Started with a quick warm up sketch then jumped straight into a small value study. Wanting to see what I can do, I want to get ahead on the progress working more hours after school, also because i will be missing 4 days of school on this project. I end up running into my nemesis.

cast Costanza value study

costanza step 01

(image below) Eye socket on the left image was not a good idea. Should undo that. Also didn't see that the nose was too long. Why didn't I see that?

cast 04 Costanza step 02

 Trying to get more space for the mouth, now the face looks slightly longer than it should, so started moving the facial features again, meaning to erase some details I put in that might be in the way of me seeing the big impression. Not sure if I did that right, because I can't tell what else I should change in the face but I also don't know if this looks like her.

before /after (left/ right)

cast 04 Costanza step03

And this is when it all started to fall apart.

Big meltdown this Friday. For the purpose of this blog, I must document my progress. Which means, as much as I want to skip mentioning this, I must record this incident. I had a major meltdown at school on Friday.

I felt anxious all 2 weeks since school started, I know I am not doing well but I don't know what I am missing in my drawings. After many days of frustration and constant changes to my Costanza's face, my critique on Friday morning concluded my judgement, (I felt like) I can't draw and I am as blind as a bat. Just Horrible. (skipping the details so I don't have to relive that horrible feeling.)

Later in the day I was able to get back on my feet and try to work a little. After Saturday, I jumped from image on left to right in 2 days. One on left is the current state of my cast drawing which I will have to work more on today. Still not happy with it. Looks stiff and dead, I want more life in it. Some issue in the neck area also.

cast 04 Costanza current state week02

Had a good long talk with H, and with his great analytical mind, he was able to analyse what my critique really meant, without my emotion of myself in it. So I could pick myself back up and feel excited about figuring this out on Saturday. I went and admired some fellows testing and toning paper, then did a small study of the shadow lines of Costanza. I then put it in the big drawing what I think I understood and was right, then went ahead and put in 2 flat values.

After that I didn't like it. So I need to do another line study to see if I can improve it more. Maybe a variation, maybe something completely different. In other words, i still don't know what to do.

cast04 Costanza Step 04 back to line study

Fixed lines and adding 2 flat values

cast 04 Costanza step 05 fix lines and add 2 values

Perhaps the reason I am having problem with the visual impression in this drawing is because I seem to have lines that resembles more for the block in stage. It's possible since I was moving the facial features up and down for 2 days, i guess I was not thinking much at all about the line qualities and also forgetting how useful it is to always think about the visual impression. if i had been I would have noticed how my lines don't represent it well. of course, actually being able to make them represent it well is another step.

Still moving the facial features and shape of face, forgetting the important visual impression.

May have jump a little too fast, but I think Ill do another line study to be more sure of my line decision, then add those on to the big drawing. Right now the cast still looks dead and boring to me, so perhaps a little more dynamic lines will help bring it closer to the visual impression, soft cheeks, big flowy hair, shadowed eyes... something.

cast 04 Costanza by Bernini step 06

To help fight my nemesis, this image taken during trip to Florence was sent to me. (hearts and hugs)

figure drawing step by step Florence Academy of Art

so let's focus on the stages i am currently having trouble with.

Shadow line and qualities

figure drawing Step by step Florence Academy of art

I may have jumped too far to the darker values too early, but lets just see what I can do to improve this. Working more on the shadow lines and nothing else.

I should have taken a picture of the changes I made of the lines before I added the 2 flat values. Now I don't exactly know what my decision looked like, but at least I have the study I made, which is pretty much what I decided to do on the big one. Only I encountered some difficulties at implementing on the full size drawing.

shadow line

Image below to the right was my stiff looking shadow line stage, in comparison to the example image on the left, it needs a lot of improvements. They almost need more soft transitions and curvy lines, the width of the lines are mostly the same except the values of the lines are making a difference in contrast between the light and the shadoe side. In the upper thigh and arm on the left side, darker shadow lines in comparison to the shadow lines on the breasts, abdomen and arm on right side.


shadow line


cast 04 Costanza step 06 adding values

So how can I improve this? I guess I can start by refining the shadow shapes on the hair area into more refined shapes. Re examine the shapes and lines in the eyes, then see if I can see anything to change in and around the face/ cheeks.

cast 04 Costanza adding the third value



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