Mike Leonard – Sketch Work

I am so glad that Richard introduced me to Mike Leonard’s work. Not only does he have a passion for the male physique but his technique is what I would like to progress towards.

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They have a polaroid photo look to his sketches. And the background has a slightly mottled effect which I really like.

ml5┬áThis is my favourite piece out of the collection. I like the way he uses motion as always. And also the way he has blended the pencil so that it fades out towards the edges. It has a more unfinished look and I think this is a great effect to use. I don’t always think that you need your work to have a completely finished look depending on what it is.

I am also going to use this technique in my work and see if it gives me the desired effect and whether I feel it is good enough for my FMP work.


FMP Practice Work

I have been lucky as to have been able to do my own visual research and take photographs of people that I can use as my reference. One of my tutors Sally put me in touch with a lady called Yvette. She has a very active lifestyle and has a brilliant muscular physique. Yvette was more than happy to let me take pictures of her.

After doing some sketches in my sketch book and speaking to Steve another of my art tutors, I began on a larger scale drawing.


I began at the bottom half and really concentrated on one area at a time instead of doing the drawing as a whole. I found as I was drawing I could sketch more accurately if I focused on one area an spent enough time perfecting it as best as I could.
This is A3 sized paper, which is quite big for a sketch. It takes a lot of effort to blend in pencil with your fingers and can be rather uncomfortable after a while. So having a blender to hand is very useful even though it won’t cover as much space in as quick time like using fingers to blend.

Sketching Rhea

I had lots of visual material of Rhea thanks to her allowing me to photograph her. So after I had completed my Mike Leonard sketch I looked through my photos of Rhea and picked out the best photos which I could sketch from.



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I try and cover as much area by blending in the pencil and doing this several times. So I will shade in an area with a bit of pressure to create quite a dark tone and then blend it in using my fingers. For a softer look I will also use my blending stick. Once I have built up enough tone I can then begin to use a rubber to gentle rub away the pencil and give the effect of light. This is what creates that realistic look. Where there is very dark shadow, for example, in between toes and fingers, I use a lot of pressure to give the effect that there is shadow underneath and this then looks almost 3D.

I would have liked to have spent more time on these sketches which I have done in my sketch book. However they are practice pieces to give me more of an idea how something similar may look for my FMP.