areas that need to be darkened, lightened, or sharpened that may have been smudged in the process. The drawing usually takes 3-5 class days.

WHO I used to save this for Drawing II class but in recent years I’ve moved it to Drawing I and even tried introducing it to eighth graders.

If you’re not in an Art or Science classroom it can be cost-prohibitive to buy your own model- although more and more less expensive Halloween decorations are becoming more and more accurate these days. You may want to just google photos or drawings and use a sketchbook.

Exemplar(s) Interested in more?
Look up Leonardo di Vinci, Jose Guadalupe Posada, Granger, James Ward, Albrecht Duerer, Amé Bourdon ,or just anatomical skeleton drawings