|Bella and Jake practice standing in counterpose.|
What is perfect for gymnastics or dancing may not be perfect for drawing. Nobody would ever accuse me of perfect posture. Nevertheless, I work standing at an easel for hours at a time.
I pondered my own stance while drawing. My non-dominant (right) leg was bearing my weight. My left foot was turned so the outside of my toe-box was touching the ground. This provided a pivot point to control my position, allowing my spine to move in concert with my drawing arm. Not that I stand like this all the time, or that any two successful artists do it the same way, but a good drawing stance is dynamic.
|The Peplos Kore, c 530 BC, was clearly drawing (ahem). She’s also standing in counterpose (contrapposto). Although she’s using her left hand, her weight is on her left leg. (Acropolis Museum, Athens)|
“Bella,” I said, “try standing on one foot and see if it changes your drawing style.” The difference was significant. Her mark-making was immediately lighter and more controlled.
We all know that painting while seated yields different
results from painting while standing. (The former gives better control; the
latter yields freer expression.) So it stands to reason that standing differently
gives different results as well. The human body is a wonderful, finely-tuned
machine. Change one parameter, and everything else adjusts to fit.
|Jake didn't just stand around in counterpose... he also drew this house.|
(On that note, did you know there is not one but many arches to the foot, and they act as springs? Awesome design, that!)
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