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Figure construction
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Tim Tylor
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Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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Location: Cornwall, Great Britain

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:18 pm    Post subject: Figure construction Reply with quote

I'm constantly trying to find an approach to figure construction that I'm comfortable with. Every book and tutorial seems to have a different angle: some go for simple skeletons, some for "robot" figures made of cubes and cylinders etc. I'm curious as to what approach other people prefer.
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Eric F Myers
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Joined: 03 Oct 2003
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorite technique is the scribble in pencil until it sort of looks right then ink. Sometimes it works and looks good, but most of the time it looks like crap. Not the way to go if you are looking for perfection.
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Greg Stephens
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Joined: 14 Apr 2001
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only really use some kind of proportional construction method for heads and faces. For bodies, I try to visualize what the pose should be and draw what I see. On the other hand, anatomy has never been something I'm very good at.
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William G
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robots.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try taking some figure drawing classes. The best way to get in tune with drawing the human figure is to draw live models on a consitant basis. It's better than anything you can get out of a book.

I've come to the conclusion that figure drawing is like playing a musical instrament. You got to keep practicing, no matter how good you get at it, or you'll get rusty.

Back when I was in art school, I was drawing live models two or three times a week, and I noticed my figure drawing skills improved considerably. I noticed that even outside the classroom, I had a much better undstanding of the human figure, and was able to draw out of my head much easier because of the model drawing experience I was getting.

I haven't drawn live models in quite some time, and I noticed my figure drawing skills have suffered for it.
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Tim Mallos
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Joined: 23 Apr 2001
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Location: Brighton, Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966638352/qid=1107818247/sr=2-2/ref=pd_ka_b_2_2/104-8715421-2987930

And have actually done a little practice with it.

It's not like going to a class / live model session, but it's not a horrible substitute.

I can now horribly mangle models with charcoal and newsprint in the comfort of my own home.

Some of the poses are a bit weird, but I think it's the knowledge of anatomy that one is going for, not a cliff's notes for a specific illustration or sculpture.

Anyhow...

I am entirely self-taught / book informed. (read as "Can't Draw")

I use a combination robot, simplified anatomy, and (most often) the flail until I fail method mentioned by Eric

I try the different approaches depending on the problem / how horrible the result of the last attempt was.

T
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Tim Tylor
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Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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Location: Cornwall, Great Britain

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
Try taking some figure drawing classes. The best way to get in tune with drawing the human figure is to draw live models on a consitant basis. It's better than anything you can get out of a book.


That's probably what I need.

Tim Mallos wrote:
I own:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966638352/qid=1107818247/sr=2-2/ref=pd_ka_b_2_2/104-8715421-2987930


That could be pretty helpful.

Thanks, guys.
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Surlyben
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Joined: 31 Mar 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use skeletons, but yeah, there's really no substitute for drawing from a live model. OK, I'm lying. There are some substitutes. I take photographs of friends in poses that I need. I used to use a polaroid for this; now I use a small point and shoot digital camera.
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Tim Mallos
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Joined: 23 Apr 2001
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Location: Brighton, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, it's really cool that your friends will strip down for you.



T
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Surlyben
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol. Most of them won't. But I hardly ever need to draw naked people...

Maxfield Parrish used to photograph himself nude for modelling purposes...
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Ray Radlein
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Joined: 29 May 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surlyben wrote:
Lol. Most of them won't. But I hardly ever need to draw naked people...

Maxfield Parrish used to photograph himself nude for modelling purposes...


Damn, did he have some perky and attractive breasts, then.
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Eric F Myers
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surlyben wrote:
Maxfield Parrish used to photograph himself nude for modelling purposes...


So does Boris Vallejo. He also uses his wife for some of his female models.
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Tim Mallos
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Joined: 23 Apr 2001
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Location: Brighton, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three comments:

1. Their stuff looks really cool
2. Boris' mouth weirds me out ("Wait 'till they get a load of me!")
3. Way to go Boris! His wife is beautiful as well as talented.

T
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking figure drawing books. I own several myself, including the afore mentioned Virtual Pose 2. They are an excelent supplement, and you can learn a lot from them. However, I still think there's really no substitute for a live model.

Of course, if you can't get a model to sit for you, Polaroids aren't bad. If you don't want to see your friends nekkid (or your significant-other thinks it's too kinky), you can always have them wear spandex. Long underwear is a cheaper alternative.

Actually, if your into photographic reference, Sports Illustrated, and similar magazines, are an excellent source for action poses. Football, basketball, and track and field shots are especially useful. Boxing is good for fighting poses. And for "cheesecake", there's always the swimsuit issue.

As for Boris and Julie: I always thought Boris Vallejo was a bit creepy. Julie ain't bad to look at, but she's a bit too hard toned and muscular for my taste. Call me old fashioned, but I think women should be soft, and meaty in the right places.

I used to date a girl who got turned on the Julie Bell. She wanted to have a body just like hers. This is one of many resons her and I are "just good friends" today.
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