Tag Archives: rugby try sketch

Forward – original charcoal rugby drawing

rugby drawing in charcoal of an england rugby player running for a try


This has been drawn with Nitram charcoal on grey Canson Mi Teintes paper.

It is 20 x 16″ framed in a black wooden frame.

The original & limited edition prints are available.


The inspiration for this drawing came from watching all the action in the recent six nations championship.  I watch video of the action I prefer, freeze it where I want it and then take a screenshot.  It is the most effective way of getting the exact image that I want.  In this case I wanted to save that point where we are not really sure if the forward is going to get away from the defender and score the try.  The force of action is represented with loose charcoal stokes.

Here are some shots of the work in progress….


When capturing movement in art there are some principles that I have learnt:

  • ensure some part of the body is grounded
  • avoid figures in the air.pay close attention on which parts of the body is moving, in real time we would probably see them as a blur, represent them loosely.
  • represent the muscle structure of the body accurately on parts of the body that are not moving as that is where the power comes from.
  • sometimes there is so much movement that you can represent the air around the figures moving instead.  In such a case try to imagine the air around them as water, which parts would be disturbed and which parts of the air would be still.


There are also limited edition (50) prints available….

Forward (2) print


‘Hand Off!’ – my original charcoal rugby drawing direct from the sports artist

rugby drawing original art rugby artist

The drawing ‘hand off’ is completed.  I added a little red rose to show the England player.  It is completed in charcoal and white charcoal with the added bit of conte pastel for the emblem.  The drawing is available to purchase from my shop, click on the image to follow the link

Converted Try


Start of my next drawing, I don’t normally like to draw sports people in a stationery position, however I liked the moment of anticipation in this shot. At this stage I have crudely laid down the main shade areas. It’s probably the most tricky part because before I put any charcoal on the paper I have to carefully measure how the figure is placed. Working out the middle point and the total width, ensuring it will fit on the paper and then how each part relates to each other. The hardest part is where to begin. I don’t like to start with the head because otherwise I get wrapped up in the portrait detail so I like to start with the darkest shadow.

Rugby drawing – ‘rugby tangle’ – original charcoal rugby drawing

I loved the reference photo for this one.  Such a tangle of bodies it was a real challenge to draw.  Some of players were obscured by other players in the field so I had to find other shots in similar poses to complete it.  It is drawn with charcoal on Canson pastel paper.
The drawing is mounted and framed in a dark wooden frame, external dimensions are 48 cm x 38 cm.
This would make a very special gift for any rugby player or fan or indeed any rugby club.
The original is available to buy – click on the image to go to my shop. 
Rugby Tangle

Rugby Tangle – progress


There may not appear to be much change but I have reworked the drawing today. That means going over each part, checking proportions, adjusting shade depth or lightness and making sure the drawing works and matches the picture i have created in my mind of the finished piece. This is one of the most important parts and where as an artist it’s important that I am my most critical. If something is not correct it needs correcting or dumping. There is really no point carrying on with a drawing that is incorrect otherwise I can’t progress as an artist. That does not mean that the finished piece will be perfect – far from it, but there are margins to work within and if something is outside one of those margins then it can’t work. It’s also about understanding what the audience will see, where their focal point will be and how to ensure that holds them and they aren’t distracted by other focal points or errors.

Rugby Tangle – progress

The first stage of this drawing is now complete. All the players have been drawn in charcoal. At this point each part is only reflected in the shadows and positioning. The next step is to go over each player and start to separate the mid to light shadows. Extra work was needed on the player to the left as he was obscured in the reference photo so I had to try and find another to match the similar stance.


Rugby Twist

Start of my latest sports drawing. I took some time to decide which drawing to complete next. I really wanted to do a cricket drawing but there isn’t one yet that leaps out as potentially a great story. I kept coming back to this photo. There’s no particular story there but I loved the complete twist and mangle of bodies, such a challenging composition. Focusing purely on the shadows makes it easier to draw, when I start worrying about whose arm is whose then it gets confusing.