Monday, October 31, 2011

Life Drawing: Form, Volume and Anatomy

This week in class we'll be reviewing the pelvis as well as introducing the shoulder girdle. It is important to understand the human shape and form.  Combining your knowledge of anatomy and what you see (the model) to complete your drawings will make them more believable, accurate and make you a faster animator. I hope that you are starting to see changes in your drawings and your skill.   Think about what lessons we have learned up to this point.  Break it down into simple steps.  You may only get to one or two steps on shorter poses.  Maybe you'll go through all the elements on longer poses.  Learn to draw with focus on breaking the big task down into small steps.

Line of Action: An imaginary line extending through the main action of the figure. Plan your figure and it's details to accentuate this line. By doing this you strengthen the dramatic effect. The first thing to draw when constructing a figure is the line of action- then build over it. [source]

Flow or Stick Figure:  Using the natural rhythms of the human form to describe the push and pull.

Balance: Hips and Shoulders moving like an accordion.

Proportion:  Take a moment to look at the drawing as a whole.  Apply what you know is true based on proportions of the human form: 
Figure = 7.5 or 8 heads high
pubic bone = 1/2 way point
hands = 1 head 
When the arms are at the side, the wrist bone aligns with the groin area.
The elbow aligns with belly button

**One of the MOST common newbie mistakes is to make the head too big for the body. Especially common is to make the legs too short.  It is almost inevitable that newbie artists do this. But it happens all the time, and we just don't seem to notice it when we are doing it. Measure and check these proportions!  Do it before you put any dark lines down on the drawing, so that any errors will be easier to fix.

Weight:  Drop a plum line from base of neck or nose. Does this point line up with the grounded foot/feet? 

Boxes and Cylinders: These help us to see and describe the planes of the figure.  It helps us describe the form and volume three dimensionally. They also help to simplify where the light will hit on the surface of the figure.

Line Quality: Effective use of soft and bold lines to create depth and weight. If you draw with the same pressure, the line will flatten out your drawing. Use stronger lines on the underside of your figure to help describe weight.  Generally speaking, darker lines will come towards the viewer as lighter ones recede   Be aware of the contrast in your line work.

Assignment #2 Shoulder Girdle Studies - due Nov 22nd
Please submit your drawings in 8.5 x 11 .jpg format and email to

3 views of the scapula, front, profile and back.

2 views of entire shoulder girdle, sternum and clavicle (front and back)

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