- Lesson details
In this video lesson New Masters Academy instructor Sheldon Borenstein gives you an introduction the complex and ancient subject of representing the human figure in art. You will learn how to work from the live model, which landmarks and major characteristics to watch out for as well as a clear, step-by-step process for the execution of the figure drawing.
- Prismacolor Charcoal Pencil
- Pitt Pastel Pencil – White, Black, Blue and Sanguine
- Conté Charcoal Pencil
- Pelikan 300 Series Fountain Pen
- Water Brush
- Prismacolor Colored Pencil – Scarlet Lake
- Ballpoint Pen
- Drawing Paper
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introduction to the complex and ancient subject of representing the human figure in art.
You will learn how to work from a live model, which landmarks and major characteristics
to watch out for as well as a clear, step-by-step process for the execution of the figure drawing.
This lesson will give you the tools you need to begin your journey as a figure artist.
movie about the boat? It was a big boat that sunk.
Tiffany: I may have.
And in that movie this girl says draw me but only with my necklace on. Did you see that movie?
Tiffany: I think I did see that movie.
We can’t mention the movie, but the boat sunk, right? That moment
when she said draw me but only with my necklace on. I wanted to throw up. Okay? Because that
was completely taken away what we do. You see, I’m an artist. You’re my model. This
was not an artist and his model. This was the prelude into other events. We want to
get rid of all of that weirdness that people talk about when they talk about figure drawing.
You see? It doesn’t exist. If it does I don’t want to know about it.
Because that is so far away from what we do.
Now, there was another movie about a guy who was a little on the crazy side and went to
a diner and wouldn’t eat with the spoon. He had plastic spoons. It’s kind of As Good
as it Gets type movie. There is a scene where this artist is sitting—he wouldn’t draw
anymore because he kind of got beat up. He kind of got beat up. And he wasn’t going
to draw anymore. And then this woman who is not interested in him because he kind of likes
these guys, right? Cause this is male and so was he. He wasn’t interested in her.
Got it? Wink, wink. So now he’s looking at her and she’s in the bathroom and she’s
sitting on the tub. She has her robe draped around her, and he had to draw her. That was
the closest I’ve ever seen to what an artist and their figure drawing is. You see? So it
really just has to do with that beauty.
Now, why do we draw humans, and why do we draw them nude? That’s the question now.
She’s obviously not nude, but we do draw our models nude. What it comes down to is
my job for years is to review portfolios. And I need to hire an artist that can draw
anything. So let’s say I have somebody who applies for a job, and they’re from this
land somewhere. They say I am the greatest artist because I can draw such a tree. Let’s
say they’re from really far away, like Kansas. Like really far away, like seriously Kansas,
which is like Kansas to the next level Kansas. They go in Kansas we’re the greatest drawers
because we can draw the tree that’s outside the Dairy Queen. Because if you live or work
in Kansas you’re at the Dairy Queen, okay? There’s nothing else in Kansas, okay? They’re
drawing the tree that’s outside the Dairy Queen. Have you seen the tree outside the
Dairy Queen? Me either. Have you seen the tree? I haven’t seen it. So how do we know
if they’re any good?
Tiffany: You have to go to Kansas.
You got to go to Kansas, right? No!
What is the same everywhere in the world with only about a 15% difference?
People. People are the same everywhere so what we’ve done is we’ve said, okay, what
is the one thing that is the hardest thing to draw that everybody has? The human figure.
So we’ve actually used that as our standard, and it’s been going like that for over 500
years, even going back before. Most people when they draw the model they copy the model.
And how often do you get to talk when you’re a model?
Well, what are you doing?
Tiffany: Thinking about food.
Cause you’re a model. You’re actually a fashion model.
Tiffany: I am a fashion model.
So how often do you have cheeseburgers?
Tiffany: Not that often.
So you’re dreaming about cheeseburgers?
What food do you dream about?
Tiffany: All types of food. Chicken, cheeseburgers, milkshakes.
So you dream about them but you—see,
not only do I dream about them I have them because I’m an animator.
Tiffany: I have them occasion, but not as often as I’m sure most people.
So you’ve got a really good body and so do I.
The only difference is my body is floating in chocolate.
Tiffany: That’s a nice thing to float in.
Yeah, it’s good. I have the perfect body; it’s just floating in chocolate.
Tiffany: Chocolate is awesome.
It’s good. It’s good. So in our world we start with the person. Most of my stories
aren’t true. This one is. A lot of years ago I used to live in the garage in my parents’
house. There was a guy who lived around the corner. He was kind of like a family friend,
like really I knew him my whole life, and he died. So my job was kind of, like when
there was something dead in the street they would call me. Maybe that was a prelude to
me going into forensics. So I get a phone call and they go, and his real name was Alvin.
His name was Alvin. They go Alvin is dead. I’m like, wow. So I drive around, and as
I’m walking in the paramedics are walking out and on the floor was Alvin with a sheet
over him. The coroners come in, and they go to the lady, they said, what do you want?
Cremation or burial? I thought that was really weird cause I was the only one in there with
him. I thought what are they asking her for? Why don’t they ask Alvin? Dude, stand up
for yourself, man. This is your last chance. He never stood up for himself. I thought,
Alvin, hey—he was a little stiff cause he’d been there for a while. What do you want?
I didn’t hear anything. There was something missing. So I started thinking, you know,
and I told this to my class right afterwards. I was really young but I was still teaching.
I mean I was older than 14 but younger than 21. Nevermind.
So I thought to myself what if we took Alvin and laid him out in the Leonardo da Vinci
pose. Is he still proportional? Is he still anatomically correct? Something is missing.
So then I thought to myself what if we start to fondle Alvin? What if we say, hey, Alvin,
goochie, goochie. What do you think would happen to me?
Tiffany: To you? You might be arrested.
Ah yeah. So the coroners would walk out, and who would come in would be the officers. There
are actually drawings of me from the London Warner Brothers studio in a strait jacket.
I did this lecture in London. They thought it was kind of weird, but you know, it was
my lecture. I’d be arrested. So I turned to my class that day and I said you’re all
going to jail. They said why. I go I walk around the room and I look at your drawings.
They’re all proportionally perfect. They’re all anatomically perfect, and they’re dead
because they’re copying the model.
See, you obviously have personality. You obviously have your own life, right? So the figure drawing
has to start in here. It has to start in the brain and then we work our way out. That’s
the energy. So we want to ask ourselves the questions before we start drawing. Who is
the person we’re drawing? What do you do, and why do they do it? Who, what, why, and
how? That’s the first thing you want to do. That’s animation. Do you want to hear
an almost true story that really never happened?
Okay, really cool. So you’re 20-something, right?
Tiffany: Hmm hmm, 22.
And I’m 53 which makes me just a little bit, like maybe a few years. But still damn
good looking, I might say. That’s why I wear loose shirts because I’m like flawlessly
perfect. The models have a hard time focusing on my lectures when they have to see this
perfect male body. The women have a hard time. It’s really tough.
So when I was like your age we didn’t have DVDs and videos, so if we wanted to go to
the videos we had to go in the morning and we sit there all day to go see these animated
films. There was this movie. It was about a deer and a mom and a little deer and a mom.
Some of these studios, they think it’s really cool to kill the parents. Like, hey little
sweetheart, do you like your mom? Mom’s dead. Do you like your dad? Is he like the
king of your life like the Lion King of your life? Yeah, we’re going to kill him too.
Isn’t that sick?
Tiffany: It’s pretty bad.
Yeah, it’s really bad. That’s what I thought. So we would go there, and we would watch these
movies. We’re animators. We want to study it all day long and over and over again. One
day I was sitting there, I had already seen the movie like three times. I hear this crying
in the front of the theater. I walk up to the front there is a little kid, like five
years old, and he’s crying. Kind of sad, right? So I walk up to this and I go, hey
kid, what are you crying about. [child’s voice] Bambi’s mom got dead.
What? You stupid little punk. What are you talking about?
The people behind me are going sit down. You sit
down! I’m talking to the kid, alright? I go what are you talking about?
[child’s voice] Bambi’s mom. I go what do you get when you kill Bambi’s mom? This guy sitting
next to the kid says, well, I’m a hunter. I go so you kill Bambi’s mom too? Well,
yeah, quite often. I go what you get? Well, we usually get meat and serve it up a little
bit. You know what you get? You get confetti. You want to know why? Because Bambi’s animated.
You want see Bambi’s mom. Here it is right there. Paper! What does it take like? Well,
we like to serve it up—No, it tastes like cardboard! Why? Cause Bambi is animated. I
say, punk. Guy comes with a flashlight. Sir! You have to sit down. You sit down! I paid
my $5. Four days ago. I’d been there for a long time. We like to watch the movies because
we’re animators. You sit down! I’m talking to this kid. The little kid is like traumatized.
I said where’s Bambi? And the kid goes that’s Bambi. Oh that’s not Bambi. That’s a drawing.
Bambi is some 50-some-year old fat animator who hasn’t seen his shoes in years, right?
Sitting on four whoopee cushions doing this. So Bambi is in the head of animator, right?
That’s the key. The drawing has to start in our mind, the artist’s mind. You are
our model and you’re very special. So, ladies and gentleman, let us introduce you to the
most incredible part of the artist’s life, which is our models. Now, Tiffany, right?
You’re a new model for me. But my models are very dear to me, and I’ve had the same
models 16, 17 years. A lot of the models I have are my mentors because they go to all
the studios and they work at all the studios, so I kind of find out what’s going on at
the studios. They’re really knowledgeable. I show them my work, get their opinions. The
really interesting part is sometimes animators are models. Did you know that? And they do
figure drawing. They’ll actually pose. Because, you know, they love it. It’s a form of meditation.
They sit and ponder the world’s problems and you think about food, and then you have
Okay, so now wouldn’t it be horrible if you dissed a model and didn’t treat the
model very well to then go into the studio the next day and have that model interviewing
you. Bit of a problem, right? That’d be a bad day. Worse! What if Tiffany tells me
that you weren’t cool? And then you come into the studio and I’m interviewing you.
mess with the models. When you’re working with the models there is a distance. Notice
I have a red pencil in my hand. So if I want to show and I want to move you—I don’t
touch the models. We have to give our models respect even though we’ve been very close
for so many years. When you’re working with a model your bench is far away from the model.
You don’t get close to the model. They don’t want you there. Okay? Models are professionals
and they’re models. They are special people. So that’s really important.
So are you feeling pretty important?
Tiffany: I am.
In my classes the models talk. It’s real important that they have a mind and an opinion.
Okay, so that’s what we’re going to do.
But there is a mechanical part of the human figure. First is proportions. So, you’re
a homo sapien, right? You notice her neck is long. She has kind of a long neck. So one
of the things about a female is they have the same amount of vertebrae, it’s just
that the clavicles are straighter or slightly down to give the illusion of a longer neck.
So that’s one of the ones, the first thing. Also, her rib cage is going to be narrower,
and then her hips are wider. Now, she’s a model. She’s perfect. She’s a fashion
model. But if you even notice that her hips are a little bit wider. Ok, that’s to house
future beasts that will keep you awake at night and do nasty things in diapers. So we
have to have it. Now, if you notice this model here, this is narrower and this is wider.
So we’re going to call this the thoracic arch. And on the male it’s 90 degrees, and
on the female it’s 60 degrees. Then on the male they have a narrow pelvis because they’re
guys. They don’t even—there’s nothing here. There’s nothing here. They’re guys.
Cheeseburger, fries and a coke. Right? That’s all they think about.
So that’s going to be for the male.
For the female we go one head down—what we used to do is one head down to the nipples,
but we found that—not Tiffany—but a lot of models the nipples were down lower, so
when we measured from the nipples to the chin and up to the head, they had really big heads.
Right? That even applied to a few of the women models. Yeah, guys, I’m over 50. I want
to have a pool party. The guys are bigger than you. Okay, so now we now go down one
head down to the bottom of the sternum. So it’s one head down to the bottom of the
sternum. Okay, point to your sternum. Notice I had her point to her sternum. It’s not
my job. We have to respect our model. Now, from there we’re going to one head down
to the navel. So we go one head down to the navel. That’s her navel right there. Then
one head down to the pubic arch. I think if you guys don’t know where it is, send me
an email. Okay? Then one head down to the pubic arch.
This is the dividing line. This is halfway. Okay, this is where it’s halfway. It’s
four heads down. One, two, three, four, and then a head and a half down to your knees
right there. Then a head and a half down to the bottom of the feet. Now, Tiffany being
a female has two knees. You have a right knee and a left knee. But the male actually has
three knees. Did you know that?
Tiffany: I didn’t know that.
Yeah, they have a right knee, a left knee, and a wee-knee. And that’s kind of where
they go with that. Okay, so that’s what is happening with that area.
That’s the proportion.
Now, if we turn to the side and put your arm up, what you’re going to notice that the
rib cage goes forward. Look at her head. Her head goes forward you guys. It’s the biggest
mistake. There is a politician and a lady at the gym that I work out at. I actually
work out there. Okay, I don’t. I go there and look at this one woman. Her head goes
straight up. I mean this woman looks weird. She says would you like me to help you work
out? She works there. She’s one of the workout people. I’m like, no. Your head goes straight
up. What are you doing? Then there is one guy on TV. His name is, I don’t know. It’s
like they nailed his head to the wall. In the movie Legally Blonde when they wanted
the guy to be nerdy what did they do? They made his head go straight up. Look at Tiffany;
she’s perfect. And look at her head. It goes forward. One of the number one mistakes
and it stiffens your drawing.
The other thing you’re going to find, and I’m going to be drawing this for you and
Tiffany is going to get to take a break. Her rib cage goes this direction. Now, look at
her pelvis. It goes this direction. That brings the bootie out. There are some technical terms
that we need to know. This right here is the poh-poh. This is the clinical, legal, medical
definition. This is a poh-poh, and on the other side, directly on the other side, it’s
called the woo-hoo. So we have the woo-hoo and the poh-poh, and they’re cross-gender.
They work for both genders. Notice how her poh-poh goes out. That’s because her pelvis
is tilted forward.
Now, if you were male you’d be wearing a different bathing suit, and you would have
the pelvis going straight, which would give you a flatter butt, which would make you a
corporate executive. Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones—you ever notice these guys with these really tight
butts, you know, and they’re like Mrs. Jones! Mrs. Jones, take this memo. That’s because
their butts are straight. If their butts weren’t straight then they’d be more loose. Then
they’d be going, hey, Ms. Jones, take a memo. You see? And it’s be pretty cool.
Is your arm getting tired? Tiffany: A little. Yeah, put your arm down. Okay, so that’s
really, really important.
And then let’s go back to the front. Now, we’re going to hit some landmarks. These
are landmarks for drawing, and I’m going to draw the for you, and you’ll pose for
me. I can see them through your bathing suit because I’ve been doing this for a really
long time. So right down the center of the head—we have a center line, you guys. Like,
you haven’t had children. I have. When I was pregnant with my kids I had a black line
on my stomach, and it never went away and neither did the weight. You know you put on
five pounds with every kid, and mine never went away. But I had this black line down
my stomach, and it just continued to grow. It really showed me that I was kind of split
in half. Actually, it was really funny because I was talking to the people that designed
the human figure, and I was saying to them, you know, it’s really interesting. You did
such a fantastic job on this side. Why didn’t you continue going and make the other side
even better? And on the female. Hands off, great job. I mean good job, dude. And I asked
why didn’t you keep going, you know? Make the other side even better. You know what
they said? They were under so much pressure to ship that they just duplicated it. Yeah.
So whatever you get on this side is the same on that side. Unless you did something, but
we don’t want to talk about that. Whatever. So we have this midline going right down the
center. So if you feel your nose. Push on your nose right there. Yeah, right there. Feel
where the cartilage comes together. And then right down the lips and to your chin right
there. Then you have your sternum and right down to the navel. Straight on down. So that’s
going to be where our landmarks are. Starting the first one. So the first one is going to
be the end of the sternum. And then the next one is going to be the belly button. And the
next one, don’t point, but that’s the pubic arch. We all know where that is. If
you don’t, again, it’s 1-900-SHELDON and I’ll explain it to you.
Okay, that’s going to be your landmarks going straight down. And then in the back—turn
around. The back is a lot more difficult because there’s really not a whole lot to get your
hands around on the back. The front there is a lot of stuff you can get your hands around.
Have you ever been to the mall? You ever been to Pretzel Spot? Yeah, Pretzel Spot is hot,
right? Pretzel Spot is hot. That’s where people go to be admired. They don’t get
the pretzels. They go to the other pretzel places. There they can be admired. But you
know, when you’re standing behind and reach behind you start feeling the forearms. There
is a lot more to hold on to in the front, especially on me. But they can cut themselves
because I have perfect pecs and they’re really sharp. But they can cut themselves.
My serratus anteriors, they get lost. But for you, look; we’ve got that straight line.
There’s not a whole lot to hold on to. Maybe the scapulas. When we get to the anatomy it’ll
be a little bit tougher. Turn around. Alright, how you’re doing? Is this is a typical figure
drawing class for you?
Yeah, yeah. People might take my class, and they go he’s just not right. Some of them
actually think it’s real. It’s really strange. Moving across the other side. We’re
going to go pit of the neck. Point to that. Now, here is acromion process. It’s this
part right here. Why don’t you point to that? It’s a little bump. For me it—no,
right there. It keeps my bra strap up cause I like support. So right there. It’s kind
of that nice little area. That’s another landmark. Bring your shoulders up and down
like that. Isn’t that wild? Actually, bring your arm up and all the way around. Look at
that! That arm can move! Turn around. Oh my God. Up and down. The arms, yeah, whoa. Bring
your arm up. Yeah, look at that. It really moves. Do you know that her arm is not even
connected back there bone to bone?
Turn back around, please. Do you know that her arm is only connected right there at the
clavicular joint. Right here is the only place that is connected bone to bone. Back when
I was a kid we had a weird household. We used to love this part. You know the arm has so
much meat, but it was so hard to remove the arm from the body so that we could eat. It
was really difficult. We had to really like get that arm, and then we’d take it off.
We’re going pretty good. It was really pretty good.
You guys ever heard of this chicken place. It’s like the Pollo Loco and stuff like
that? Do you know there is a dark menu? Like a really dark menu. So you pull up and they
say welcome to Pollo Loco, cause it’s the Valley.
[Valley girl voice] Like, welcome to Pollo Loco, can I help you?
And you say dark menu please. Okay. Then another voice comes on and it says
[spooky voice] how can I help you?
And you say I’d like to get an arm please.
[creepy voice] Oh, would you like to super-size that today? We have a special.
I’m sure you do. Okay, what is it?
[creepy voice] Well, for an $1.45 you can also get the scapula.
Turn around. Right here, the scapula makes excellent soup.
Okay, that’s fine.
[creepy voice] What else can we get for you?
I’d like to get a leg.
[creepy voice] Oh, would you like to super-size that, please? How much? [creepy voice] $4.95. It’s
$4.95?! That whole leg is only $3.
[creepy voice] Oh yes, but we also throw in the poh-poh. You can feed your whole neighborhood.
Okay, throw it in too.
That’s where the mystery is going to come. You don’t just have to draw the arm. We
get to actually group it. You see? And we combine it together. Okay? So now turn back
around. So that’s the first thing. We’re going to start grouping our figures. They’re
not just an arm. Not just a leg. I’m giving you all the information right now, and then
I’m going to demo it for you over long, vast periods of time. It’s a technical camera
thing. You’re used to that because you’re a model. I am too because the paparazzi follows
me around all the time. You want to know why they follow me around all the time? I have
the perfect male body. Yeah, they like to see it.
Okay, getting back to business here. So now we start thinking we’re going the—actually
we call it the Jeffrey Dahmer or the Hannibal the Cannibal training manual and cookbook.
You don’t just get the arm. Supersize. Go for the pecs. Start grouping them together.
Well, move your arms around. Things are moving. See that? Bring your leg up and down. See
that? Start moving up and down. See? It all groups together. So that’s one of the first
things we want to be thinking about. So we’re going on down with our rhythm. We’re doing
down with our center line, and then we go across. We’re going nipples which will give
us going across. Usually everybody has at least one or two. Then the sternum, the navel.
Then we have these areas here. These are called the iliac crests. These are your pelvic bones.
This is what they look like when somebody hasn’t had enough cheeseburgers. Right here.
That’s your iliac crest. This is called your anterior iliac crest. If you turn sideways,
right there, touch this part; that’s your posterior iliac crest right there. And that’s
right here on the side. So your anterior and posterior iliac crests. Those are your landmarks
right there. Go around to the back. Not a lot of landmarks on the back. Okay, we’re
going to go from the back of the school, 7th vertebra right here. It kind of stands out,
you know, if they have any kind of hair at all.
down the midline. Call it the medial, the midline. Then you have these two dots over
here. These are your sacrum. People like to use these for artist’s work. You know, they
paint or whatever. But you’ll actually find as we start working that these dots show us
our weight, you know, where our weight is. You’ll figure that out, okay. Then you come
down to the coccyx which is a tail, and then we come down to our gluteal area. That’s
really, really important. Let’s turn back to the front and say hi to everybody. Say hey.
See? She’s real. So we want to get the brain going. Let’s get more into some of the technical
stuff. The weight is so important. We’re all fighting gravity. Without gravity we have
issues. We’re floating around. You know, full industries go away. You ever work for
Victoria’s Secret? Model for them?
No? I have. What I found is without gravity modeling the Victoria’s Secret push-up bra
now becomes the push down bra because things are kind of floating problem. You’d have
a problem, like whoa. So we’re all dealing with gravity. We’re always fighting gravity.
So right now you have your weight on both legs. Her shoulders are straight and her hips
are straight. Do you guys have that? Now put your weight on that leg. Just kind of—you’re
at the movie theater and you’re going, ugh, I can’t believe I’m waiting that long.
So now look, everybody, this hip is high and this hip is low. Now we’re going to do the
law of opposites. We’ve been talking about through all the fundamental videos. Look at
her shoulders. Now to find that also look at her nose. Follow the nose. The nose knows
where the weight is. See that? The nose goes straight down.
Now some people will say, I get these professors coming in my classroom and they go why do
you say follow the nose when it’s the pit of the neck? Very simple. The pit of the neck
doesn’t rhyme with nose. You can’t say follow the pit of the neck. The pit of the
neck knows. That doesn’t make sense. If it doesn’t rhyme we’re not going to do
it. Okay, so follow the nose. The nose knows where the weight is. Now shift to the other
side. Oh, there’s the nose over that leg. Hip is high, hip is low, shoulders down. Could
you lift that leg up if you had to? Oh, amazing. So sometimes you have to ask the model that
question. Where are you going? Can you lift that? Where does it hurt? If we are leaning
on something, if you lean on this a little bit, just fake like you’re leaning over…
more, more, more. Yeah, just lean. Yeah, put both hands on there and lean like you’re—there
you go. If you look her nose is going where the weight is.
So it’s really important especially when you’re animating. A lot of times—okay,
you can lean. That’s a nice pose. A lot of times you copy the model but it’s just
not that clear. You have to kind of push it. So now we get to the big question. How do
you push the model? Now we go to the motivator.
So when you’re modeling do you push the pose?
Tiffany: We kind of just fall into it.
Show me, like how? Okay. So right now this would be her motivator. Primary action. Secondary
action. A lot of times when I was doing ballet. I was a classic ballet dancer. Not really,
but it was fun. I would pretend like I had a string attached to my chest. Oh I used to
love it. The audience would go crazy. Primary action. That’s where they come up. Oh yeah.
Look what happened to my arms. Back, see. So we have primary action which is our motivator.
There was a restaurant in Hollywood one day. The waiter walks up and he says can I get
you anything else? We said no we’re fine. As he left he went like this.
What was the motivator?
Me. Yeah, cause I told him I didn’t want anything. It was his eyebrow. His eyebrow
was the motivator. It was pretty wild. He would go that way. So we want to be thinking
about who, what, why, and how. Who is our model? The motivators and how it moves, how
they move. Okay, it’s real important. Find the weight. If we turn to the back to find
the weight it’s hard to see your nose when you’re pointing to the back. If you can
see her nose from the back dial this phone number. It’s call 911. It’s real important
and do it fast. So we don’t see the nose so I have, I have daughters. No sons. If you
have sons you go to the mall, whatever. But with daughters what do they do in the mall?
They go shopping. Yeah? Have you ever done that?
Yeah, go shopping at the mall. They shop for clothes. Do you know what I shop for? This.
I shop for this. I search the four corners of the mall for the gluteal band. Mine stopped
working about 30 years ago. But yours is doing fine. So right here we have the poh-poh, and
then we have the gluteal band. It’s this little bump right here. Now, if you notice
right now her weight is on both legs and both gluteal bands are straight. Now shift your
weight to the side. Boom. Straight line, curved line. If you see that straight line bring
that shoulder down. But what if the model didn’t do that? Now let’s do this: Keep
that leg where it’s at. Now take this shoulder and bring this down. Does she look natural?
Turn around to the front. Do the same thing. It’s hard to do it. You see this?
Now this we want to go the same way. Stand straight up, put your weight on this leg.
Okay, this is going to bring this and bring that one down. See that, she doesn’t look
natural. Now bring this one down. Now she’s looking pretty cool. See how it works? If
have my weight on his leg, right—you gotta admit I’m pretty cool, right? When I nod
my head up and down I’m even cooler. Watch, see? That drives women crazy. I just literally
go to Pretzel Time. I don’t even have to stand in line. I just go ohh. They melt. It’s great.
Now let’s try it this way. I don’t even know what to do with my hands. See how it
works. So we want to make sure we have that counterbalance. We call that follow the gluteal
band. So this woman actually comes up to me at my class and she says I just told my boyfriend
what you did to that poor woman at the airport. I was shocked. It was a joke. So we have to
make sure that we’re clear and that we understand that this class is scripted and it’s rehearsed,
and it’s been going on for a really long time. There’s a lot of it. We’re going
to get into a lot of stuff which remind me of—we’ll get into that later.
Movement is really important, don’t you think?
Tiffany: I do.
Well, as a model. This reminds me of an almost true story. You guys want to hear an almost
true story that never really happened? Might as well. So I’m walking home from work,
and I hear this swirling voice, and it’s swirling. I hear help me. So I go around the
corner and I see a burning building. It’s ablaze. Normally it’d be burning, but this
one is ablaze. That’s like really burning. We’ve got to set the stage. It’s a two-story
building, and on the second story is a balcony. And on the balcony is a woman. Oh my gosh!
She’s going help me. So I gallantly run up to her like this because that’s how gallant
people run. I look up to her and I say—cause it’s like really ablaze, I mean she’s
just like really in trouble. Now we got to remember, we’ve got to set the stage. There
is always a backstory. There is always a backstory. The balcony is this tall. Do you guys all
And I run up to her like this and I say because I’m gallant, jump, my Fair Lady!
For I will catch you. Right? Isn’t that the right thing to do?
Tiffany: It sounds fine.
And she says are you a fireman? I said no, I’m an animator.
But what the heck, jump anyways, right?
Tiffany: It’s your only chance.
Yeah. She’s gonna burn up. So now she’s standing still. So everything at rest is going
to stay at rest until acted upon by an outside force. Do you think somebody could push her?
Well, if somebody is gonna push her they would save her, right?
So anything at rest stays at rest until acted upon by an outside force. But now she is going
to jump. She ducks down. Right? Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Do you play golf?
Tiffany: Tennis. Close enough?
It’s all sports to me and I don’t do any of it. Golf freaks me out. It’s proof that
men are dogs. Right? If you throw a ball will the dog go chase it?
Tiffany: I do believe so.
Yeah, what do guys do when people, when they play golf?
Tiffany: They chase the ball.
They hit the ball. Hit the ball, hit the ball. Chase the ball, chase the ball. But when they
hit the ball the go like that. When they want to hit the ball far they go way up. So every
action will have an equal and opposite reaction. So this lady, and then they chase the ball.
This lady then has to duck down to jump forward. Got it? So she disappears. Remember, I haven’t
seen her from this down. All of a sudden she’s in the air and she’s coming toward me. You
know what is said? I said this. I said, big lady. Like seriously, big lady, and she’s
getting closer. No, I’m serious. This was a big lady. I didn’t see her. If I knew
she was that big you know where I would have been?
Tiffany: Still walking around that corner?
Yeah, right. This is a big lady. Like, BIG, LADY. And she’s coming toward me. Big lady!
I figure she’s in motion and everything in motion stays in motion. I jumped out of
the way and wham! She hits the ground, acted upon by the outside force, the ground.
Amazing right? Well, about this time there’s a crowd that gathers. I walked up to the crowd, and
you know what I said to the crowd? I said you know what’s interesting, crowd? That’s
what I call them because they’re a crowd. If I knew their name I would have said Joanie,
Susie. But they were a crowd. I said it’s interesting. Her mass is the same but her
shape has changed. And that’s everything you need to know about animation.
Oh you don’t want to be an animator, huh? You don’t want to be an animator. You want
to draw Alvin? How about we do a portrait? Alvin. Hey Alvin, there you go. We animate
to give life to. I don’t care if you’re a sculptor, if you’re illustrator, to give
life to. Now let me tell you how to do it. You can use any variation of. I’m going
to look at my model. The first thing I’m going to ask is going to—most people what
they do is they go model, eye, hand, paper. Right? Sounds logical. We’re not going to
do that. We’re going to say model, eye, brain, hand, paper. Big difference.
When it gets to the brain we’re going to attach questions. The first question will
be female, right? See, I’m doing pretty good. Homo sapien. Okay, so we’ve got that
Weight, which leg. Balance, proportion. Who, what, why and how? Motivator. That is the
definition of gesture. Then on top of that I’m not even going to look at you, and I’m
going to put down a hieroglyphic. The gesture when I put that down I can do any way I want.
I can scribble it. I can use a chamois. I can do anything I want. I’m capturing your
electricity, and you have a lot of it. I'm capturing that personality.
You know you walk down the street and there is
one person that you want to talk to. There are other people going, wait a second, you’re
not going near them, right? You ever have that voice in your head? You walk down the
street and it doesn’t feel right. I hope so. You’ve had that before, right? I hope
so. That’s gesture. Isn’t that weird? That voice in your head, that feeling you
get; that’s gesture. How do you put it down? It’s personal. So for me to tell you how
to put a gesture down, that’s personal. Then what you do is on top of that you put
your hieroglyphic. It’s your hieroglyphic. Your hieroglyphic might be three of her. Your
hieroglyphic might be somebody this wide. It doesn’t matter. It’s your hieroglyphic.
It’s a figure that you can draw out of your head in any position at any time. How do you
do it? You trace. You get master drawings. You get models and you trace them over and
over and over again. They say that’s cheating, right? You think that’s cheating? He’s
turned away it doesn’t matter.
Tiffany: He’s not even listening.
He’s not even listening. Talk to the hand. Is that cheating? Well, let’s talk about
Rubens. Rubens used to trace Michelangelo’s drawings. In the studio when we wanted to
teach people how to draw the cartoon characters we would give the model sheets and make the
trace them and trace the process. Then you get that karate kid type of a feel where you
understand. So the way you get your hieroglyphic is that you trace it. You want to get it in
any position. Then you put it down. Then you look at the model and make the subtle changes.
That’s how we do figure drawing. And we apply it to everything.
So let me draw for you guys and show you actually how to do it. Everybody thank Tiffany because
she’s fantastic. Okay? Give her a hand.
draw a straight line. This will be the nose. This will be the foot. Make sure the nose
and the foot line up. What you can do now is everything else doesn’t line up on that line...
and you’ll have a drawing that is never stiff. Just a little trick. Now let’s
draw our model. A lot of times people say this is how to do it. I tell you, it doesn’t
always work. It just doesn’t always work. So what we want to do is just get the information
down. Don’t care. If you’re working in a studio and you’re looking at the animators
you just have to get that information down.
If you’re a fine artist, again, you just want to get that information down.
The key is weight, balance, and proportion. That’s what we’re looking for. End of story.
Then you stop and measure head to pubic arch, pubic arch to bottom of the foot.
If that’s off don’t go any further. So this is a lay-in. Sometimes people will say to
me, well, you’re just scribbling. Well yeah, but no. It’s an educated scribble. Watch.
Top of the head, epicranius. Nasal bone. Orbicularis oris. Sternocleidomastoid muscle. Sternum.
Thoracic arch. Chest. Sternal obliques. Anterior iliac crest. Navel. Rectus abdominis to the
top of the legs. The adductors and abductors to the patella, gastrocnemius. Come back here.
Same thing towards cross-contour. Back, cross-contour. Arm is going back. Arm is coming toward.
Arm is coming towards, coming towards. I’m done. I can come back in a year and finish that
drawing. So you’ll find as you grow with your knowledge your scribbles become more
knowledgeable. Everybody got that? It’s real important.
So here it looks like a scribble, and it is. If you’re having trouble you can say, look,
here’s the head. If you want to push it then you start pushing the head this way.
Bring out the rib cage this way.
Bring out the pelvis this way and push it. If you’re
working on a computer you can work in layers. If you’re working on paper you can work
with different mediums. You look at the master drawings and they’re all red. The reason
why is that they would do the drawing and then they would rub it. Make sure this doesn’t…They’d
rub it back. Then they would come back and do some more. Then they would rub it back
and do some more because they worked with the Conté. Once they got what
they wanted then they would come back in with ink. Let’s take the pose again. Now they
would come back in with ink and start finishing the drawing. Then once the ink part was done
then they rub off the Conté and everybody thought they were geniuses.
In the old animation days we would use non-photo pencils. Rough everything out just like the
masters did. Then when we got we wanted we put a black line on there.
Then they would Xerox the drawing. The non-photo would fall away and you have this beautiful drawing.
That’s what everybody sees. They think that you do just this finished line drawing. No.
There are a lot of different versions before that.
That’s where the trouble comes in.
See how that works? I can change this pose. Bring the arm this way.
Then I can go law of opposites. See if this is going this way she’s already doing that. Let’s say, we’ll
bring it down. Tell the story.
See how that works? There isn’t one way to do it. Watch.
So in this case we just want to get that action. Let’s see what we got. She’s going, it
looks like she’s going this way.
It’s just an easier way to get the information on the paper.
High, low. So now there’s my story.
Now, there are some tools we need to use.
As we talked about in the fundamentals this is Cal-State cool. This is your rhythm. This
will keep the drawing moving. It’s like a ping-pong, like a pinball machine. Moves
the eye through. You want to stop the eye? You put it straight. If you want to go from
here to another area you use the wave. These will be your tools. So now we have our drawing.
First thing we’re going to look for, well, the back view.
We’ll go to the gluteal band right there.
Look for the units. Rib cage. The distance between the rib cage and the
pelvis is one fist, but here it’s compressing so we’re going to go this way.
Check your proportions. If you guys are drivers how often do you check your rearview mirror? I’m hoping
a lot. That’s how often you check your proportions when you’re drawing. Once the proportions
go bad it’s really hard to get them back. You want to check your proportions a lot.
Going back, going back. Going away. Going away. So that goes back to the
tools that we’re using with our arrows and towards. So now, a lot of times I’ll put
an arrow in there. If you close at my drawings you’ll actually see an arrow in the drawing.
Especially if I’m doing commercial work because you never know
when you’re going to get called away.
Head is going forward, definitely put an arrow.
There is my hieroglyphic.
What if Tiffany ate those cheeseburgers? Say you weigh, I’m not going to say, but she
doesn’t weigh much. But Tiffany is my hieroglyphic. That means I always start with Tiffany no
matter what. But let’s say we have a fuller figured model, Rubenesque.
I’m still putting in my landmarks...
but I can go ahead and change Tiffany to be more of a Rubens model.
Change the hieroglyphic to be the model. We have a little saying. If you don’t own your drawing
you’re going to get owned. Remember when they used to use that term. You’re owned,
dude. You got owned. You have to own your drawing, or you’re going to be owned. Okay?
Very important. The lay-in, who cares.
Head, shoulder, shoulder, back. It’s going
to be sacrum, hip, hip, knee, knee, ankle,
elbow, elbow. That’s a lay-in. Okay, Tiffany, stop posing. Now we’ll go ahead and on top
of this we will put in the hieroglyphic.
That’s a lay-in. So we’re now going to blow everybody
their way. Their way is an ego way. Your way. What works for you?
As long as you have weight-balanced
proportion; who, what, why, how; and motivator you’re golden. As long as you can tell a
story. As long as you can make a five-year-old cry. You know you’re doing well when you’re
drawings can make a five-year-old cry. Okay.
Let’s move on to some design and structure.
some just basic fundamentals, you guys. You’re going to see the serious side of me. Really
fast. It’s not that hard. Doing the same pose. Just think your way through it. Here’s
the head. That’s going this way. Let’s go this way. There is the law of opposites,
law of opposites coming on down. It’s just story. The key is going to be the proportions.
Man, without that you’re in trouble. You know I really think what it comes down to
is saying let me show you the secrets. Let me show you. It’s not about me. It’s about
you. There’s a lay-in. Next step, pit of the neck. And walk. Walk on the figure.
Let me tell you a story that really didn’t happen. One of the things I like to do—I’m
at the airport and I’m drawing. I want to measure. I’m drawing this woman across the
way and I want to get the proportions right. As soon as you get the head down to the pit
of the neck that’s your first landmark. I wanted to get it right so I walked up to
the gal, and she seemed very nice. I put my finger on the pit of her neck. She was surprised.
I said, hey, I do this for a living. I went back to my drawing and felt that pit of the
neck. The trick is that you feel it. You’re actually drawing on the model on your paper.
The next landmark as we know is the sternum. So I walked back to the same woman. I put
my finger back on the pit of her neck. Always going back. I brought my hand very slow between
her breasts and felt the sternum. I’ve never seen a woman’s eyes get so wide. But I do
it for a living. I came back to my drawing, felt my way down that sternum which is hard.
It’s hard. It’s a tough area. I felt that sternum. I had to continue with my proportions.
Feel my way. I went back to the woman. About this time she was getting a little irritated.
I put my finger back to the pit of her neck down between the breasts and into the sternum
and down to the navel. I want to get a nice little feel, make sure I got it just right.
Came back to drawing, back to the pit of the neck, worked my way down the sternum, on my
way down, and then literally brought my pencil into the navel and felt it. Next proportion.
I went back to the woman. About this time her boyfriend is coming up and he is not happy.
I go, why sir? I do this for a living. Went back to the pit of the neck, down the sternum
to the navel. By the time I got to the pubic arch I got arrested. But hey, it’s a part
of work, right? That’s what we do. Pit of the neck, sternum. Now, if you notice this
is pretty hard. This is a harder line. You turn your pencil. Turn in, up, down, pubic arch.
Okay, from her here we can go up to that box shape and back.
There’s your lay-in for your pelvis area.
Now, coming back up here, one fist difference is going to be the rib cage. For the rib cage
I’m going to give you a little trick. Let’s go flat on the front, curve on the back.
Does it work all the time? No. But it’s a good place to start. So now we’ll come over here.
Flat, curve, straight, corner, across.
We're starting to head into hieroglyphic country now.
The neck right here, I like to think of the rib cage as tying behind the neck.
Cylinder coming towards. There we go. Then the head will come here.
Check your proportions.
See, my navel is high. So we’ll come in here. Bring the navel here. You’re never
too good to check your proportions. There we go.
Now, another real important part:
Go from the pit of the neck out, and that’s where the arm starts. A lot of the books that
I see will connect the arm to the actual rib cage. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
It's going to stiffen your drawing.
Come out this way. When we get into the anatomy you’ll see why. Bring the arm out here.
See? Do the same thing here. Let them float. We don’t do a lot of rules, but I’m
going to give you one that will help you. Do not connect the extremities to the torso.
Let them float. For the leg, this is the great trochanter here. This is that hip bone. If
you stand up—everybody at home, stand up. Now put your leg on a chair. Take a look and
see where the creases are if you’re wearing pants. If you’re not wearing pants, put
some pants on. Actually, everybody put some pants on. Take a look and you’ll see where
those lines are in your pants. They’re here. They’re not up here. They’re here. Start
the leg and the bottom of the box all the way down here. Check your proportions.
Give your extremities a chance to move. Do not connect the joints. Leave them open.
I gave a lecture once in the college class. I wasn’t thinking. It was called How to Hide a Joint
on a Human Body. I stopped and went, oh no. When I looked behind me I’ve never seen
a class so interested in my life. It was really funny. They’re all looking. How do you hide
a joint on a human body. Like no, no, no. Different joint.
Here we go. Remember guys, real artists don’t do drugs. Real artists don’t drink. Creativity
comes from intelligence. If you’re going to survive as an artist you’ve got to be
on. You can’t miss deadlines so you need to have your wits about you. If you want to
get a rush have a dark chocolate Milky Way. Alright, so we’re going to go this way.
There you go.
The rest of it you’re just going to connect with rubber bands and go law of opposites.
Law of opposites is Cal-State cool. That’s all. Here we go. Done.
Boy I wish it was harder.
I wish it was that hard. Actually, let’s make it harder. Why don’t we do this? Why
don’t you do it this way and make it easy. Tell everybody else it’s harder? Then shadows—sorry,
it’s on the side of that box shape.
Let’s talk about the 80/20 rule.
Think about it for a second. Look in your closet. I bet you wear 80% of your clothes 20% of your time,
but 20% of your clothes I’ll bet you’re wearing 80% of the time. Think of your favorite
restaurant. I bet you on that menu you eat 20% of the food 80% of the time. It’s called
Pareto’s rule. I think it’s Pareto. It’s his rule. It’s the 80/20. In business you
get 80% of your work from 20% of your clients, 20% of the work from 80% of your clients.
How do we apply that to drawing? Well, you’re going to put 80% of your time doing 20% of
the work. Get it right. Then you’re going to finish it fast. I’m a little tired. It’s
been a long day. I’m not good with numbers. Take your time. Get that lay-in right. If
you have to go back in and fix it, it’s going to look worked. It’s not going to
be fresh. Take your time. Get the weight. Get the balance. Get the proportions. Know
your story. Know what you’re saying. Get it down, wrap around. Finish it in no time.
Okay, let me show you how to do foreshortening. Everybody has trouble with foreshortening.
This is coming towards me. This is the same thing I already showed you. This is going
away from me. Thank you. That’s foreshortening. We’ll see you around. It’s really simple.
Let’s see, we have three different lay-ins, so I’m going to show you those real quick.
We already did the first lay-in which is a standing pose. The next one, I call it the
crumpled up pose. So here’s the head. Growing out of the head—when does a hand grow out
of your chin. The answer? When it does. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to put
my wrist here. Here’s the arm. Now it’s growing out of the chin. When does your shoulder
grow out of a neck? When it does. See? When does a knee grow out of your hand? Let’s
see if I don’t mess up on this one. When it does. Let’s see, I’m going to do an
arm growing out of your cheek, and I’m going to do another arm growing out of your head
and a hand growing out of your forehead. I’m going to draw a hip growing out of your leg.
I’m going to draw a rib cage growing out of your leg. You can draw a hip growing out
of your ankle. I’m going to draw a leg growing out of that ankle.
you do that out of your head? Yeah, we just did. We gave our model a break. See how it
works? That’s lay-in number two. Then you have to come back in, and you have to also,
it always has to have all of the three. Then you come back in with your proportions.
See how that works?
The other one—this is kind of sad. You know you’re driving down the street and this
little tiny animal runs out in the middle. I think they do it on purpose. I luckily have
never hit one. But they run in front and they get hit by a car. Oh my God, this little squirrel
just got hit by a car. So you get out and the squirrel is just flat. It’s just totally
flat. But you think I gotta do CPR. Maybe I can help the squirrel. So you take the straw
out of your Frappuccino cup because that’s what you have in your car because you can’t
drive without a Frappuccino cup. You put the straw in the squirrel’s mouth and you blow.
The tail goes up. So you go to the tail and the arm goes up. It’s like there’s nowhere
to go. It’s flat. Then you jump out of the way because another car is coming. Another
squirrel comes down, and it goes to help its friend, and it gets run over. Now you got
two flat squirrels. Now you’re putting the straw in one squirrel and the other one is
going up, and you’ve got these flat squirrels and it’s really horrible. It’s just this
nightmare. You realize once the squirrel is flat you can’t make it round. You can’t
bring it back to being solid. So when you’re doing reclining figures the secret is don’t
flatten them out. We okay? Don’t flatten them out. Keep them solid.
So when you’re doing a figure start with just—you can rough it in if you want. You
want to go right to the solid shapes. This is in front of this. I can do another box
this way. And I can do another box let’s say this way. Then going back. Then I can
do this box. We’ll go up. Now we’ll go this way. Then this arm comes towards, and
then this arm will come towards. What happens is it stays solid. Then you come back in and
you put in the rhythms. They all need the same ingredients. But you can put them in
in different orders. Again, you don’t have the police knocking on your door saying did
you do that lay-in the right way? But this helps you out. Okay? So foreshortening is
actually very simple. It’s just a shape in front of a shape. This is foreshortening.
A circle, circle, circle. There’s your foreshortening with cross contours.
Or it’s shapes in front of shapes. You can put a circle in front of a box in front of a cylinder, and that’s
your foreshortening. The foreshortening drawings are actually simpler than the drawings where
the figure is standing straight up. You just measure what’s coming out of what. This
box shape coming out of a cylinder shape. Now the question is can you do this out of
your head? Yeah. How do you learn it? Trace. Don’t be afraid to do a bad drawing. I’m
doing this on purpose because I want you to practice it this way.
So those are your basic fundamentals of figure drawing. Now what we’re going to do is we’re
going to take each part and break it down one piece at a time and show you how to draw
each piece. Lay-in plus an arm. Lay-in plus a leg. Lay-in plus, plus, plus. Okay. We’re
done. You’ll be fun. A great documentary on the military, I think it was called Stripes.
Bill Murray was in there, and they were saying “right, left, right, left,” and you know
what Bill Murray said? Hey! I’m walking. Same thing. Hey! I’m drawing. Hey! Drawing
is no longer a problem. Hey! Now drawing is just a tool to do what I want to do, which
is to tell stories, to use my art for a reason.
Real fast, as artists we have a lot of opportunity to do things. We can do a lot of good with
our art. We can kids feel happy. We can document. We can do portraits. We can do a lot. I believe
that a certain amount of artwork every year should go to that. Then the rest of it, of
course, people won’t respect it unless they pay for it. But the drawing is a tool. It’s
not the end. It’s a tool. It’s what you use. Drawing is the backbone to everything.
So we need to learn the drawing.
I want to be able to put the full figure on here. What we’re going to be dealing with
her is we just want to get the gesture down. So here is her, here’s the head. If I have
a straight line. Just keep everything off that line. So if the head is going this way
I can do that. Then the neck. So I’ll do the scribble first. So here is the arm coming
this way into the rib cage coming off this way. Then the pelvis is going this way. You
can see the model. She is right here obviously. You can see her pelvis going back. She’s
going way back, so we’re going to bring her forward. That’s why we do the scribbles
so that we can make these changes. She’s really pushing forward.
It’s one head, two, three, four. We have our leg here down to our knee. Foot, back,
back, arm, hand. See that? That’s going to be our gesture. What you’re going to
think about with this, and that’s going to be right here, are these units. If this
is her rib cage here, kind of like a cylinder box. You get to one side wrap it around. Don’t
be afraid to wrap around. Then think of the pelvis going back. Now the landmarks are really
important everybody. You’ll get used to them. They’ll become like second nature to you.
So you get these landmarks. Take a look at them. We have a box here. It’s the iliac
crest. We have a box over here. It’s the front plane of the box. That’s your iliac
crest. It kind of floats over. That’s your pelvic bones right there. Then it comes back
to what’s called the posterior iliac crest. We don’t want to get too heavy with anatomy
on this part. It’s just called landmarks. So right here would be your pelvic bones,
your belly button, and the pubic arch, which is your crotch area. So those are landmarks.
Another one is right here. Rib cage, rib cage. See? Females just have narrow rib cages. That’s
all. If you look at the model take a look at her. She has a narrow rib cage. She’s
perfect. She is absolutely perfect. She has the perfect figure. That’s what you want
to be looking for. We come this way. We come in. And there you go.
The neck is going to go forward. Then you have the head. It just fits right on top of
the neck. We’re going to do a very long, several week—it’ll be a lot of hours—figure
drawing class. This is just going to get you started. This landmark here comes around.
Again, see what happens. We get this really pretty side plane there. You can see it right
on her if you look at her. Look everybody; see right here? It’s right about here. You
have that seam that’s coming down. It’s perfect. Falls right on top. It comes right
here and it goes. If you look there is her leotard. It falls right on top. That’s why
they call it the leotard line. Then look right here. There’s the side plane where the bathing
suit comes around right here.
Okay, so look at here. There is where the arm is fitting in right here. Then we’re
going to float the arm way out here. We’ll just stop right there so you can see the shoulder.
Just go ahead and combine it. Just make it touch. So if we look over here which you’ll
see here’s the top, we’re going to float the arm away. Keep everything away. Look at
her. She’s right here. Look at the way the arm is floating. But if you look over here.
The arm is connected with these Cal-State cools, and the Cal-State cools are anatomy.
See that? It’s really fun. Then we have a box shape here, which is also a Cal-State
cool. That’s going to come on down into the breast area right here. Isn’t that fun
though? Look at this. We’re not even worrying about the anatomy, and we have anatomy. Rib
cage comes around this way. Then the nipple will be right there.
Look, look, look. Here’s her leotard coming right about here. It’s perfect. So I’m
going to talk to the parents because obviously you’re going to have kids coming to you
saying I want to learn this. I need to learn this. I’m going to all these different websites
that are art-related websites, Deviant Art, all these different areas. All the kids are
blogging and talking. They’re usually pretty safe. I’ve got students who are on there.
They’re going to say Mom and Dad, I need to learn figure drawing. And then the parents
panic. Oh no, my kids are going to become sexual deviants because they’re doing naked—no,
just the opposite. It is just the opposite. We’ve got lots of kids doing figure drawing
at my school. We’ve had them as young as 10 years old drawing from the naked model.
Here we’re proving to you that you don’t need a naked model. It’s just the opposite
with the kids. They do not become these sexual maniacs and everything. They learn to respect
the human figure for what it is which is absolutely beautiful. And it fits.
Why do we need figure drawing? Well, it’s a good question. Why does the artist? Because
we’re all sexually depraved people? No, no, no. Just the opposite. It’s a constant.
The human figure has everything that you need. It’s the most difficult thing there is to
draw. Look at how that fits. It just fits right inside. It is the most difficult thing
to draw, and no matter where you are in the world. You’re all over the place watching
this. Hello, welcome to our site. No matter where you are in the world the figure is consistent.
We are all homo sapiens. We are all the same. That’s what your kids are going to learn.
But look at this. We’re using a model in a bathing suit, and it’s a conservative
bathing suit. If you were to go to a mall and walk through a mall and look inside the
windows you will see mannequins in far more provocative outfits than we’re using right
now. This is one piece, very high-top conservative bathing suit, and we are learning everything
we need to know, and it’s wonderful. Okay, so that’s the key. It is not—and I repeat—it
is not a sexual thing. You’ll find that most of your art students are very conservative.
So you see how this is fitting together. Rib cage, pelvis. The extremities, they are outside.
Now this line, this leotard line right here. This is your dividing line.
This is all torso.
This is your upper extremities,
otherwise known as your arms. These are lower extremities, otherwise known as your legs.
Right here is where your legs start. This is all connective area. Now, you’re experiencing
a little different style of teaching, where I’m using a downshooter. It’s just personal.
Not every teacher works this way. I do because I’m typically working at a desk. When I
teach at the universities I’m demo’ing at desks or I’m using downshooters. It doesn’t
matter. Whatever you like. For me this works. Look at how this fits. We’re not talking
anatomy. We’re just talking shapes. See that? There is a box shape, and you can see
it right there on the model. Look at her knee. See that? This leg is going pretty straight
so go like this. But this leg is going back. So we’ll go like this. Use those box shapes.
They really help. Then this goes back like this.
Okay, so let’s move over here and continue with our little demo part. So here is, we’re
all in this scene. Here’s the face and we continue with the scribble. The scribble is
for action. What we’re going to do is continue to add to the drawing, keeping that nice,
loose scribble shape. Scribble is emotion. I’m looking at the model right now. If you
look over here on the side you’ll see that there is kind of a straight here. Now I can
put in a nice straight line here for design. Take me down the rib cage. Then walk over.
Walking down, pit of the neck to the sternum into the belly button, navel,
and down to the pubic arch, which is midway.
Find the box shape. Box shape, box shape. Those are your side planes.
If you look, look really close at the bathing suit and you’ll see
that right here on the model it’s coming in. So really subtle. Then we transition and
we get this nice straight curve for the back. Then look, right here there is your leotard,
your bathing suit. It really gives you form. But this is not where the leg connects. The
leg is going to connect down here. Straight line, straight. These are box shapes here.
This is higher. See? She has a weight on that leg. See the chest coming through here.
Bathing suit, breast. Nipples will give you the front plane.
Just put in what you consider her face to be.
Now this is going to connect right here and here.
Here is your cylinder connecting right here. Not up here.
Put in what you consider to be a leg shape.
You have my textbooks which will be available through our school.
You just trace the books. This leg is going back.
That means these lines are in front. It goes like that. That will push your leg back.
See that? It’s really, really important.
Here we wrap over—there’s your foot. Plane.
Leg coming back. Two butt cheeks are better than one. This is one butt cheek here. We
have another one back here. I’m going to put in a straight line here. Now remember,
we’re going to get into the anatomy later. Right now I just want to think about the shapes.
This one is going pretty straight. So it’ll go like that. If you look back at the fundamentals
videos you’re going to see how important it is to learn the three shapes, and then
you just apply it. Looking down. There it is. Always be working the entire drawing.
I think that’s an area to really stop, listen. Listen, listen, listen: You only work so much
in this area. Then you come back and work the whole drawing.
We’ve got this arm. But you want to be thinking that this arm is going back and then forward
here. So this is the scribble lay-in, and then you build out of it. So remember that
the scribble—look over here. It’s emotional. It’s got feeling. See, that’s your scribble.
So the scribble is for the action. Now let’s go ahead and put in some tone. Light is coming this way.
Look, want to see something cool? Look at the seam on the side of her bathing suit.
It’s right on your side plane right there.
Again, you’re doing your intro to figure drawing.
Do you have to know figure drawing? Yes, you do. It is an industry standard.
Is it sexual? No, it is not.
There was that Titanic movie. She says I want you to draw me but
with only my necklace on. Oh God, why are doing that? That’s not what we want people
to be thinking. We have enough problems as it is as artists. But in the movie As Good
As it Gets where the female is sitting on the side of the bathtub, and she’s got this
robe draped around her. They made her look like a Renaissance painting. The artist looks
at her and he had to draw her. That’s what figure drawing is because it has all the rhythms.
Artists love rhythms. They love shapes. That’s what figure drawing is, rhythm and shape.
Okay, so I’m going to do a little bit more with the scribble, a little bit faster so
we can get more of the finish in there. Okay, so let’s do a new pose.
You can go to the techniques and see how they’re done. We want to go ahead and just get in
there and really start feeling why we scribble. So I’m pulling these lines like she’s
wired, walking over, around, feel it going back. She’s got her weight on this leg.
Shoulders are down. Here is her nose.
The hands on the shoulder. Arm pushing out. That’s my lay-in.
Now what we do is we just add more information to this. We don’t really change anything.
It’s not like we’re going to shape. We’re just adding more shape into our scribble.
Got her hair up, texture. I have design here. What I’m going to do is I’m going to bring
this down into the shoulder, come around. Feel the back.
Pulling that in.
Hip is high.
Shoulder is low. This is called the scapula or your shoulder blade. Feel that.
Feel rhythms pulling around to the pelvis. All this will be seen and described in detail
in the figure drawing lessons. But right now I just want you to see how the three lay-ins
are done. See this hip is high; this is low. There is a straight line there at the gluteal band.
There we go. This butt cheek here is going to hang down a little. It doesn’t have the weight.
Now we’re going to push this out. See, it pushes out that way. That will be our motivator.
This leg is going through, and then this one is coming towards us. So you can
go back to the fundamentals and see that arrow shape coming towards us this way.
A little shadow happening here, here. Got the bathing suit coming around. Oh, lights
coming this way so the little shadow here, down. Push that back, bring this forward.
What I’m going to do is take some water and melt this.
This is a wash.
Here is her bathing suit.
So Moms and Dads, do the models have to be naked? No they don’t. Bathing
suits are fine. They can even wear jeans.
It’s funny, at my school the moms don’t
mind their sons drawing naked women. They don’t want their girls drawing naked men.
It’s really interesting. So we don’t have naked men. It’s real simple.
But we do have models that come in that are men who wear bathing suits or whatever.
It’s just as good. No problem.
Here’s the light side.
Okay. Let’s do a new pose.
Okay, so we’re going to put a foot here. This one will be fun because what we’re
going to do is draw from the foot out. That’s different. Yep. Here’s the foot. We’re
going to go this way. See? Then we come up. You really need to be able to draw the figure
from any angle starting anyway, you know, any which way.
That’s what makes this scribble lay-in so important.
There it is. See?
Then we start hitting our landmarks. The pit of the neck,
sternum, navel, pubic arch. She’s got her hand here coming up, shoulder.
Let's see, we’ve got the weight on this leg. So we’re going to go down, up, going back.
Rib cage poking out here.
Notice how these lines continue to Cal-State cool. Gotta get that flow.
I’m just putting shape over the wire or just adding to the wire, which would
be a much better way of looking at it. Always looking at the entire drawing.
See, our action.
There we go.
Her head is going back; it’s going this way.
And there we go.
That’s a scribble drawing.
It’s just information. It looks like we’re a little off the page right here. So we use
the scribble for actions. Pushing the pose.
The front going this way. Guide the viewer’s eye. See?
Alright, so that’s another one. Let’s move on to do a shape lay-in.
Okay, so let’s do that.
doing the shape—you guys see that? Your lay-in should be very light. It doesn’t
mean that you don’t do it with a nice whimsical, loose scribble. The scribble is really not
a scribble. It’s not like—we have little kids come to school. Teacher says don’t
scribble scrabble. Oh God, has your teacher ever been to a museum? So if we have any teachers
out there, mostly they’re kindergarten teachers. Look, I’m actually starting to think about
the rib cage already. Talking to the grammar school teachers, you know, the kindergarten
teachers. Don’t tell the kids don’t scribble-scrabble. Okay? You’re destroying them. I have to
be the one who gets them when you’re done. We have the kids at our school. The kids start
at our school very young. We cater to the kids. We have six and seven year olds at our
school. When you’re at our school and you’ve been there for a while—this is Sheldon’s
Art Academy—man, I’ve got 12 year olds teaching college. So when the college students
come out—okay, so that’s my lay-in. See it? Super, super shape. I’m using shape.
Still thinking about the scribble.
We teach the fundamentals to everybody. It doesn’t matter what age. We don’t have
a children’s curriculum. If you were to be in a Warner Brothers training program.
We don’t have a children’s curriculum, so if you were at Warner Brother’s training
program back in the day you’re getting the same training at our school when you’re
only seven. But it’s loving, it’s fun. Okay, it’s loving and fun, and that’s
what we’re looking for. The neck is coming back. Now we’re going to start thinking about these shapes.
So we’re going have the scapula, the shoulder. Notice how I draw
over like this. Pull that line in.
Feeling the rib cage pulling back this way.
See how these lines animate? They come down this way under the arm and arm shape.
Rib cage. Nice straight line. Always thinking about the total on the drawing.
Start indicating some white areas.
Looking for the planes, for the side lanes.
Okay, so I have that. This is going
to fit in. See right there on the model? See that line right there. This is drapery.
Anatomy and drapery are the same.
Chest area here.
Round. Over that scapula right there.
Really feel that rib cage pulling out.
We have a light area here. The light is falling on the planes. We’ll learn about that.
Right now we just want to get the shapes down. Remember, this is just an intro into figure drawing.
Feel the rib cage. Here’s the front. Here’s the box shape. That’s where it turns right there.
You can see it coming around here with that seam.
Here we go. There’s our transition area here.
Here is the bottom of the rib cage. This is the ab area here. See how these areas
fit? This comes this way, and they fit into each other. That’s where the drapery is
really helping us. This bathing suit is a heck of a tool. It’s really doing good for
us. This comes down. You want to feel down where it connects. You want to try to draw,
we call it drawing through. Here’s where I know if you’re copying. If you’re copying
the model we always can tell. It’s right here. If you were to draw this going straight
out, I’d say you’re probably copying. If we put a straight line and then bring the
leg out of it, now you’re structuring. That’s what’s important, that we understand that
you’re structuring. If you’re doing sequential drawing you have to
know how everything fits together.
The leg is fitting here. Here’s the box shape. It’s connecting way over here away from.
We’ll draw over…
I call this Cal-State cool CPR, where if I’m working down here then I’ll come up and draw,
start revisiting the figure, make sure I have that rhythm.
I’ll come in and start hitting and feeling the rhythm pulling.
Okay. Then this leg is going to come out.
It’s on the chair so a straight line here.
Move this this way.
Use the cross contours.
Wrap over. It’s going away from me. It’s going to go this way.
There you go. And then this leg is straight against this curve. Don’t
be frustrated if you don’t know all this. You have to learn it.
But we’re going to teach it to you.
This is actually coming towards me, So we go like this.
This is straight so we put a straight line.
Okay, so now what we’re going to do is look at the total. So we start back at the top.
Hairline, nose, mouth, hair. Then you’re constantly thinking about these rhythms, what
we call Cal-State cool. She’s got a hand coming this way. Oh, we’ll leave it out.
Sometimes when you have a hand that’s just kind of growing out of nowhere, I kind of
think of it as like the twin sister that never made it. Who’s that? That’s my twin sister.
What does she have to say? Not much, doesn’t have a mouth. She’s just a hand, just follows
me wherever I go. So I like to, sometimes I’ll leave it out. Get rid of it. Mother
loved you best because I was only born a hand.
I guess if you were born a mouth that would
be kind of weird if you were in different parts of the anatomy. Where would you put that?
I don’t want to know. Send us a letter. The face on the butt and call it a fart face or something.
I don't know. I work with too many kids.
Alright, so here’s your straight, curve. It’s kind of fun. But if you notice I’m
using shape more than I’m using the wire. That’s the important part. That’s why
we call it a shape lay-in. Alright? Let’s do more. Alright. This is fun. This is just
a regular ballpoint pen. It’s a fun one though. You’re going to wonder what it is.
It’s a Zebra pen. So we’re going to constantly be thinking. They actually have all three
when you’re doing these lay-ins. They have scribble, which is rhythm. They have shape.
It’s just what order you put them in. The question you have to ask yourself is when
does your knee grow out of your forehead. The answer is when it does. That’s why the
shape is so important. Now you can start fitting these in. When does your leg grow out of your
elbow? When it does? When does your leg grow out of your forearm? When it does. The figure
is not always just standing up.
Now, these are the easier ones, the poses to do. Students always think, no, I want them
standing up. The toughest is a Leonardo da Vinci with the arms straight out, which today
is used with the T-pose in your digital. I’m thinking rib cage shape here. Legs growing
here. Compression, compression, leg, which brings me to her hip. There we go. Here we go.
Leg, foot, foot. Then draw through to the other leg. There you go. There’s your lay-in.
So this is the lay-in part right here. Now we get to go in there and have some fun, really
get deep. I want to make sure you can see the drawing through the pen. The whole drawing
is not that big. If you look here’s my hand. How big do you make a drawing? Not too much
bigger than your hand. It’s always a good reference. Right here is the acromion process.
I always joke in class and say it’s what holds up my bra, and look it’s holding up
hers. So it’s a really nice little piece right here. It’s where your scapula and
your clavicle come together, but you don’t want to worry about that right now. You just
want to know it’s a bump. Here’s the arm. It’s coming this way. We can see the top
of the box shape. And it’s going away from us. We use an S-shape here. Box shape on the
bottom. If I have an S-shape here, and it’s complicated here let’s put a straight. Feel
where the shapes turn. We’re not talking anatomy now. We can use that later. Anatomy
only makes it better. We’re going to go straight. Have an indent curve here.
We call that concave. Turn.
You guys are probably at home going, whoa, what happened? He’s serious. Why is he serious?
What happened? The goofy thing? That’s an act. Those are my characters. One of my characters
that I do—I actually designed a character and I use his personality. I have never acted
out the character in front of the class where all the girls in the room didn’t get scared.
He is the creepiest guy you’d ever meet. He has no social graces and scary as hell.
It’s actually about four people that I’ve met. They’re not my friends, of course.
I put it all together along with some other characters into this one character. And it
just scares the heck out of the class. Really funny. So there are all these characters that
you use. That’s what we are. We’re animators. We’re animating characters. So you kind
of get wrapped up in them. So we’re going to have a lot of these characters, but just
know that they’re characters.
Now look, this is really fun because the bathing suit just wraps around and shows form. It’s
great. Again, parents that’s why we do figure drawing? Are you seeing it? Look how easy
you’re going to get into an art school you’re going to show figure drawing. That’s it.
That’s what they’re asking for. Take a look. They’re going to want so many figures,
so many head drawings. One of them wants a bicycle. What we do at our school is make
sure the bicycle is naked. So if there is any kind of bells or anything on the bicycle
we take it off and we call it figure bicycle drawing. No, not really. But it sounded it.
Alright, poking up here.
Look at this, it’s really helping. Wrapping around. Wrapping around.
Then the leg is coming this way. See? It’s fitting right inside. Probably the
best technique to draw with if you’re trying to learn to draw the figure is the ballpoint
pen. It really teaches you to control. If you notice for me it’s just flowing because
I sketch constantly, and I have lots of ballpoint pens that I use.
But I’m always drawing with a ballpoint pen.
We’ll show you how to draw hands. They’re real important. If you’re going to show
a drawing in a portfolio you have to have at least a hand and a foot or you’re going
to be in trouble. Most people can’t draw hands and feet so they hide them.
We’re going to wrap this around. This is a form machine. This shows the form. It’s a cross-contour.
Now, I’ll know if you’ve been copying or not because what I’m going to do is I’m
going to wrap this in this way. I’m going to put a straight. That’s design and that’s
going to show that you’ve studied with one of us.
I say us because we’re all kind of from the same school.
It’s kind of cool. We’re a very small community.
I just got an email or text from one of my students. He’s in Florida going to Ringling.
He said I just saw Vilppu at the grocery store. I guess Glenn is teaching at Ringling this week.
So it’s a real small world. This kid is one of my kids. I’m sure he’ll walk up to Glenn and say I’m one
of Sheldon’s kids, and then Glenn will give him a lollipop and all will be good. No, Glenn
will treat him fantastic because he’s one of my kids. It’s a rhythm chart.
You'll learn in the head drawing.
She’s got this knee growing right out of her forehead.
You know, when you have a knee that grows out of your forehead it makes walking really tough.
People stare at you in the shopping mall. Look mommy, there’s the woman with the knee
in her forehead. Don’t look, honey. We don’t just talk to forehead-knee woman.
Mommy, she’s nice. There we go.
Now, if you want you can have some fun. We have a texture in the hair. I can go ahead
and kind of take a walk with the white chalk and kind of work her rhythms together. See
how the shape lay-in helps.
Gets in the right spot. What I’m doing right now is just walking down.
That’s why Pretzel Spot is so important. The Pretzel Spot in the mall, that’s the
place where you can actually go there and touch the people waiting in line because they’re
not there to eat the pretzels. They’re just there to be admired. So do it, they like it.
You can start wrapping your arms around their beautiful contours. Then what happens is when
you draw you get the same thing.
Now, if by chance there is a place in your mall called Pretzel Spot don’t do it. I
tried to come up with a name that doesn’t exit. We used to use Pretzel Time, and then
we did a Google search, and there was a Pretzel Time. So oops.
I’m just kind of walking on down.
There we go. That’s our figure. If you want to put in more tones we can. Just keep building it out.
Just a sketch, but it’s a shape lay-in. They’re very powerful lay-in approaches.
You can mix and match these. Alright, let’s move on to the last lay-in.
Alright, this is your form lay-in. And if somebody’s lying on the ground and they’re
flat, and it’s hard to get them formed again. So we start with forms. That doesn’t mean
you can’t go in there and put in a scribble so you know where the space that’s she’s
occupying. But if you look at the scribble—you can barely see it—there’s no form there.
If you got to flat shape there is no form there. What we’re going to do is start with
these box shapes. They really work.
I got that. Go to the neck.
See that? It’s automatically 3D, and that’s the thing. You’re allowed
to mix and match these lay-ins, ladies and gentleman. You don’t have to just do one.
We don’t have the lay-in police walking around going, gasp, you’ve mixed your lay-ins.
Okay, look at that it’s solid. Here if I want to get the arm in the right spot I can
use a scribble to get where I want it to go. Come back and put in the shape and say here’s the box.
It starts out solid.
Okay and this is coming toward us, and then this is going away. The artist you
want to look at for this is Luca Cambiasi. Don’t worry about him contacting you because
he’s dead. He’s been dead for a really long time, like 500 years. I think his immediate
family is probably dead. I think they’re all dead. I think their favorite son is dead,
dead, dead. Our family is all dead. So you don’t have to worry about it.
Alright, here we go. I’ve got this box shape here coming this way, coming in. There you go.
Okay, so we go to the pit of the neck. We walk on down. Walking, walking down. Say
hi to the navel. Hi, navel. Come back up. Head on down to the pubic arch. Don’t spend
too much time on the pubic arch. You can spend a lifetime there. You’ve got to be really
careful. Come back up here. Feel where the leotard comes up.
This leg is coming toward me. I can use a cylinder and a box.
The box shapes really work well.
This leg coming towards.
See how we get instant form? It’s really fun. This goes back. Then this leg is going
back, and they’re just box shapes. You get form right out of the starting gate.
We talked here, here, back.
Okay, so we have that. This arm is coming back this way. This arm is there. Then we
start rounding these shapes out and turning them into more organic shapes.
Okay, so we want to round these forms out, make them more organic.
Use the bathing suit as a tool. That really gives me form.
On your way to being done. Working in the animation studios you
did drawings like this all day long. That’s all you did, you know, these highly structured
drawings in every conceivable pose you could imagine.
This is a compression area here.
Then it comes out towards us. Then the leg wraps in here.
These are all connective areas here. Here’s the hip. You can just add to it. And there you go.
But it starts solid.
I think that’s the most important thing to understand, that you don’t have to worry
about making it solid when you have your lay-in. Then, of course, you’re going to have your
rhythms, this way, this way, this way. Get the beautiful rhythms.
Then your shapes.
In the end the drawings have all three. But it’s okay to start the drawing one particular
way. In this case if it’s laying down I really like to get in there and think of it
as a very solid shape. Okay, those are your three lay-ins. This is going to take you a
while to learn so go ahead and work on this and then hopefully some of the other more
advanced figure drawing lectures will make more sense to you.
Okay, see you guys in a little while.
Free to try
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
17m 57s4. Land marks continue how to find weight laws of motion
14m 21s5. Demo lay in
14m 26s6. Design and structure
7m 44s7. Three lay-ins continued
19m 3s8. Figure drawing demos Part 1
12m 34s9. Figure drawing demo Part 2
18m 37s10. Figure drawing demos Part 3
15m 54s11. Figure drawing demos Part 4