Nov 26, 2012

Drawing Basics: Drawing the head, a step by step of the constructive method

A head construction drawing
This time around, I thought I'd demonstrate how to draw the head by building up to the features from basic shapes and forms in a step-by-step approach. 

The method I demonstrate below is a combination of techniques I have learned over the years. These are fairly universal techniques that can be found in many resources and are taught at most schools that offer foundational art instruction.

Here, I want to show how to construct the head as we draw rather than just mimicking the features that we see. This will give us a better understanding of the forms of the head and face and allow us to make up the head in different positions without requiring us to look at a reference every time we need to draw the head.

Let's begin.

Oct 15, 2012

Drawing Basics: Contrapposto pose, how the body adjusts to balance

The contrapposto pose.
This is a brief post to help those who struggle to get the figure in their drawings to feel like it has weight and is not just floating on the page.

The body is always adjusting and balancing itself. One of the ways we can learn to see how the body balances is to study a pose called the contrapposto pose. It is a pose that has been used by artists for a very long time to create a natural stance. It is also a great way to introduce how the body will react to gravity.

Let's take a look. 

Aug 13, 2012

Anatomy Basics: Just having fun drawing the back

A drawing of the back.
Charcoal drawing of a back
Every weekend I run a workshop for the students at the school I teach at. Usually, I don't draw during the workshop as I am going around assisting the students. This time, however, the model struck a pose that I found so interesting I that could not resist.  

Later after the workshop one of the students was asking me about where all the muscles of his back were in my drawing. I was doing the best I could to explain but not all the lines in my drawing were representing muscle boundaries and interpreting someone else's drawing can be tricky.

So, for him, I took the drawing home and did it again, showing where all the muscles are. If it can benefit one person it can benefit others, so I thought I'd share it with you. 

Take a look. 

Jul 23, 2012

Anatomy Basics:The deltoid

The shoulder

I promise you this site won't turn into something only about human anatomy for the artist. I will always include other subjects for those interested in drawing and painting in general. However, I am personally interested in the figure and I feel that understanding the anatomy to some proficiency will only improve one's ability to draw the figure. With that in mind, I thought this would be a good area to explore for a while.

Today, we are going to take a look at the shoulder muscle, to understand the basics of its form and function. Let's take a look.

Jul 15, 2012

Anatomy Basics: Skeleton posterior view

The back or posterior view of the skeleton.
Last but not least, we have the skeleton from the back view or what is called the posterior view. Just like the last two diagrams the bones are color-coded to make identification easier. 

I have many of the muscles added to these skeleton views, start looking for those articles in the upcoming weeks and months. I thought these three diagrams would be important to show prior to those articles as most of the muscles are connected to the skeleton and we move at the joints between bones.

Let's look at the posterior view...

Jul 6, 2012

Anatomy Basics: Skeleton anterior view

The front or anterior view of the skeleton.
Here is the second in the series on the skeleton charts. This one is of the skeleton from the anterior or front view. Just like the last one the bones are color-coded to make identification easier.

This skeleton fits the figure I made for the proportions chart earlier, everything should be accurate in size.

Let's take a look.

Jun 28, 2012

Anatomy Basics:Skeleton Lateral view

The side or lateral view of the skeleton.
I know it's been a while between articles this year. It's because I have been working hard on anatomy for the artist project. It turns out to be a lot of work but I am enjoying it.  Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of this with you, starting with the skeleton.

Select read more to see the larger view of the full skeleton from the side or lateral view.

May 25, 2012

Drawing Basics: How to draw a roof in perspective

A simple angled roofline drawn in two-point perspective.
Basic roof in perspective
When teaching students two-point perspective I often demonstrate building a simple house or shed to illustrate some of the basic points behind this type of linear perspective. One thing that seems to be difficult for most beginners is to figure out how to get the roofline in perspective. That is what we will be working on today.

Today, you will need to know some of the basics of two-point perspective in order to build a basic box.  If you need help with this or a refresher click this link: two-point perspective.

If you have the basics down and are ready to add a basic roof to your building, let's begin.

May 16, 2012

Anatomy Basics for Artists:The boxing Muscles or the serratus anterior

The muscles of the human body
I have been working on a project figuring out better ways to describe the muscles and the actions they help the body perform. I am doing this in order to understand the human form in ways that allow me to better illustrate the figure more accurately and have more of a range to express what I want to express. It is no easy, task that is for sure. Here is a sample of what I have been working on.

Today we will look at the muscle of the serratus anterior. This is a popular one to draw but is not always clearly visible on everyone. Below I break it down into two subjects, where the muscle is connected to the skeleton and how it move the arm.

Let's take a look.

Apr 1, 2012

Drawing the structure in line

The line drawing setting up the structures on the left and the finished drawing on the right.
This one is just for fun. It is not really a lesson as I just dug up some past figure drawings to show you a couple of examples of how I begin a drawing. Learning to draw in line to establish the structural elements of the drawing before including the value or color information is a great way to work out proportions and shape concerns first.


Mar 15, 2012

Drawing Basics: Constructing a figure with simple shapes

The subjects learned to draw the figure.
This is a drawing for a project I did back sometime around the beginning of the year. I designed the drawing to illustrate some of the important areas one needs to study in order to successfully draw the figure, such as proportion, gesture, shape construction, and anatomy. I thought we could use drawing to look at one of those elements, and learn more about using shape construction to draw the human form. 

One way to draw a figure is to build the forms up using simple basic shapes as a starting point. This process allows the artist to work on one thing at a time without overwhelming himself with too much information to convey at once. 

Today, we will break the process of drawing the figure into simple steps, showing how to build up from simple shapes into more complex human forms.

Let's begin.

Feb 22, 2012

Drawing Basics: How to draw a nose

Drawing of the nose
I recently received a request for a post about how to draw the nose. I thought it was a good idea to write about and I began putting something together. When thinking about where to begin, it occurred to me that the nose is a great example to use in showing how constructing the forms and shapes of the human body is a better way to draw the figure than just copying what we see. So, I thought we'd start there as we learn to draw the nose.

Today, we are going to look at how to draw the nose by starting with constructing a simplified nose out of basic shapes to build the smaller forms on.

Let's take a look.

Feb 9, 2012

Anatomy Basics: The finger bones

The finger bones.
As the last in this series on the skeletal anatomy of the hand, we are now up to the fingers. This area can be tricky as beginners generally just add the fingers to the top of the body of the hand and have not worked it out to structurally fit the skeleton.

Today, we will take a look at the finger bones to see how these bones connect the fingers to the hand, allow the fingers to move, and identify the differences between the bones of the fingers and the thumb.

Let's take a look.

Feb 1, 2012

Drawing Basics: Drawing the thumb

Since we looked at the ways the thumb is able to move in the last post, I thought that now is a good time to take a look at how to draw the thumb.

Today, we will look at the hand in basic shapes and forms to learn a simple way to connect the thumb to the body of the hand.

Let's take a look.

Jan 23, 2012

Anatomy Basics: Metacarpals and the thumb

Hand drawing in color pencil
Continuing on with the structures of the hand we are moving onto a new group of bones, the metacarpals, to focus on a few of the movements of the thumb. 

Thumbs tend to be a challenge for many people and understanding the thumb's connection to the hand and how the thumb moves can be helpful in resolving many issues when drawing the hand.

Today, we are going to look at the role that the metacarpals play structurally in the hand and how the lower part of the thumb moves based on the connection the metacarpal makes to the wrist bones.

Let's take a look.

Jan 5, 2012

Drawing Basics: Figure proportions, female

I have been wanting to update the images for my original post on the proportions of the human figure for some time now and I am finally getting around to doing that. In the process of working on these new images, I realized that it might be a good idea to create images for both the male and female figures individually. Here is the first, listing some of the proportions for the female figure.

Let's begin.