Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Search for:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Subjects > Figure, The
User Name
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #61   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-13-2004, 03:46 PM
bubblegumangel's Avatar
bubblegumangel bubblegumangel is offline
New Member
Argentina (La Plata and Cordoba), and England (London and Colcheseter, Essex)
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 49
Hails from Argentina
some hints

Hi, there....

Just sharing my views and what my teacher taught me....

firstly, I'll share what the eacher taught me...

basic first lesson: do NOT do constipated drawing: I.e. focus too much on detail..spend ages over a line, try and imitate what's in front of you...

INstead: EXPAND, and FLOW. first, you have to have a sense for what's in front of you: angle, perpsective, shape, shadown and light..then, once youve put the light marker lines down, you can add layers and begin to play with detail.

Secondary tips...: Look and learn from the human squeleton..later, when thinking about the firgure, this is IMMENSLY helpful, especially when dealing with proportions of head to body with, how the arms go, the angle of the leg, etc etc. etc

third tip: practice!!

My own figure tip: Do it YOUR OWN WAY: who cares if its rubbish? Learn to love the way YOU SEE/LOOK!

Lots of Love

Bubblegum (Inti)
Attached Images
Reply With Quote
  #62   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-25-2004, 02:02 AM
macrobertson's Avatar
macrobertson macrobertson is offline
Hawkesbury, west of Sydney
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 16,186
Hails from Australia
Re: basics of figure drawing

Excerpts from an Australian Artist Dec 1988 article entitled Diary of a Life class.
A review of one persons experience of attending a Life drawing class.

“Before I introduce the model”… “I want you to put yourself into a mindset”. This is not a person you are drawing, it is a shape. A shape made up from angles, curves, lines that can be horizontal, vertical and or diagonal. There will be light and shade and negative spaces. Squint your eyes to blot out the form and see these shapes more clearly. Keep them simple, triangles, circles, rectangles, and so on.
The most important thing is to look for the diagonal lines that run between the two shoulder bones and the hip bones, then to look for the extreme points of the head, shoulders, elbows and knees. It is important that once your pencil touches the paper it must continue to move around the shape, defining and redefining as you go. Keep your first lines very simple so that you can concentrate on checking and rechecking the angles and distances.
Don’t worry about a particular area, There’s nothing worse than drawing a beautiful head only to find that the body doesn’t fit. Nor must you worry about detailing hands and feet. It is more important to check the distances between the shoulders, the ribcage and hip line Look for the rectangular planes on the chest and stomach. Keep checking. Keep your pencil moving. Make your lines shorter as you go around and gradually you will begin to develop the figure.”

“Remember, the model is not a person. Think of her as a bowl of fruit!”

“It is like cutting a block of stone – start with the big cuts first and keep trimming and rounding of the edges”

The full article has a number of accompanying photos and drawings.

Reply With Quote
  #63   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-25-2004, 10:43 AM
mjc mjc is offline
New Member
Stroudsburg, PA
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 47
Hails from United States
Re: basics of figure drawing

Thank you SO much, everyone, for the advice, the web links, and the method suggestions. They mean a lot to beginners, like me, and they make my search for information so much easier. I am learning a great deal from WetCanvas, and I appreciate all the experienced artists who post their critiques and comments. Draw on!

Reply With Quote
  #64   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-26-2004, 05:38 AM
gordonartist's Avatar
gordonartist gordonartist is offline
Senior Member
Albury on the Murray River, Australia
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 319
Hails from Australia
Re: basics of figure drawing

This thread is a mile long and every post worth reading.

As I have said, to me life drawing is a discipline. So that, the end product is of no concern.

I am really an en plaine aire artist, through choice. The quiet and profound interaction between the en plain aire artist and the beautiful world, is what my inner being, my soul craves.

The incredible finished drawings on this site leave me in wonder and if my time was not a problem and my age and health was not of some concern, I would study every drawing with intensity and the desire to learn so much. But, unfortunately, for me it's a bit too late. Global communication via the computer, is a special gift for the young to treasure.

But, in the end, life drawing and any form of realist art is really about seeing and observing and feeling and appreciating what is there in real life.

What you, the artist sees, is what is real to you. The figure or the tree or whatever has to be seen and understood and felt and then a realist interpretation of the artist, say, by pencil and paper, is what is proof of what has been seen.

If you leave your life drawing materials behind and wander across the countryside or meander through the city, your observational and reproductive skills are given a new vision of life and reality. You become a different person, able to view any scene and perceive far more than those who have not had their observational potential realised.

Whatever you do, or whatever your paths in life may follow, the skills of a drawer and especially a drawer of live models, will give you understandings far beyond what you can imagine.

So, draw, draw and draw so that your real understanding of the real world becomes greater and greater.

But, whatever you do, do it because you want to do it, not because you need to do it.
I live to paint and paint to live.
[email protected]
Reply With Quote
  #65   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-26-2004, 10:37 PM
leofaerie17's Avatar
leofaerie17 leofaerie17 is offline
sydney australia
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,657
Hails from Australia
Thumbs up Re: basics of figure drawing

Hello from OZ
Thank you all for you generosity in sharing your wealth of knowledge I am new to this site and am learning so much. my interests are drawing,watercolour,acrylics and pastel(novice)and I must say this thread takes the cake! The sites alone are invaluable and will keep me busy for a while,I have some nude drawings and when I learn to post,upload or whatever I will do so.
many many thanks
Reply With Quote
  #66   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-04-2004, 12:59 AM
Luka's Avatar
Luka Luka is offline
The great NorthWet At the foot of Mount Index in Washington state.
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,148
Re: basics of figure drawing

I just want to say thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to this thread. A special thank you to Mac for starting the thread, and for shepherding it.

I also wanted to bump the thread up again.

I have not only bookmarked this thread, I have saved it to my computer for easy reference.

Thank you.
Adversity doesn't build character. It reveals it.
Profile pic thanks to Alfredart
Don't forget to check WC! Sponsors when you need art supplies ..... they are only a click away
Reply With Quote
  #67   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-12-2004, 10:48 PM
greenpearl greenpearl is offline
Veteran Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 695
Hails from Australia
Re: basics of figure drawing

What an excellent thread! Thanks to everyone for kindly sharing their insights and expeciences, not to mention posting all those links.

I just started on the Ryder book. Being new to figure drawing, perhaps I'm too easily impressed, but I do like his method - it's helping me place the figure on the page without running out of space. I'm not too crazy about his contour lines in most of the finished drawings, but they do give the drawings a classical look (which seems to be what he's after).

Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #68   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-13-2004, 12:56 AM
dspinks's Avatar
dspinks dspinks is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Now I'm there
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,607
Hails from United States
Re: basics of figure drawing

What a terrific thread! I've taken figure drawing classes on and off over the past eight years or so, and I think I've run into almost every method described so far.

Originally Posted by jefuchs
I have a firm belief that beginners should use whatever paper they can get for free, and go through a ton of it. By using expensive paper, you waste money, but you also tend to commit to a drawing that should be ditched, because you don't want to waste. Get inexpensive, or free paper, and draw hundreds of drawings.

Just this past quarter, I took a class from an instructor who went a step further: he had us use only cheap paper or newsprint and vine charcoal for the warm-up poses. We would hold a paper towel or chamois in one hand and wipe out our drawing after each 1-2 minute pose. We would draw 10-15 figures over and over on one page. It not only saved paper, but also helped release the anxiety over whether our drawings looked "right" or "good." It also kept us from falling in love with our work too soon, that old bugaboo to moving ahead in the learning process.

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Debra Spinks Art on Facebook My Art Blog WCAAPOI
Reply With Quote
  #69   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-20-2004, 01:27 AM
brijcharan brijcharan is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1
Hails from Abu Dhabi
Re: basics of figure drawing

Hey all.

Just wanted to say thanks for adding to this thread. I'm a newbie myself. Trying to get back into the traditional art of drawing. Got side tracked for many years doing Computer Generated work, then one day I found I was reaching a plateau. I didn't know enough fundamental anatomy and drawing to go any further with my cg work.

So I'm returning back to the light-side, if you want to call it that.

I'm now trying to learn everything I can about Human anatomy. I took a very good Class on human Anatomy and art from a former MD(been one for about 40-50 years). It was incredible, as he knew the human body inside out and was able to teach us not only how the muscles/bones/tendons looked, but "how" they worked. I've looked through many books, and not one has matched the level of detail in his class. hehe. I think I'll have to go and take it again

One great piece of advice he gave me - which I find is crucial in drawing, - is not to draw what you see...but draw what you KNOW. Which I've become a firm beleiver in.

Once again, I very much appreciate everyones contributions to this thread, its been wonderful to finally find a good resource for a newbie artist.

Thank you.

-Brij Charan
Reply With Quote
  #70   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-20-2004, 08:01 AM
eezacque's Avatar
eezacque eezacque is offline
Veteran Member
Toronto, Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 621
Hails from Canada
Re: basics of figure drawing

Originally Posted by brijcharan
One great piece of advice he gave me - which I find is crucial in drawing, - is not to draw what you see...but draw what you KNOW. Which I've become a firm beleiver in.

I'm not sure about this, as I believe in a wicked interaction between knowledge and observation. When I took up drawing, I drew what I knew, which resulted in somewhat technical drawings, until I decided to go for what I really saw, which in my opinion took my work to a higher level. An recently, having worked through Nicolaides' 'The natural way to draw', I felt urged to include more of what I know and, sometimes, feel, which again meant an improvement for my drawings.

I don't think we should stress so much the black-and-white distinction between seeing and knowing. To quote Nicolaides: "Let's repeat what I said the very first time you sat down to draw. That is - drawing depends on seeing. Seeing depends on knowing. Knowing comes from a constant effort to encompass reality with all of your senses, all that is you. You are never to be concerned with appearances to an extent which prevents reality of content. It is necessary to rid yourself of the tyranny of the object as it appears. The quality of absoluteness, the note of authority, that the artist seeks depends on a more complete understanding tha what the eyes alone can give. To what the eye can see the artis adds feelings and thought. He can, if he wishes, relate for us the adventures of his soul in the midst of his life."
Reply With Quote
  #71   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-20-2004, 08:36 AM
dcorc dcorc is offline
A Local Legend
London UK
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,950
Hails from United Kingdom
Thumbs up Re: basics of figure drawing

Come on folks! Rate this thread!!

Reply With Quote
  #72   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-20-2004, 08:54 AM
DanaT's Avatar
DanaT DanaT is offline
A Local Legend
New York, USA
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 9,384
Hails from United States
Re: basics of figure drawing

Right Dave. Cmon everybody vote for this thread.

Mac, thanks for bringing all these great sites to our attention.

I think every artist does a little of drawing what they see and drawing what they know especially in life drawing where time is so limited.

After reading Jeff's post, I'd have to say that so many well meaning people will tell a beginner, be sure not to do this and watch out for this, it can be a little overwhelming. For someone starting out, its easier and more productive to focus on one or two things you should be doing rather than on a long list of what you shouldn't. With some experience under the belt, use a do's and don'ts list to evaluate progress.

Pick one or two simple goals for each session and just do them, then evaluate your progress and adjust your goals accordingly.
Reply With Quote
  #73   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-20-2004, 02:08 PM
jjackm's Avatar
jjackm jjackm is offline
A Local Legend
Modesto, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,907
Hails from United States
Re: basics of figure drawing

This post if very informative and full of excellent information. I didn't really have anything to say, just wanted to rate the post. Had to figure out how to do it first.
Reply With Quote
  #74   Report Bad Post  
Old 05-21-2004, 12:09 AM
Georgi Georgi is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,205
Hails from Australia
Re: basics of figure drawing

Hello and G'day everyone,

I'm a newcomer too...and a late-starter...I've read this wonderful thread from the beginning to this point...the wealth of information given is literally priceless. Thank so very much.

Since discovering WetCanvas and all it has to offer, I've been strolling joyously down an incredible path of knowledge. Daily I'm learning so much about drawing and painting...in all mediums. Sometimes my impatience gets in the way as I try to cram everything into my head and still find time to 'practice'.

I'm enjoying myself immensely. I love this journey I have commenced with all you wonderful people in WetCanvas.

Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.

Reply With Quote
  #75   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2005, 06:40 PM
macrobertson's Avatar
macrobertson macrobertson is offline
Hawkesbury, west of Sydney
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 16,186
Hails from Australia
Re: basics of figure drawing

A way of beginning.

Last night was our local art society demonstration night, and Richard Porter from the Julian Ashton Art School came along to tell us about ‘a way of beginning’ in drawing the human figure, or any figure for that matter.

“These are the things I teach my students” he said.
He began by talking about the fundamental concepts of mass. It is important to be able to draw basic shapes accurately. The box, cylinder, cone, egg, wedge etc. because in drawing, the body can be reduced to these basic shapes, or a combination of them.

It is also important to be able to shade. Shading gives solidity, and creates a light source.
Light always comes from one direction, and there is always a reflected light

Plane breaks… an imaginary line that divides form. Using boxes and cylinders to construct the body is an easy way to locate the imaginary plane breaks.
The head has a front and a side

Some parts are a combination of shapes, or compound shapes.
Complex forms like the hand are better understood if you can study the skeleton, and bone structure.
Xrays can be very helpful to get hold of as they show the skeleton very well.

Another aspect to consider is perspective, especially with multiple figures. The horizon is the eye level… where you are. Figures will always be on the same level on the horizon line.


Last edited by macrobertson : 04-13-2005 at 06:55 PM.
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:49 PM.

© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.