Tuesday, 3 February 2015


I find it ironic, how that in the era of the "SELFIE", there is still a general lack of knowledge of our own bodies and how they work. I am generalising , of course, but I find it  a common stumbling block with a lot of students  in their early stages of drawing.
I know some of you are having some difficulty with the human form and general anatony. 
That's ok, everyone does, even the pro's, sometimes.
I am sorry to say that there are no shorts cuts to getting this right. It is the same as everything you will draw. The more you practice, the better you will get.
But, what does this practice involve?

1. Drawing. Draw as often as you can

2. Observing. Look at what it is you are drawing. Take in the shape, the relationship of all the limbs, and how they balance.

3. Understanding. I found I could draw better figures once I had a basic understanding of what I was drawing. I gained this understanding by reading anatomy books and looking at my own body in the mirror. 
A lot of artists do this. Especially when they need quick reference for a drawing.

 And finally, ...
4. More drawing

I used to have difficulty with drawing cars and guns until I began breaking them down into managable bite size  shapes. Sometimes I look at something  I am attempting to draw and cannot  see it because there is too much information to take in. Like the sayings, "I can't see the wood for the trees" and "I can't see for looking".
When this happens, I try to break the subject into simple shapes that enable me to really see what it is I am drawing.
I think it's the same for the human form.
Sometimes simplifying something  into manageable information makes it easier to aborb.
Below is  the male human skeleton...
...it can be broken down into  a basic stick frame

Once the stick frame is established, breakdown shapes can be added to fill out the shape and give it form.
. One of the things I have noticed when some students  attempt the stick figure method, is that they become too focused on drawing the line of the  stick frame and lose sight of why they are using the stick frame and what it represents. It's just an aid, kind of like stabaliser when learning to ride a bike. Eventually you will need to use the stick figure less and less, although, I notice that some pro's still use this method  to help them with layout.
Here is a very simple, not too complicated exercise for you to follow.  
This is what you are aiming for
Here are the breakdowns

 Here is another exercise
Here are the breakdowns
Notice on the first image I have indicated the flow of movement  with arrows.  It is important to understand how the body works and moves. How  a tilt or twist will affect the rest of the body and it's posture.
If it helps , and I would think it would, try to imagine the skeleton 
More often than not, the image below, shows how I normally produce a rough sketch
Here is another example of my rough work.

I will  add more  examples later in the wek, so remember to chack back.
Just keep practicing and keep in mind that this is not something you can acheive over night. It takes  focus, practice and patience, which will pay off , because it will enable you to draw better.

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