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Old 10-24-2004, 09:40 PM
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Figures without models

Can anyone here draw realistic figures without a model or photo?
If you use a mannekin, that's OK. If you have any example drawings,
please post them here.
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Old 10-25-2004, 06:24 PM
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Re: Figures without models

It is possible to draw a figure without a model, but you really need to have a good knowledge of anatomy or a heck of a lot of practice to do it. Also, sometimes a weird position or trick of perspective is hard to figure out without a model. In that case I usually just google to find something similar and work from that.

Why do you ask?
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Old 10-25-2004, 10:46 PM
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Re: Figures without models

Because I don't have money for models and I want to free myself from photos. When I make a drawing, I want it to be all my own creation. I also want to manipulate figures to make them look more like I want them to. I wanted to see if anyone here is good at drawing figures from imagination. To me, being able to draw realistically from imagination and then to add a bit of your own style is the ultimate in draftsmanship. Then you're no longer just a monkey copying things, but a real artist. I realized just recently that I need to really dig into anatomy and memorize all the muscles and bones and their shapes so that I know them all cold. I didn't know that casual study of anatomy was not nearly enough. I also need to practice gestures a lot. For a year or more I've been wondering what procedure to follow to get to where I want to be. Now I think I know.
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Old 10-25-2004, 11:36 PM
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Re: Figures without models

Another thing that I've found really helpful is a mirror. When I'm sketching people with an unfamiliar gesture, I look at what I'm doing with my own hands. And actually, I've found that drawing in a loose, cartoony style really helped me learn figures . . . the informality of it all fools you into doing many, many sketches where before you would agonize over one or two.

You know what always stumps me, though, is painting or using color from imagination. I find myself using tried-and-true shadow placement, when in reality shadow and light are quite unpredictable. I can't imagine being able to paint something super-realistic cold turkey!

Now that is probably true mastery.
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Old 10-26-2004, 01:10 AM
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Re: Figures without models

When I have to draw hard poses or Hand gestures, I usually take a picture of myself (using the timer function in my digital camera) or I ask a friend to pose for the pictures...
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:42 AM
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Re: Figures without models

Another option is to get the program 'Poser', which would allow you to manipulate 3d figures in to any pose you want, and gives you a great frame of reference.

Best of luck
Lee.
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Old 10-28-2004, 03:23 AM
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Re: Figures without models

Hello CoolArtiste! and, nice to meet you!

I do a lot of figures myself, some from reference photos, but the majority are strictly from my head. I set out on a quest to learn to do this several years ago, and found little in the way of information on the idea. I even found some opposition to it!

Then, I happened upon a book called "Dynamic Figure Drawing", by Burne Hogarth. While part of the focus of this book is to teach drawing of figures in movement in deep space and foreshortening, it also covers the subject of "invented" figures, which is how Hogarth worked most of the time.

This book gave me a much better understanding of the human figure, by explaining why certain body parts appear a certain way in certain positions and views.

Certainly; an understanding of anatomy helps, and as I said; I do use references on occasion... but this book worked extremely well for me!

Hope this helps in some way!
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:52 AM
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Re: Figures without models

But aren't Hogarth's drawings wild and distorted? I've been avoiding his books because I don't want to draw in his style.

I've been reading the books by Jack Hamm and Andrew Loomis for help on constructive figure drawing.

I also have the book by George Bridgeman, but I'm still not sure if it's useful or not.
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Old 10-28-2004, 10:03 AM
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Re: Figures without models

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolArtiste
Can anyone here draw realistic figures without a model or photo?
If you use a mannekin, that's OK. If you have any example drawings,
please post them here.

Leonardo didn't think so, Michaelangelo didn't think so, Raphael didn't think so, Titian didn't think so, Degas didn't think so, Gaugan didn't think so, Sargeant didn't think so, Rockwell didn't think so, and I don't think so.

It is easy to draw a figure without a model, but it is impossible to draw an excellent one, no matter how good you are.
Dallen
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:59 PM
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Re: Figures without models

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolArtiste
But aren't Hogarth's drawings wild and distorted? I've been avoiding his books because I don't want to draw in his style.

I learned from Hogarth, but my style is nothing like his. It is his method of basic construction which appealed to me, as it can be applied to anyone's style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolArtiste
I've been reading the books by Jack Hamm and Andrew Loomis for help on constructive figure drawing.

I also have the book by George Bridgeman, but I'm still not sure if it's useful or not.

I also have all of Jack Hamm's books. I'd say my style is similar to his. Only discovered Loomis about a week ago! I'd love to have his books, but they sell for big money, being out of print and all. I'm not familiar with Bridgeman though.

I don't know that one can expect to achieve "photo realism" without a model, and to be sure, the creation of shadow and light on the human figure is extremely difficult without one. It all depends on your definition of "realistic". Even some of the "great masters" utilized "sculptural light", which emphasizes forms in a way which is appealing, but not really possible in reality.

I'm certainly not going to tell you I know all there is to know about figure drawing. I just wondered if you had encountered this book, as I enjoyed it myself.
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:17 PM
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Re: Figures without models

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Man
Only discovered Loomis about a week ago! I'd love to have his books, but they sell for big money, being out of print and all.

Loomis books are available to download, in PDF, here:
http://www.saveloomis.org

and Dallen... "it is impossible to draw an excellent one, no matter how good you are." This is just not true. I've seen it done by three people that I can think of off the top of my head.

BTW, another great book for learning the figure is, believe it or not, "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" by Stan Lee, et al. Although the product may be looked down on in the fine art world, some of the best figure artists make their living in comics and animation.
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Last edited by coyote : 10-28-2004 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:25 PM
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Re: Figures without models

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Man
Only discovered Loomis about a week ago! I'd love to have his books, but they sell for big money, being out of print and all.

Loomis books are available to download, in PDF, here:
http://www.saveloomis.org

and Dallen... "it is impossible to draw an excellent one, no matter how good you are." This is just not true. I've seen it done by three people that I can think of off the top of my head.
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:14 PM
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Re: Figures without models

CoolArtiste,

Drawing the human figure is complex. Yet if studied and broken down into basic components, you can basically draw the human figure without any reference at all. I have done that many times. I don't like to much, only because I like to capture the moment. Whether I use a live model and do sketches, or have a photo session, and paint from those photos, I feel I can be more accurate in my drawing.

All the books mentioned above are good books to have. You can even buy very inexpensive how-to books, and gleen information from that. Find one that is close to your idea of what kind of figure you want to draw. I have various books. I have cheap books, but I also have Grey's Anatomy book. It is a very intense book for learning the anatomy, but well worth it.

Practice of course is the big key. I do a lot of loose construction drawings, just to play with the figure. See what I am able to do.

I hope you have success in drawing your figures!

Terry
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Old 10-31-2004, 07:21 AM
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Re: Figures without models

I just read that when you're drawing a figure out of your head, you MUST visualize the figure on the paper and make it like you're drawing an outline over the figure you see on the paper. Do you guys find this to be true? I'm going to try it.
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Old 10-31-2004, 06:29 PM
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Re: Figures without models

Different things work for different people. I find it's helpful to think of the human figure, clothed or otherwise, in terms of shadow and light.

I think a good exercise is to draw with a light-colored pencil or whatever on very dark paper. You can't draw an outline so you're forced to re-examine things.
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