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Oluseyi

Pose, proportion, anatomy

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In my last thread, I was encouraged to beef up my figure drawing. Below are some sketches I did earlier today (the spine of my sketchbook makes scanned pages dark toward the middle), of a standing woman from different angles and of my own hand holding my sketchbook as I drew on the subway (standing; I'm kind of pleased with those). The woman was drawn from a reference, to, as I'm also working on drawing what I see and not what I "remember."
C & C, please. [smile]

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One definite flaw I see in my approach is a tendency to draw in details before creating a balanced overall composition. This causes proportional inconsistencies, as I zero in on individual parts before the whole is completed. I'm going to try to first roughly sketch the whole with "construction lines" before going back in and fleshing out detailed areas of future sketches.

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Good job man, those are marginally better than your stuff before. Your sketchy style seems more robust, and your basic anatomy is also pretty good. Like you wrote on the paper, you seem to have a tendency to make heads to small, but thats about all I saw, except for the fact that her hair could be more dynamic. Keep it up.

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-The middle figure in the first drawing seems to be leaning too far forward... usually the center of gravity (either in the pelvis or the neck) is over the weight bearing leg(s). Her body is too far forward, and even with her hands behind her back, she'd very likely fall forward. But she does have a sense of dynamism that your last series seemed to lack, even in that very stationary pose.

Your proportional inaccuracies are, like you said, because improper 'planning' by first blocking out the form, but this is easy to get over with rigor and costantly learning how to cross-check your work compared to what you see. Your details, though, whether the woman's knee or your fingers or the man's jacket, are very good though.

Finally, hair. Ignore it (like you did for the sheet the woman's holding), or make it part of the composition. In the first figure, its good, in the second and especially third however, its poor. Same applies to faces... an ovoid shape will suffice until you are really ready to put in the very minor contours that a shape requires... because of the simplicity of a contour figure drawing, be careful about drawing in too many lines for the face, it will make it look unbalanced.

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Thanks for the pointers. I'll do some more sketches after work and upload/paste them tonight. I'm trying to just keep drawing (and adding to this thread) until I start to show significant improvement.

Thanks again.

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Yeah, the hard part of learning art is keeping at it, so good luck.

Also, as an exercise, draw something similar to what you did above, a whole human figure. Then go back and right next to it try drawing the figure again at 1/2 the detail. It will get you to think about what creates form, what is necessary and what is extra.

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I'm an artist only in the hobby sense, so I hope you don't mind me commenting on your work. I thought it was very good. I saw the notes you were making to yourself (i.e. "head to small" and such) and agree with those but was also very impressed with your talent!!

Wish I could draw that well.

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Quote:
Original post by slowpid
Yeah, the hard part of learning art is keeping at it, so good luck.

Thanks.

Quote:
Also, as an exercise, draw something similar to what you did above, a whole human figure. Then go back and right next to it try drawing the figure again at 1/2 the detail. It will get you to think about what creates form, what is necessary and what is extra.

That's a pretty interesting exercise. I presume it will eventually help me identify the fundamental forms of a figure through successive reduction? (That is, if I went ahead and repeated the process on the 1/2 detail, and so on?)

Quote:
Original post by nsmadsen
I'm an artist only in the hobby sense, so I hope you don't mind me commenting on your work. I thought it was very good. I saw the notes you were making to yourself (i.e. "head to small" and such) and agree with those but was also very impressed with your talent!!

Thank you very much. I'm trying to get better. [smile]

Quote:
Wish I could draw that well.

I like to quote Kit Laybourne's comment in The Animation Book, where he opines that everyone can draw, but most people have been intimidated into thinking that if they can't draw lifelike figures with high versimilitude, they "can't draw." (Consider most cartoonists; they can often caricature fairly well, but they can't "draw" in the sense of portraiture or realistic renderings.)

Keep drawing. The keys are pose, proportion and anatomy. Even if your characters are cartoony, so long as they exhibit those fundamentals, they'll look pretty good. Good luck!

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Quote:
Original post by Professor420
-The middle figure in the first drawing seems to be leaning too far forward... usually the center of gravity (either in the pelvis or the neck) is over the weight bearing leg(s). Her body is too far forward, and even with her hands behind her back, she'd very likely fall forward. But she does have a sense of dynamism that your last series seemed to lack, even in that very stationary pose.

Now that you mention it, I see that she does lean forward. I was reading about the stability of the S-curve, and how that helps to distribute our weight (and that of a stunning variety of natural/organic forms) for maximal stability. I think I'll try to identify the S-curve as part of my sketches in the future.

Quote:
Your proportional inaccuracies are, like you said, because improper 'planning' by first blocking out the form, but this is easy to get over with rigor and costantly learning how to cross-check your work compared to what you see. Your details, though, whether the woman's knee or your fingers or the man's jacket, are very good though.

Thanks. Yes, the proportional accuracies are due to failure to plan, which also leads to another problem: my lines are too deliberate, so if there's an error then I have to erase or the whole composition is shot. By focusing on loosely sketching the overall form and then adding detail later, I think I'll increase the fluidity and energy in my lines, which will add a subtle layer of dynamism to my drawings. (I hope.)

Quote:
Finally, hair. Ignore it (like you did for the sheet the woman's holding), or make it part of the composition. In the first figure, its good, in the second and especially third however, its poor. Same applies to faces... an ovoid shape will suffice until you are really ready to put in the very minor contours that a shape requires... because of the simplicity of a contour figure drawing, be careful about drawing in too many lines for the face, it will make it look unbalanced.

Interesting. I'll try that.

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Yes, its supposed to help you learn to simplify and learn to simplify.

At the same time, I like the excercise because I have the same problem you do. I add to much detail to early. Doing this, going 1/2, then 1/2 that and so on, causes you to work backwards. Eventually, like it did for me, it might help you adjust your process so that you do things correctly from 1st step to last, without skipping steps or so on. Often times the problem with learning art is learning to think differently (theres a book on this called 'drawing with the right side of your brain'). The book addresses this issue, which it 'left brain thinking'. Maybe it will work for you, it did for me, maybe not. You could certaintly learn to draw the way you do it now and might not need an adjustment in process, but its worth looking into.

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