Male IEU 16.08.16 Olympic athleticism

Jonathan Armour led this meeting of the Unit.

Sometimes in life drawing, we try to capture the movement when a model is walking or performing in some way. I always struggle with this, and so want to use this session to examine it in more depth – to get into the movement with greater scrutiny. So the theme will be about capturing/expressing/suggesting/interpreting the movement of the male body. And to make this current, we will look at the movement of an olympic athlete as they perform a particular sporting action – throwing the discus.

Still from Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia - Festival of Nations, 1938.

Still from Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia – Festival of Nations, 1938.

It is fair to say that the athletic performance of the male body has interested artists and sculptors since antiquity. Athletic performance suggests all sorts of additional attributes.

Jose will be our athlete, having practised throwing the discus in advance.

It is very, very, very difficult to capture/express/interpret/suggest something that changes with time on a static 2 dimensional medium. So researching how other artists have approached this.

To allow a thorough scrutiny, we will break down the discus throwing action into 4 stages. For each stage, Jose will perform the action for 5 mins, varying speed and sometimes repeating a part. Then he will maintain 4 positions from part-way through for 5 mins each, allowing more detailed examination.

Standing throw:


Step and turn:


Modified south african drill:


The whole movement:



All the stages and movements captured on the floor:


One Reply to “Male IEU 16.08.16 Olympic athleticism”

  1. Andres says:

    A challenging exercise that needed full concentration and physical strength, speed and decisiveness from the model and from the artists. I felt exhausted afterward. The works produced by everyone were exceptional.

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