A little more work from my gesture class over on Schoolism. This week's lesson was silhouette. Part of our weekly assignment is that we have to use photos, film-stills or illustrations to find examples of whatever subject we are treating that week.
I prefer to work from photos because with illustrations the poses are already stylized by the artist, which makes finding the line of action, shape or silhouette easier and, as a result of this, makes it harder to learn from. Searching for pictures with strong silhouettes I discovered Rita Hayworth (after reading that she would have turned 95 last Wednesday), she really had the greatest poses.
The picture above is a publicity photo from the Orson Welles' film The Lady from Shanghai. The image beneath is my first attempt. I pushed her right arm (screen left) away from her body to make the pose read better. I also made her lower body bend away a little.
A great help is Photoshop's transform option. Once you have established in which direction the pose is moving you can skew the picture in that direction. Here I felt that Rita Hayworth was moving to the left:
It's amazing how far you can actualy skew a picture without going too far. As you can see by the doors this picture is now leaning way to the left, still the pose doesn't feel that pushed. After this little trick I did two more versions of the silhouette from this pose.
I quite like the way the final version turned out, although I'm not sure if it's the best translation of the original pose. In the picture I feel that Rita Hayworth is entering the room and is about to move towards the left side of the screen. My final sketch has her more standing still, and maybe slighty moving foward. But it is funny to see how extreme you can push the human body without it feeling weird: If you look at that final sketch and see how far her head is away from where her feet are standing you realize that this is an uncomfortable angle, but as a drawing it feels pretty good I think.