Step by Step:
Turning reference into a drawing
1 Skeletal study
I do a few preparation studies before the final drawing to solve all possible problems and make sure I really understand my reference. I look at proportions, gesture, composition and of course, anatomy. The skeletal study uses simplified structures, and here I’ve identified the three basic forms and all the bony landmarks.
2 Anatomy tracing
Next up I would do an anatomy tracing on top of my reference photo, blocking in every muscle in turn and then breaking them up into their main bundles. The whole point of this torso drawing is the anatomy, so I want to make sure I get this just right, to lay good foundations for my anatomy painting.
3 Final drawing
When the time to draw finally arrives, I break out the charcoal. I start with a line drawing and map in all my shadow shapes. Then I cover the dark areas of the drawing with charcoal powder to separate light from dark. Finally, I finish rendering the forms, establishing the highlights, half-tones and shadows.