Monday, May 30, 2011

Boxes - Vilppu drawing manual chapter 3

Chapter 3 of Vilppu's drawing manual teaches drawing the human figure as a group of boxes.  I did this both slowly, and in detail during figure drawing sessions, and quickly drawing in parks and coffee shops.  I found this exercise very useful because it forced me to conceptualize the subject in three dimensions in perspective.  Of course, humans are not square.  In order to render the figure, I had to use shapes beside boxes.  However I still kept these shapes geometrical, with clearly defined edges.  This really helped my understanding of using planes to describe form.  I feel my drawings are more structurally sound, and better conceptualized in three dimensions as a result of the time I spent on these exercises even when I am not drawing boxes. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Anatomy Studies - Torso and Posemaniacs

I applied a similar method to the study of the torso as applied to the arms and legs.  Since the ribcage is so complex, I did separate studies for the bones and the muscles.  However, using myself as a model is not practical for anatomy studies outside of simple poses.  For variety to these studies, I have supplemented posemaniacs.  It is not as good as using myself as a model but I have found it very helpful.  My approach to using posemanics has been to use it as a base to construct the pose in my study.  I use photoshop so I can separate each step of the drawing to its own layer.  I start with gesture and structure.  Next I fill in the anatomy.  The last layer is a contour drawing of the figure.  The contour drawings tend to be a little flat.  I think it is because the line work is flat.  I add the line work more to check for mistakes that I would otherwise miss than as a finished drawing in itself.  I have done quite a few of these studies and others with the same approach without a reference.  I have found this method useful in learning to construct the figure as well as drill in my study of anatomy from many angles.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Anatomy Studies - Arms and Legs

For these studies, I used my own arms and legs as my subject and Jeno Bracsay's Anatomy for the Artists for reference.  The first studies were from the same angles as in the book to make it easier to identify the muscles on my own body. First, I do a very quick line drawing of my arm or leg.  Next, I draw in the bones, starting with the landmarks then filling in the rest from the book.  Then, I draw in and label the muscles.  I like this method because identifying the muscles on my own body makes the knowledge very tangible.  I can look at the muscles in three dimensions right in front of me where ever I am.  After identifying the muscles from straight on, I repeated the process from various angles and poses.  This is not my first time studying anatomy, but so far, it is the method that has worked best for me.  I feel like I really have this knowledge down.  Since doing these studies I have had a much easier time identifying muscles when drawing from a live model.

Next I drew more arm and leg anatomy from imagination. here are a few.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Form Study

Today, I tried something new in my study that was very successful.  I have been reading Vilppu's Drawing Manual.  One of the main points of the Manual is to "invent" the figure out of simple forms. I applied that technique to this figure drawing.  I went one step further and drew the shapes in isolation off to the side as I was drawing the figure.  This step really brought the lesson home for me.  I made a logical connection in my mind.  If I can draw a form so it looks three dimensional and I can build a figure out of simple forms, then I can draw a figure so it looks three dimensional.   This is my first time taking this specific approach to figure drawing and I am very happy with the results.