- Lesson Details
Beginning Figure Drawing represents the culmination of decades of instruction to studios and professionals around the world where Steve has honed his teaching philosophy down to a fun and efficient experience. This is Part 2 of the series, check out Part 1 here!
Despite his impressive bona fides, Steve specializes in making complex information easy to understand for everybody. In the second installment of the series, Steve breaks down the elements of the figure, and the jointed connections and proportions of the body through a series of lectures, demonstrations, and Old Master studies. Building upon a solid foundation of Gesture and Structure from Part 1, learn from Steve how to place the head, legs, torso, etc on your page in a realistic and natural context. It’s important to remember that each body part has a relationship to the others.
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sense out of it.
We’re going to start out with a basic construction, break down every part of the body, see it
from all the different positions.
The head, the torso, the legs, the arms, hands and feet and how they fit together, basically,
simply, something to get us started and give us a clear understanding of all this stuff
and how it sits in space.
I’m going to give you lectures where I talk through the information.
I’m going to demonstrate, I’m going to show you how I would draw it.
Then we’re going to look at old masters and see how they did it.
It’s going to be fun.
It’s going to be exciting.
It’s going to be a ton of information, so let’s get going.
The head, the torso, the legs, the arms, hands and feet.
How they fit together, basically, simply, something to get us started and get us a clear
understanding of all this stuff and how it sits in space.
So, let’s get going.
Now, let’s look at specifics.
We’ve just been dealing with generalities.
Let’s get all the body parts as simple shapes.
There are a ton of choices for any particular body part, but we’re looking for simple,
I’m just going to give you the simplest possible solution that I might know of.
Sometimes I might give you a couple of solutions.
Later we’ll parse out other possibilities and then take those into fuller realizations,
so those structures can become ever more complex on top of the simple statement, and ever more
even at the simple stage more refined and stuff.
So, let’s begin.
We’re just going to go from the top down.
Now, as we started talking about the figure, and as you start thinking about the figure,
I want to think of the head as the first part, the first structure.
The reason for that is that as we talk together, whether I’m cropped on camera or not, you’re
not going to look at my belly button or my shoulder.
You’re going to look right at my face and specifically the eyes.
This becomes the first read, as they say in art.
You see something first.
You see something second.
You see something third.
You see something 64th.
Those are each reads.
First read, second read, third read.
The first read would be the head.
The first read within the head would be the eyes.
If we have a big landscape and a little tiny figure, the audience is going to try to find
that figure first because they relate to that.
If they can find the head on the figure and then the face and the eyes on the figure they’ll
go to that as well.
It’s one of the reasons portraits are so compelling.
We have that thing that we can look into, the eyes as a window of the soul.
We can feel our connection.
If someone is talking to you and they won’t look at you, you don’t feel connected to
So, in your art, in your figure, they’re going to look at your head first.
If you don’t get that right, nothing else matters.
Also, what I’ve found—it’s truth with myself, and it’s true with almost everybody
Not everybody, but almost everybody.
If they draw this beautiful body and then put the head on top of it, the head tends
to be stuck on the body rather than an integral part of the body.
We want to think of this as a book, and this is Chapter 1, and all the other chapters unfold
naturally and beautifully and gracefully.
This is going to be the first structure.
It’s also going to be the first gesture.
We want to make sure we’re thinking of the head as a gesture.
Quite often what happens is people hear about gesture lines.
They say, okay, I’m going to draw the head and I’m going to put the gesture in the
body, and they draw what I call balloon drawings.
They have all this fluid, great stuff down here, and this head is this lumps stuck on it.
The head is going to become the first gesture of the body, and that concept will be more
and more clear.
So, what we’re going to do, then, is we’re going to start with a two-step process.
We’re going to draw the gesture line, and then we’re going to draw the structure.
The gesture line we’re defining as the long axis.
It’ll be curved whenever we can make it curved.
And so the gesture line for the head will be the center line right through here.
Specifically, the points will be where the forehead meets the nose, this little keystone
shape, and where the lips meet the chin right down here, the mouth meets the chin right there.
That becomes where everything else can build on top of.
When we have our head, neck, torso, that natural center line is going to be right through these
On the torso, it’s going to be the pit of the neck, breastbone, belly button, crotch.
Of course, the spine and back.
That’ll be our center line.
If we’re drawing a figure like this, as we will when we break down the proportions
to begin with, we’ll go ahead and make this stiff drawing or upright drawing.
Then we’re going to have a natural, straight centerline for those structures.
The limbs will not be straight, and when we get into kind of dynamic it will lose the
straight and go into those lovely curves that we hope for.
So, a long axis.
So, I’m going to draw the gesture of the head, and then I’m going to draw the shape
of the head.
The shape of the head, which is probably no surprise, is a good idea—let me see if I
can get that symmetrical—good idea to draw it as an egg.
You can kind of square off the chin if you want, a little bit.
You could make it more of a pill shape, capsule shape kind of thing.
But, it’s something like that.
We’ll look at that a little bit more carefully later.
But, that’s all we need for the head.
If we look at a profile, then we want to realize that the skull goes back, and the face with
all the features goes down.
We want to get that direction.
We don’t want to draw it like this.
It’s going to look alien.
The skull is going to lift up.
We don’t want to draw like this with the skull down.
I actually like the simplest possible shape.
I like to draw the sailboat sail.
It gives the idea that the skull is up high, which is going to be very important for us
as we move forward.
The face drops down, and it’s that face that we talk about as the gesture of the head.
There is actually a gesture going back along the skull.
Imagine a part down the center of the hair kind of thing.
It goes like that.
Then that becomes our great simple shape to build off of.
We can add everything we want on top of that, like so.
Ears would be here.
On and on and on.
The neck is just a tube.
If it’s a very athletic male then the neck can get as thick as the head.
Thinner male or woman or younger child it gets thinner.
Oftentimes, just by how thin you do the neck it can suggest
quite a bit about the character there.
We’ll go through all the connections later, how these all fit together in a little bit.
We’re going to parse them out.
Some I’ll build off of, like little transition forms like the neck.
Others I’ll do separately.
The neck here looks like an hourglass.
The pit of the neck there is going to become the connection of the torso,
but just an hourglass shape.
The neck can be a tube or an hourglass.
I don’t bother to draw the three-dimensional quality of the tube.
In fact, a lot of these shapes I’m going to save working out the three-dimensional
structure with its movement over the form, its corners.
I’ll save that for a more sophisticated talk about the body parts.
Notice, this looks two-dimensional and flat.
This looks two-dimensional and flat.
So does that.
We’ll worry about perspective positions, all that kind of stuff, pencil test stuff later.
For now, it’s just tubes and hourglasses.
The rib cage could be an egg or a tube.
It could be a box.
It could be a combination like a pickle barrel.
It just depends on what you see there.
Simple, yet characteristic.
Some people have more bulbous rib cage.
Others, it’s a smooth transition right into the waist.
So, whatever it feels like it should be, you can do.
It won’t matter whether you’re drawing a front, back, or three-quarter, those shapes
would be about the same.
It wouldn’t matter if it’s male or female.
Again, those shapes are potentially the same, like so.
Alright, so, simple tube.
Notice we could do a tube here if we wanted to.
Especially if you’ve got a thick-necked athletic guy or a tough CIA operative or something
like that, maybe you’re going to do that kind of thing.
The waist, I’m just going to extend the tube on the rib cage.
Notice the rib cage tube is a little longer than it is wide, and so when we add the rib
cage in the waist it gets longer yet.
We’ll parse out proportions a little bit later.
We’ll say that’s the belly button.
The hips can be a bulging box.
It can be a tipped over tube, male or female.
It can be a mini skirt.
You’ve got female hips.
That’s a good idea.
It can be boxy.
Again, doing box is more risk, more work.
I can be that.
But, a mini skirt is a good choice for the female, just a bulging box is a good choice
for the male, and for front or back views as we’ll see.
The legs build out of that.
The limbs are all just tubes.
I’ll show you real simple hands and feet.
We’ll save the nuanced stuff on that for later.
But, notice that all of this stuff, head, neck just is fitting in between the rib cage,
shoulder girdle, of course, but rib cage for now in the head.
We don’t have to get it a natural center line.
It doesn’t really need it.
You can if you want the spine in back or the throat in front.
It doesn’t really need it.
It’s just a transitional form, and it will sit in the correct position because these
greater forms are in the correct position.
These forms can tilt.
Notice that the whole torso can be broken into a tube, and it might be a tube that opens
up a little wider at the mini skirt.
It might be a tube that is in some kind of dynamic position, twisting or leaning over,
so you might curve the tubes.
Put it in a certain perspective.
We’ll talk more about that.
But, it’s pretty simple stuff.
So, again, the head is what it is.
It could be could be a tube, but once we get into torsos, everything is a tube or a slight
variation of the tube, a mini skirt bulging tube, a pickle barrel, which is a bulging
tube, a tipped over tube, that kind of thing.
So, fairly straightforward on that.
The limbs can be all tubes.
All the arms, just limbs.
Now, these fellows, the head, the neck, the rib cage, waist, and hips all have the natural
That is your gesture line.
Notice the gesture line is inside on every view except a profile, and then the gesture
line, whether you’re using the spine or breastbone is on the simplified contour surface
in a profile.
That’s true for all these forms, like that.
There is the natural center line which gives us our natural long axis curve that shows
us our gesture without any work at all.
The limbs are more difficult.
They don’t have a natural gesture line.
They’re not really more difficult.
We just need to think about it a second.
there is the center line.
Notice the curvature.
Here is the egg shape.
Look what I’m doing here.
Let’s do this.
Notice how I’m trying to track.
Instead of doing an egg, I’m going to do more of a pill shape.
The advantage of the pill shape is that the sides then track with that center line, that
Notice with our friend here, he didn’t do that.
He came out here, and it actually makes that jaw stick out a little wider than I’d prefer.
I’m going to correct an old master here.
I’d prefer it to be back that way.
That’s purely a matter of taste.
Notice how all the features track.
When I look at the lips, the center of the lower is a great place to see where they track,
and then, of course, the corners of the mouth.
If she’s got a slight expression, a crooked smile, it could drag one corner up.
In terms of symmetry, wing of the nose, wing of the nose, tip of the nose, look at how
all those track right across.
When we look at the eyebrow we want it to track in the same part of the eyebrow here
Again, we have a slight asymmetry in the expression, and so that’s pulling that out of whack.
Notice how it comes right up to the hairstyle, too.
Look at the natural symmetry he’s picking with the hair.
Every time we have a curl some part of that curl finds a corresponding curl on the other
side, and that anchors the form so it doesn’t twist off.
If this curl was here, and this is here, it pulls off.
One of those wouldn’t matter at all, but the more we can get that symmetry, the better.
The artist is always struggling with the balance between symmetry and asymmetry.
The figure has bilateral symmetry.
What’s over here is over there.
What’s over here is over there.
Then we’re going to have asymmetry, which creates drama.
And so that figure doesn’t look straight at us.
It looks down and it looks a little bit to our left.
That creates an interest there.
So, that’s the face structure.
The whole head is in here.
If I build that capsule shape back up through the hair, we can imagine where that skull
Again, look at where he’s helped us pick that out.
Now, when I do that, that would be a mistake to consider that the whole head.
That’s really just the mask of the face with some of the front of the skull here.
We want to feel the side of the skull.
Notice with the hairstyle, it covers for us, the hair, most of the time, the ears.
The head most of the time is going to be covered by that hair, and so it hides that skull.
That’s good, so we don’t make a mistake with it.
It’s also bad because we’re not clearly seeing, especially as beginners, that full
Then we’re not making that hairstyle reflect that full shape.
Again, he’s done that right here.
You can see him drawing through.
And here would be the full skull.
And so, he’s very clearly visualizing that skull underneath that lovely hairstyle.
Over here we have a beautiful Nicolai Fechin.
He’s a very good painter, but he’s a great draftsman.
There is the long axis of the face, gesture down.
Now, she has hair that covers the skull.
The skull would be in here, let’s say.
Let’s say I’m wrong and it’s really here.
Or, I’m wrong and it’s really here.
I’m going to cover it with the hairstyle.
I don’t have to be exactly right.
I’m just going to make my best guess.
If I’m a little off, I’m a little off.
In fact, as I bring it down here I’m a little off.
I’m going to bring it up a little bit fuller actually, closer to the hairstyle.
But, visualizing through that interruption and feeling its complete idea is very useful.
Here is the simplest way to draw the head.
Notice how it tracks very nicely with the jaw line.
The jaw line is very close to that initial simple, yet characteristic construction.
Notice, too, I’m picking up my center line ideally where the forehead meets the beginning
of the nose and where the end of the lips—not really even the lips, the barrel of the mouth
meets the chin—and you can see that we have just a—it’s not quite a perfect profile,
We have a little bit more on the other side.
So, that’s that.
If we look at the eyebrow line right here to the ear right here.
Again, we can’t see all the ear, but we can visualize through
The jaw goes in front, and we’re all set.
Now, let me take that off and do it one more time.
Here is the center line of the features.
It doesn’t have to be exactly right.
If I do it here and by the end of the rendering it should have been here or here.
It’s close enough.
It’s getting me in the ballpark.
I’m getting the right amount of clay, roughly the right amount of clay in roughly the right
shape, the right structure in the right position.
There it is there.
And now, down in here, notice that we’re slightly underneath that head.
Eyebrow line to ear is a great way to feel that perspective.
Let’s do that.
We can see the eyebrow line in here.
We’re getting the sense that we’re underneath that structure.
That means if we’re underneath the eyebrows, we’re underneath the chin a little bit.
It’s going to go in the same manner, and then go this way.
That’s why we’re seeing so much underneathness.
Of course, our fine artist here toned that, gave it a little bit of light and shadow on
that, but we can do that in terms of construction.
That’s what we’re seeing there, and then the neck comes out of that.
See how that works?
This is the underside of the plane.
This is front meeting side, front meeting side.
These things track, should track more or less well.
If we get to the top, if we want to treat that also as a
front plane it would go here.
The other thing we can notice
is that the eyebrow line, if we follow the eyebrows, you can see a real clear sense of
the eye socket in here, actually.
If we follow the eyebrow, pull that back.
Take that on down to where the cheekbone meets the lower lid.
Anywhere in there.
It could have been in here.
It could have been here.
I like to do it right against that pocket of the lower lid.
In this case, a little bit of the baggy eye.
That’s going to point down towards the mouth.
This way it actually structurally flows over here, and if we follow that back up and go
up here, and this can be, in this case, where the eyebrows end.
It could be where the eyebrows arch on someone else.
It’s going to be somewhere in here.
That becomes the natural corner of the face.
If we lift this from a side plane then we’d see all that dropping into shadow like so.
And so we see that architecture there.
One last thing, because if we draw any particular body part, it doesn’t do as any good as
figurative draftsman if we cannot connect it to the other body parts.
Everything is well structured and built on that lovely long axis gesture.
That’s going to set us up.
That structure then has to relate to other structures.
Of course, it relates through the gesture.
It’s going to go back to the pit of the neck.
That’ll take off down the rib cage.
And so, we’re going to feel this rhythm, this flow down through, which is so important.
So, very good idea not to draw anything in isolation.
As our Nicolai has down here, drawing a little bit of the head, neck, and shoulders and maybe
even a little bit of the torso is an excellent way to make sure everything is fitting as
The job of the artist is really to relate thing together, to make all those lovely colors
work in an even more lovely relationship.
All the actors in the story to relate in a storyline, and all the steps in the dance
to work along that dance.
All the art forms are working the parts in relationship to the whole.
And that moves throughout.
The eye socket relates to the cheek and back to the forehead.
And that relationship between the pieces is what is so important in art, and of course,
what is so difficult in art.
Alright, now on this lovely Raphael we have these two heads.
Let’s look again.
We see this beautiful different between.
They’re both in a near profile.
One is more three-quarter, and one is closer to a true profile.
Now, this chin drops down.
Whatever you’re trying to find as a part you want to get that part in the right position.
That’s what the structure is.
It’s the part in perspective or in position.
The position is this young man is tilting his chin down.
So, whenever I’m trying to find the position of something I compare it to a grid.
Is it horizontal or vertical.
In this case, it’s not vertical.
It’s tilting back in.
This older man, look at the comparison here.
They’re both looking in more or less the profile or three-quarter range.
They both have their chins down.
They’re both looking in the same direction, except he is old and he is young.
And this fellow—let’s go ahead and get our…goes off the page here.
This fellow is looking down as shown by the eyebrow to the ear relationship.
Notice as soon as you get that eyebrow line you know immediately how that form is sitting
in space, like so.
Let’s take that over here.
Let’s take a little head.
There is the eyebrow line.
There is the ear.
If the eyebrow line goes that way, we want the chin to go that way too.
See that chin right here.
You don’t have to get it exactly right.
If you know anything about perspective, you don’t have to make it vanish.
Just make them more or less parallel.
They’re going to be organic.
You’re going to end up rounding them off and maybe even complicating them.
Look at the lower lip.
We can’t see the far corner of the mouth, so that doesn’t help us, but we can see
the pad of the upper lip there.
Oops, we’ll get that right here, and the tip of the nose.
Those are all going, not perfectly, but pretty close to the same direction.
That’s what we want.
We want them to go in, more or less, more, more than less in the same direction.
And then look at what makes this head for me.
It’s that lovely little tilt down.
If we put a box on the top of the head, we’re seeing that we’re slightly on top of the
box, aren’t we?
But, the beautiful capper to this is not that head, but the head in relationship to the
neck, pulling back this way.
Isn’t that gorgeous?
That big swing back like that.
Now, this guy also has a big swing back.
We just can’t see it because it’s off the edge.
We can pick it up by the striations of the strain of the neck there.
So, it’s moving that way.
The shoulders would be in here someplace.
The pit of the neck here.
It’s slightly off our image.
This is going this way.
And then, of course, with our fellow here, the eyebrow lifts up.
Let’s get the far side first.
I don’t know exactly where the chin is.
Probably about here.
I don’t have to know exactly, though.
I’m just going to make my best guess.
Then I’ll put the beard over it, and that will finish it for me.
And if I’m a little off, then the beard will hide that mistake.
So, here we have this and this.
The mask of the face.
Here are the eye sockets here just so you can kind of visualize what we’ve got going.
Here is this way.
Here is the ear down from the eyebrow.
Here the ear goes up from the eyebrow line.
We had to ascend.
We’re going to drop down or go vertical against this dropping down.
We’re dropping down from that axis there.
Then the sparser hair of an old man, and, of course, the beard comes in here someplace.
We can’t tell exactly where it finishes, but we can tell roughly by where it breaks
here, like so.
So, isn’t that beautiful, that composition?
The beauty of the pose or the beauty of anything in art is the this-to-thatness of it.
This young man tilts slightly toward us.
This old man tilts slightly away from us.
This face stretches forward off the neck, and so does this face.
It’s the dynamic difference between those forms that make it so beautiful.
Here is that eye socket again, bumping down here.
Here you can see the tones actually support that structure.
Here it is again here.
The values beautifully support that.
They don’t support here because the bulge of the forehead there.
It supports a front plane rather than a subtle corner plane, side plane.
One of the most famous head drawings in history.
Now, if we look at Greuze, here’s the gesture line down the center.
Here is the top of the skull.
Somewhere in there, we don’t know exactly because of the hair.
But, that’s okay.
We make our best guess.
That’s all we’re required to do.
I like to do to the far side of the forearm, because I can see, especially in this eye
socket, this far eye socket beyond the nose, I can see how far, how much stuff is there.
Not much, is it?
Get that center line and then look where the eyebrow meets the nose.
To the far side there is just a sliver, so it’s just a little bit more close to a three-quarter,
Then now I’ve got that down.
Now I’m go on back, and I’m going to make my best guess for the skull.
I can do a rounded shape, or I can do that sailboat shape.
I’m going to shoot for the chin.
Now, at this point, I probably won’t know where the chin is.
I won’t know, in this case, that I made it too long.
Just make your best guess.
Let me touch that up a little bit so we can make it cleaner.
Now I’m going to go to my eyebrow line, to my ear, and feel that.
Again, I might not know.
I won’t know exactly where it is, but I’ll make my best guess.
Now, let’s take that away for a second.
Do it again here.
Center line, far side.
There is my sailboat shape or my egg shape in there.
Maybe it’s in here.
Maybe it’s in here.
I don’t know yet.
I’m making my best guess, like so.
Notice I did this, and I did that on that last Raphael.
But, you don’t always have to do that.
In fact, you don’t ever have to do that if you don’t want.
You could do this.
That’s what our friend Greuze –my best attempt at pronouncing that difficult name—he’s
doing a round shape.
He’s really thinking of it as more of an egg shape.
And it’s very, very valuable if we come outside the drawing and double-check that
Thinking of an egg.
That’s the mask of the face, basically, and then a little bit of skull on that.
We can think of that as a secondary egg, egg of the skull, egg of the face.
Now, the problem in doing that in a profile for me is everything gets a little bit rounded,
but these three-quarter views, especially when they have a little perspective, can be
We could also think of this, of course, as a tube.
Do it as a tube.
But, let’s stick with the egg, and that egg rolls right over, and then we get to the
ear in the same manner as we would if we made it a boxier concept.
Notice, how beautifully all of the features track that same lovely curvature.
Let’s do it again here.
There we go.
That’s the beauty in this case of choosing a slightly different form.
Notice simple, yet characteristic.
By making it more characteristically round, notice how I’m now really impelled
to make the features to keep that concept going.
Make the features roll in the same manner, and they do roll in the same manner all the
Try that one again.
You can see especially—let’s take out the lower lip and see especially the upper
lip tracks just beautifully in that same manner, doesn’t it?
Over, over, over.
And even the hairline does that.
Now, what about the jaw?
The jaw, there is the mask of the face.
The chin is in here.
We were going this way.
We can continue that again.
We can turn that chin that way to feel that.
Later we’ll add the pillowy mass of the chin on it, but that’ll help make sure it
stays on axis.
Then we have that bottom plane as denoted by this step back before we go down over the
And so we can feel that on through just like that.
There it is there.
We can come on through.
We can decide to make it straighter if we wanted.
This comes on down.
And we can let it bump over the windpipe.
Any of those are fine.
This is a little more sophisticated version of it, which means it’s a little more difficult
version of it.
There is the head and neck in there.
Here shoulders come way up here, hunched up because she’s laying back against the chair
So, that’s it.
Oftentimes, I’ll pick up little areas.
This is the area that the nose dominates or positions itself in.
That’s the area where the eye sockets position themselves in.
This is what Pontormo does with every drawing he does, and it gives these kinds of sad eyes.
This is the area the mouth takes up.
It’s in the right position and proportion, but it’s taking up the area rather than
just showing the alignment through a construction line.
So, we can do any or all those and move along.
You can see how beautifully drapery—Of course, we’re not talking about drapery in this
lesson, but drapery in general tracks beautifully the fluid gesture and solid structure of whatever
body you’re working on.
Incidentally, this is a pastel as opposed to—that’s why it has the color as opposed
to the chalk drawing.
We’ve got a couple pen and inks to look at.
Now, let’s look over here at our van Dyck, Anthony van Dyck.
You can see how when we get to the back of the head, if we look at the school as an egg.
It just looks like a ball.
So, there is the ball.
You can see the center line here.
Notice if we go right down the spine we can see this beautiful alignment and beautiful
fluid rhythm as we’re moving from one direction to the other, that beautiful curved idea.
Notice as he leans over into the shoulder it torques that neck, and so we get this lovely
The beauty of this pose is going to be this to this.
It’s those opposing curves that really create the fantastic rhythm.
Then we’ll see it over here again, and we’ll go more carefully through that idea in just
a couple of minutes.
Now, we don’t have the wonderful eyebrow line and the features aligning.
We have no features except for the ear.
And so that’s what we use.
We use the ear.
Here is the ear, and here is a little bit of the other ear, all but lost in that binding
up against the shoulder.
Notice how the ears track, and that shows us the same information as the eyebrow line
and all these other construction lines show if we now went back to the boxier logic.
We can see it like that, and that’s what we’re doing here.
And so ears are fantastic.
If the ear crowds the back of the head, we know it’s a three-quarter.
If the ear crowds the front of the face, we know it’s a three-quarter back, let’s
If the ear pokes out on both sides, we know it’s a full back view.
Then we get also that axis.
We get the tilt of the axis, tilt of the whole head the same way we would here.
I love that drawing.
Just great stuff.
The torso is going to start with the shoulder line.
We want to make sure that the torso works in relationship to everything else.
Let’s go back to that head again and that neck.
Let me get a little more juice in my stylus here.
Look at this fantastic tilt and let me do it this way.
Here are the ears in here.
Notice, too, we can see how we’re on top of that head by how the shading happens.
That gives us a sense of that top, very much like a tube would give us.
That’s even a deeper perspective.
I think so.
Alright, so head and neck.
Now, we can just show the shoulder girdle pinching across, like so.
Here is the center line.
Notice how, despite all the convolutions, we want to look past all the lumps and bumps
of the model, or in this case of the beautiful master drawing.
We want to see that axis going up, straight or curved.
If something is in a real tricky position, notice how things are changing here.
If his hair was parted in the middle it’d be there.
We’re going right down the back of the skull here, and then we’re moving into the neck
and upper shoulder girdle area there.
Then we’re taking off in a quick change down the middle of the back.
This is where the rib cage dominates.
This is the lower back, that accordion action.
Whoops, I missed it.
Accordion action down here into the rear end, like so.
It’s quite a subtle change moving through, and just getting it is not very likely.
So, do as I did here.
You can segment it.
Notice that any particular curve I can break into straight sections and then have them
meet with corners.
Or, I can make each section slightly curved if I wanted to.
But still, segmenting it at little corners.
Then, like a wood carver rounding off the corners, I can round this stuff off in the
It’s tracking there.
When you get something that’s tricky, you’ll go ahead and break it down and parse it out.
Notice when I can think of something as a tube then that tube is going to be parallel
to that center line and track beautifully that center line.
Alright, so I’ve got my head and my neck.
I’ve got my shoulder line.
I’ve got the shrugging muscles that show how the neck and head settle onto that shoulder
line, but that’s all on top.
What I need now is what’s underneath, which is our torso.
Specifically, I want that rib cage.
So, I can do that a couple ways.
I can now just take my center line and carefully plot it out.
Of course, I’m drawing on blank paper, generally, so I won’t know if I’m exactly right.
I’ll do my best guess, and I can adjust it later if I need to.
Then I’m going to take the whole torso, and I’m going to visualize the torso without
I’m not going to look at the shoulders, especially on a big, muscular male.
I’m going to look at the waist instead.
Right here, right here.
Notice that those are going to be parallel to the center line again, to the spine.
Then I’ll fill that right up.
Let me get what I’m after there.
Let’s do that.
Now I’m talking to myself, aren’t I.
There is the center line right up.
A tube is just a very thick gesture line.
So, I draw the center line, and I draw this right up and right down.
Then I’m going to—let’s do this, maybe.
Then I’m just going to bump that tube of the torso right up.
Those ends right up and into the sides.
Notice if I conceive of this shape simply and characteristically, if it’s characteristic
of what I see, I’ll see that the details reinforce that.
For example, let’s do that again.
There is my spine.
There is my waist-wide tube going up, going up, going down, tracking with my spine, center
Now, by getting on top, there is that tube doing that.
By knowing that I’m well on top of that tube because I’m up above it, and because
it’s leaning back towards me, then at the end of the tube, or ends, the stripes that
I put on the tube, they’re going to curve this way.
Notice how beautifully the anatomy, the detail tracks that.
Not perfectly, not all the time, but much of the time.
It tracks right over.
Even the highlights running here and here and here and here run right over.
I can feel some of it in here, like so, all the way
down to the ground.
And then we feel the much wider hips squishing, much wider hips squishing right in there.
Later we’ll add the shoulder girdle.
We’ll save that for later.
So, we can just bump a tube right up against that construction line.
Or, the other thing we can do is we can come off that neck, and we can draw right through,
cut right through that shoulder line and visualize a coke bottle.
Notice how now I’m really tying carefully and solidly the neck, the head and neck into
I’m putting the shoulders, or will put the shoulders back on later.
They’ll go on like a football player’s shoulder pads.
That coke bottle really integrates or makes clear to us as the audience, and makes clear
for you as the struggling artist with this difficult material that everything connects
Alright, let’s look at the profile here.
There is the face, the head.
Notice when the ear starts to get closer to the front of the face, we’ve got a little
notch for the eye socket there, when it gets closer to the front of the face, then we start
to feel that going around back three-quarter view.
Neck swings off here.
You can also come right down from the ear, both throat and that.
That’s the gastrocnemius—silly named muscle—swings on back.
Let me take that off and do it again.
This goes back here.
Without the gastrocnemius, we’ll see that the tube, or the hourglass—it’ll look
like one or the other—the tube of the neck swings back, and it’s that beautiful chin
forward and torso back away here that’s so interesting.
It’s so beautiful.
It’s that rhythm.
Then if we wanted to again add that gastrocnemius, I can pull in there, too.
But, the tube is created by this area here.
Now, the beauty of this pose, then, is going to be how the head relates to the torso.
So, I’ve got the shoulder line here.
What I want to do is draw through that pit of the neck.
Now, I’m guessing because it’s hidden by the arm, but then I see the center of the
torso, the breastbone all the way down to the belly button.
We can’t see the crotch, but it’ll be somewhere in here, maybe.
I’m just interested in that part for now.
Let’s get rid of this.
Let’s just save that much of it.
I can see it pop out here.
I’m guessing where the pit of the neck is there.
Now I’m going to add the rib cage in here.
Notice when we get on the profile more or less, more here or less on this other one,
the shoulder and arm hide inside the contour of the torso and don’t give us quite as
This bumps out here, but I want to feel that coke bottle again.
Let’s do it again.
Head and neck.
Pit of the neck.
Head and neck.
Now I’m going to go down the backside this time.
I can use this as a stand-in for the spine even though it’s not a perfect spine.
It’s the outside stretching.
We get this beautiful curve despite the lumps and bumps.
We go from back of the head under the hair all the way down stretching to the bottom
of the seat.
That’s a beautiful, long gesture.
If we can conceive of all of these lumps and bumps, not getting caught up in this—in
fact, a different artist would play this down quite a bit, say a Poussin.
Not playing up that, but conceiving of this.
Looking past the interruption of the shoulder, looking past the directions of all the lumpy
We feel that long swing.
And so, the beauty of this pose, more than anything else, is how this head pushes forward
and this torso swings back, and it’s that rhythm, that to that.
If we went inside we’d feel that wave action going through.
That inside wave action is the lifeline, is the fluid graceful beauty, the watery design
of the figure.
It doesn’t do us any good because it’s not connecting to anything.
What we’d rather do is feel out on the surface a simplified surface getting this rhythm to
that rhythm, like so.
Then we can come back and feel the pit of the neck, breastbone.
We can go down farther if we want.
Then we see a little bit on the other side.
There is that coke bottle.
Notice by drawing across that pinching form, when something pinches and we see its nice
and three-dimensional volume, we can use that pinch as a construction line to show us that
we were on top of that structure.
It moves on here.
I can’t see the other side of the waist.
I’ll just guess at it.
There it is there.
The hips are in here someplace in whatever we want to draw them.
Whatever simple construction we want to draw them.
It’s very informative to take a drawing like this and break it down rounder and then
break it down squarer and come up with different shapes for the hips and that kind of stuff.
So, it fits like that.
Center line, eyebrow line.
Ear is covered by the hairstyle, chin, and hair.
Notice how the head flows into the neck.
Always look to see how the head flows into the neck.
That’s going to set up the rhythms.
In one way or another, we’re going to feel on the side of the neck, on the front of the
neck over here, sometimes the back of the neck.
We’re going to feel how the head starts to then flow and integrate into the fluid
quality, the beautiful fluid design of the body.
Notice how simple this drawing is.
Here is the center line, breastbone that we can’t see down to the belly button.
We have just a little bit here.
I’m not looking at the shoulders.
If I looked at the shoulders I might think that the torso is over here.
I’m looking at the waist down around the belly button area.
How much is here?
Anywhere in here would be good.
Could have done out here.
I’m going to do that.
Then I’m going to put this on, too.
I could just do the shoulder line and then just bump a tube up into the shoulder line.
That’s pretty much how he conceived of this, but we could also
do that coke bottle idea.
This will swing in that.
This will swing over here to that.
Look at the advantage of the coke bottle other than making sure they fit.
In this case, it was so simply and beautifully constructed, it’s maybe not a huge issue
to get it to fit.
But, it can be, especially when you haven’t done 10,000 figure drawings yet.
Also, but cutting—there is the shoulder out here, remember.
By cutting through—here is the shoulder out here, by cutting through that shoulder
and feeling this.
Now, is that exactly where it is?
Or, should it be here?
Should it be here?
It doesn’t matter, does it, because I’ll cover that with the shoulder.
But, I just want to get it roughly correct.
By doing that, now we’ve got that beautiful rhythm seen, this to this.
The bulge of the torso against the bulging line of the head and neck coming down there.
All that beautiful, rhythmic stuff.
And then as we did before, we’d be underneath this.
You can see how beautifully the pinch of the tummy area there, and even this little tone
here track that construction idea like that.
Then the torso would be down here.
Notice in any kind of front view, seated or standing, you see very little of the actual hips.
They’re covered up because you’ve got the legs and the stomach, the pubic area if
that’s an issue, all of that’s blocking us from seeing.
And so you can just do a little bulging box.
Oftentimes, just do that as a placeholder.
If it happens to be getting squished against a seed or a ground, and you conceive of what
that is, you can distort that a little bit.
Here would be the—this is what we’ve got here, like that.
That leg comes out of that.
I’m going to come off the bottom of that and draw that leg out there so that it’s
going to become the source of the legs when we get to the source of the legs.
Go ahead and draw through.
Again, it doesn’t have to be exactly right, and it won’t be exactly right.
It could be a tipped over tube also as great.
You can distort that again if you needed to.
Any of that is absolutely fine, just something there to feel the hips.
The hips are the root, the fulcrum of the torquing torso as it moves in different positions,
and for the locomotion and the stabilizing legs.
We need to have some sense of that pelvis, whether we can see it or not.
Alright, so that’s that.
Back over here, Bandinelli, there is that beautiful head.
Notice that we can cut off the chin here.
Let’s do this.
In any profile, if we can cut off the chin, then we’re going to notice that the head
oftentimes flows right into the neck so we can do the head, come off that chin, and swing
back to the neck.
Or, we could go right down through.
Usually, that’s such a distortion of what we see, not having that chin, it really kind
of throws us off.
Oftentimes, or sometimes is I should say, we’ll see the face in shadow, and that eye
socket and cheek and jowl area of the mouth will block the chin from receiving light,
and we’ll get to see that beautiful gesture.
I’m seeing how the light separates from that obscuring shadow.
But, in any case, we’re going to get this pulling down here, this over here, and right
down this way.
What I’m interested in is past the shoulder girdle, I want to be able to see through that,
past that, and I don’t have to do it right, but if I come off the back of that neck and
swing through in my coke bottle down to the waist-wide tube, I’m going to probably do
a better job of connecting as I go back into the skinny neck from the full barrel of the
rib cage, so it does that.
But, there I have it.
Then all of this stuff will get covered by my shoulder girdle and all my beautiful rendered
But, I’ll have felt that solid, wonderful connection.
This just pulls down.
There is the buttocks here.
It’s a really light line.
It comes right down here.
Oftentimes, the hips get thicker.
It’s some version of that same tube coming down.
It might bulge out a little bit like so.
Of course, the center line goes through the belly button down to the crotch like that.
You can see that lovely bump because they’re fighting away from each other.
They are compressing.
This is falling into, driving in and squishing against this and bulges out from that compression.
Fits like that.
So, it’s this to this.
And if you were to feel the back of the head, and these Renaissance types oftentimes would
leave off the back of the skull for some reason.
I’m not sure why, but it was an aesthetic thing.
The back of the skull should really be close to that.
Not exactly, but close to that.
So, it’s really stretch, stretch, stretch.
This is actually the first gesture, but this usually just attaches on quietly without a
lot of fuss.
We look at our faces when we look in the mirror and we look at other people, so we’ll start
with that as the first gesture by convention, just so we focus on the important things.
This will kind of take care of itself.
This will be number two over here.
Alright, this Watteau, now, we can see the—let me just get a color here before we start.
Alright, with our Watteau here, you can see how he’s idealized, very small head, very
It’s a little atypical for the Rococo period, but it’s not atypical at all for Baroque
and Renaissance and Mannerism.
There are plenty of antecedents to that.
It basically makes the body look more heroic when the head is smaller.
It’s considered idealized.
If you look at the superhero drawings of today, we see that in spades.
Anyway, we’ve got our head here, and you can see how he’s conceived of that head
as a box because we’ve got the eyebrow line.
Let’s look at that again.
See the arching eyebrow here, and then you can see the eyebrow bumps here and goes right
back to the ear.
There is that boxy idea, and all the other features track it.
Even the back of the head he is conceived somewhat as a box.
It’s rounded, but if you look at this, the detail still tracks here.
This tracks pretty well.
Not exactly, but certainly well enough, especially for kind of tousled hair.
Of course, we can go all the way down the other features and such, but there is our
That goes into that neck.
Here is the pit of the neck, and here is the center line.
You can see the very subtle construction line he did in the beginning to mark that off.
Here is another little line for the pit of the neck.
That’s the pit of the neck.
Center line here.
It actually tracks off a little bit.
It twists this way a little bit because of this falling arm, the supporting arm here.
Everything is kind of shifting down a little bit.
Without that kind of torque of position, it would have been here probably.
But it throws it slightly off axis to give that sense of falling this way.
You’ll see old masters oftentimes subtly manipulate the structure or the gesture.
Sometimes it won’t be so subtle, especially with gesture, to get some effect.
In this case, it’s kind of slumping off to the side there.
Then it rolls this way.
You can break it into sections if you needed to, like this.
Notice this still tracks along our long axis curved idea, because if we came in with our
grinder or sander like a woodworker, we’d turn that into a curve real easily, so whichever
is easier for you.
Now, this is going back this way.
Here is the rib cage in here.
Let me take that line out.
All of this, this also slumps.
It’s a little out of whack, but it adds to the bigger-than-life, the idealism.
You can see by this line here that he didn’t conceive of that as a tube, he really conceived
of it as an egg, didn’t he?
That’s quite all right to do that.
In fact, it’s completely appropriate to do that.
If the character of the model you’re drawing, or the character or the pose, the style you
want to establish is more rounded like a Rubens, for example.
This guy was highly influenced by Rubens.
That flows that way.
Let me take it out one more time.
Now we can go ahead and just not worry about that and say I’m going to make it a waist
wide tube and do this.
I’m looking down around the belly button.
There is the waist.
I’ll make it a waist-wide tube here and take it up that way.
We’re slightly on top of this.
Then it gets slightly on top, and then it gets—let me do it over here, it might be
more easier to see.
Then we get into flatter perspective at the belly like that.
It’s an accordion.
It comes out toward us, out of the picture plane and slowly settles back into the picture
Let me take it out one more time.
There we go, okay.
Grab that color.
This is coming here.
That’s going there.
This is going here.
Now, as that comes down waist-wide, notice that here and here are construction, and really
all the way along here, are construction.
The initial concept of the torso as a tube comes right to the surface.
The final rendering still shows that tubular idea.
When I get up here, though, the final rendering, we can argue that that’s part of it there,
too, the other side of the latissimus dorsi, the V-shaped muscles, those manly muscles.
When we get up here, notice how far away are final rendering is going to be to our conception.
That’s a problem.
If I do a construction, and then I end up out here with my finished rendering, it wasn’t
a very good construction.
I want that construction to be quite close to the finish, and the closer the better.
If I find that my final detail is bulging away or pointing away, I’m going to add
a second form into that.
So, what I’m going to do then is say that the tube—I want to use the tube because
Steve said I should, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t—and then I’m going to egg into it.
Notice the choice we had.
We could have started with the egg and attached the egg onto the center line and put a tube
of a waist underneath it, if that was the secondary form we chose.
Or, we can do the whole thing as a tube, the advantage of doing the whole thing of the
tube is that it’s a simpler thinking process, and the tube is a three-dimensional gesture.
I’m just thickening up my gesture line.
I’m not changing it.
I keep alive my beautiful fluid, graceful, lifelike quality.
Whereas if I start out with lumpy things, sometimes I get stuck in the lumps and I miss
the overall flow of things.
So, either way, take your pick.
It doesn’t matter the exact process you do.
It matters the thinking, and at the end of it, it rings true.
It looks similar.
It has a similar feel of what we were observing.
The shoulder line is up here.
Notice that is way up into the head.
It’s very easy to draw a head, even a head in the right perspective, and then put a big
neck on it like that because we’re used to heads where the chin is above the shoulder
So, that goes down here.
Then we continue the tube on, or we add a bulging tube or a bulging box, whatever.
I like to bring that stomach.
Switch to a darker line now.
I like to bring that stomach into the tube construction or whatever torso construction
I chose and said it right on top of the pubic area.
Then build the hips out of it.
When we do that, you can see just how stretched he’s made this body, how he’s really kind
of manipulated the proportions in a powerful way.
So, it fits like that, and that is that bullet shape in a front or three-quarter view.
Then the hips go around that.
This would work for a female, too.
Now, he has idealized this and given extra length, more of a Mannerist.
Mannerists made these long, long figures.
It was a style developed, begun my Michelangelo in his later career like so.
Then he chose—or Watteau chose to add that bulging egg in there like so.
Again, coming outside the drawing and thinking of it as simple terms is really, really useful.
You can see over here, Leading the Swan, let’s just look at the gesture.
Center line of the head, pit of the neck, see how he marked that.
The little hatching here to show the breastbone.
Look at the big change.
It’s a very subtle, languid pose.
You can see this fluid pose.
Yet, there is really a pretty extreme, almost violent shift there between the rib cage position
as seen through the breastbone and the belly there.
That’s part of the style of the time, Renaissance with Michelangelo, along with Michelangelo,
High Renaissance, that was the style.
And so, what we’re interested in is not necessarily a style—
you may hate the style of this.
What we want is the information underneath.
We want to know what these masters did to be masters.
One of the things he did is he was very conscious of how we have these rhythms.
Let’s look at it a different way.
Here is the far side of the face.
Here is the far side of the torso.
Here is the far side of the hip and the thigh.
Look at that beautiful swing, swing, swing.
That’s the beauty of that pose.
Notice how it’s met with, responded to, and opposed by the swan, which was, of course,
Zeus up to his antics again.
Here we have this guy starting this way.
Number one is over here.
It’s in reverse on that one, but it’s the same kind of rhythm to it, of course,
then that pointing into thing.
So, that’s the rhythms of it.
Let’s look at the construction of it based on those rhythms.
So, here, of course, is the center line of the head.
We have another core, so I’ll give you an egg shape, clearly an egg shape, and that’s
Renaissance loved eggs because eggs said birth, and that was symbolic of the faith that was
the dominance and the Renaissance, the trinity idea.
Even the neck is a little egg.
This was in the eyes or eggs.
Everything was eggs, and that was very typical of these, especially mother-type images, the
Madonna type images.
Even though this was mythology and not Christianity, it was from Roman mythology, we still have
that lens of the Christian idea in there.
That pulls down there as we said.
We can break it down section by section, if we want.
We can also break down the forms section by section.
What I’m going to do is instead of using an egg, maybe, it would really be more appropriate,
given what I just said, let’s go head and follow the chiseled center line because that’s
technically a little easier maybe for us, to be able to feel this architecture.
We’ll chisel down, make that egg a boxy egg, in effect.
This tracks with this.
This tracks with this.
Let me scoot that over like that.
And so, we can take it that way, and this goes off this way, comes down here, comes
Notice on the stretch side it gets nice and long.
On the pinch side it gets nice and short.
That’s where we’ll measure.
We’ll come and see how much waste is left between the rib cage.
Actually, no waste is left between the rib cage and the pelvis.
The pelvis comes way up into that in here and then builds out from another egg-lik. idea.
It builds out from the waist and rib cage there.
I like to use a miniskirt actually.
They didn’t have miniskirts in the Renaissance, but it’s a nice simple shape that can end
at the bottom of the pubic area, or you can go on down the actual rear end, the gluteal
folds, the pinch of the rear end there against the hamstrings would be down there a little
bit farther, maybe not quite that far, but somewhere in there.
And there we have it again.
Shoulder line is in the way.
Shrugging muscle makes a little triangle that gets interrupted by the neck, and that is
where our rib cage bumps up against.
There is that accordion in and out of the paper, going into the paper at the top.
Going flat to the picture plane and then going into the paper at the bottom.
Or, again, we can do our coke bottle like so.
Alright, over here we have another Raphael, less stylized.
Again, we can see the gorgeous rhythm.
There is the gesture of the head.
There is the gesture of the torso.
You can see it goes all the way up to the base of the skull, almost.
Neck would curve this way, and then the skull.
That’s the bulging stretch.
That’s the bulging stretch.
Keep this consistent gesture number one, gesture number two, gesture number three.
Starting all the way at the pit of the neck we can’t see.
Coming down here, and it’ll be all the way down to the crotch that we can’t see.
But, there it is there, gesture number three.
You can see when you just make it about those gestures how just fantastically fluid it is,
which is not surprising when we understand the body is mainly fluid.
That is the far side.
This is the—we stay in the center line.
If we want to do the far side of the torso—we could do either one of these.
Far side or the center line.
They’re both showing.
Take this out here.
Make it a little bit more accurate.
Keep it on the edge rather than on the center line that we can’t see.
The center line is hidden inside that contour, so we’ll simplify the contour.
This is the skinny neck building out to the big rib cage, tucking down and binding against
This is going up into the waist and tucking down into the skinnier legs.
Again, we get that accordion action.
In this case, it’s doubled up because of the curvature of the spine.
In the front, it’s a long simple arrangement when we have these upright poses.
Of course, if he bent over this way, then we’d have the simple curvature of the spine
and the doubling up of the binding stomach and such.
That should line is in here.
Again, there is that drumstick if we choose to use it.
Notice how thin and relatively small that torso is and how massive because of this three-quarter
pose, and the fact that his arms, his elbows are kicking out this way and dragging that
V-shape, that latissimus out off of the rib cage, and so expanding from the rib cage.
Do that a little bit.
Let’s hide this side just a little bit so we can see that.
Here we go.
So, big difference.
Now, the arm, when we’re in more of a profile and the shoulder is inside the contour, then
it stays more tubular or more that bean bag idea, same idea that
they use for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny and all the cute animals stuff,
cartooning and animation.
Then again, we get this glorious gesture forward/back, forward/back,
and then this would be forward, and that would be back again, all the waydown through the body.
Okay, so we have Vesalius anatomical studies, famous engravings showing the anatomy of these
basically hanging cadavers.
He’d set them up.
You can see how beautifully all the muscles are shown, but you can also see when you focus
too much on anatomy how the aesthetics run away with you a little bit.
Now, these are actually beautifully done engravings, and he was much criticized for putting in
backgrounds, environments, because he made it an aesthetic statement as opposed to purely
medical, artistic anatomy.
But, the aesthetics I’m talking about is the figure itself.
We’ve got all the muscles shown so that we can see all the muscles, and they’re
Every muscle is brought out.
And so, in an aesthetic choice, generally what we’re going to do is we’re going
What we’re going to do with whatever anatomy we choose to learn, and I hope you learn a
lot, you want to make sure that that’s not the end result.
That’s not the end; it’s the means.
We want to know the anatomy so we can understand better the structure.
I don’t want to get every striation of muscle or even the separation of all the different
What I want to do is get an aesthetically pleasing shape and a architecturally and even
an engineering, functional shape.
In this case, you can see the box he turned it in, and notice that there are all these
subtle tones here.
There are suggestions of many things going on.
The sacrum and such and the gluteus medius and the gluteus maximus and the tensor fasciae
latae up here and the sacrum and the oblique and all this stuff.
There are suggestions of that, but they are subordinated to an aesthetic idea.
And so that’s what we want to do.
Learn the muscles but then mask them.
Sometimes you’ll separate a lot, and sometimes you’ll group a lot, and usually more often
the latter than the former.
Don’t allow the muscles to dominate.
What we really want is the architecture of those forms, the simple shapes and lots of
Our bank of choices usually begin and sometimes even end with variations of this kind of thing.
Understanding that and, even more importantly, understanding how they flow.
So, if I can look at a muscle and see where it begins more or less, and see where it ends,
look at how I can find that watery design there.
Also, look at how it sometimes will get caught up in the—let’s see if I can get something
that will show up here.
We get it caught up in the little things here, and we miss the big thing here.
I’m looking for excuses to group as much together as I can, and muscles can be a great
part of that, or they can cause great problems if we misunderstand what they are or their uses.
Alright, so now, here again we have that Raphael thrusting forward.
We have, in this case, shoulders blocking the bottom of the head and the neck so we
don’t get to see that connection.
By not being able to see a good landmark connection, that pit of the neck, it can really affect
the fit and finish or form.
We might stick that head-on.
It may not feel right.
It might be stuck on.
Whereas if we can see that connection here, we have a better chance of fitting it on.
He actually didn’t fit that face onto that skull very well.
But, if we can’t use the structure, the landmarks—this form ends, this form begins,
that kind of thing—we can use the gesture.
Notice how the gesture of the head is still beautifully related and fairly precisely related
to the gesture of the body.
If I can feel this—we’ll see if I can feel this—to this, this to this.
Then it’s going to have a better fit.
I can also use little hidden gestures.
Notice how this lines up through that.
It’s just a happenstance, just a lucky accident.
Anatomically they are unrelated.
But, in terms of fluid gesture, they happen to align and connect.
That’s going to help me feel a better fit to this stuff.
It’s a really beautiful drawing, isn’t it?
the connections that are going to make my drawing work well.
If I end up just drawing the rib cage because I’m worried about just the rib cage then
I may be great at drawing rib cages.
I might be lousy putting shoulder girdles and heads on them and whatever else, hips
Do some of the connecting forms too.
With the torso, of course, we have the shoulder girdle that has to set up for the arms.
We’ll do a little bit of that.
We’ll save most of that for when we deal with the arms.
Now, what I want to do is get simple, yet characteristic.
Ideally, I’m not going to do a generic head.
I’m going to do the head of a young woman that has a certain hairstyle and maybe even
a certain attitude.
That’s going to be a much better idea.
It’s going to make it—even at a simple stage—potentially a piece of art that I
would frame, but certainly a piece of art that I could build greater works on top of
because I’ve worked out some really key ideas.
Okay, so there it is there.
Whoa, wait a second.
Let me compare it to the vertical.
Where in that spine—since the spine is almost always curving, especially when you have a
teacher who picks a little bit more dynamic designs because he loves that, then we need
to look at it and kind of parse it out.
Look up in the shoulder blade area, then in the lower back area, and then in the hip area.
See where it’s vertical or most vertical.
Notice in that shoulder blade area it’s almost perfectly vertical.
Getting that verticality on the curve, finding exactly where it’s vertical, that’s going
to allow you to position it more accurate in space as we talked about.
But also, that’s going to be the secret of not having your figures fall over.
If you find something that should be vertical, and you make it an angle, the figure is going
to fall off the page.
How often has that happened to you?
If something is vertical or almost perfectly vertical, go ahead and make it vertical, and
then pick out—this goes this way somehow.
I’m not sure how.
I’ll build into that.
Notice I’m going to look to the waist-wide, and I don’t know exactly where the waist is.
I don’t know if this should be here or here or here yet.
None of that matters.
I just need to get it roughly correct, and I will refine it later.
A waist-wide tube.
Don’t build out at all to the V-shape.
Just make it parallel lines all the way up.
If you end up at the end of it, making her a little too heavy, you can trim it off.
Or if a little too thin, you can build it up.
Just take your best guess.
Then we’re going to have that rib cage go into the skinny neck.
Unless she’s lying back toward us, we’re going to almost always see—or we’re way
above her, we’re going to almost always see the top of the rib cage do that.
Then around the bottom of the shoulder blades it’s going to do that.
That’s going to maybe tuck in a little bit at the waist.
This is not a big curve in that spine so it stays fairly flat, fits in there.
Now, where the heck are those hips?
Are they over here?
Are they over here?
Are they down here?
Probably the best place to figure out where to attach the hips, and this is a problem
that happens with a lot of artists.
Michelangelo, sometimes on purpose and I think sometimes not on purpose, would add a lot
of extra waist in there and make it too long.
You’ll see that with a lot of young artists where they’ll add the extra waist.
Sometimes it’s an aesthetic choice, the Mannerists.
Michelangelo’s Mannerist period, he really started the Mannerist movement.
Pontormo and Parmigianino and all those folks, they would add extra on purpose.
Oftentimes, it’s not done on purpose.
And the place to check, here is the arm.
Notice I’m drawing some of the arm, and the shoulder is just a corner here.
The reason I’m drawing the arm even though this is a torso drawing is so I can come to
that armpit and measure down that pinching site.
Always go to the short side.
There it is there.
Here is that pinch in here.
Better to make it a little too short than a little too long.
I think that’s about right.
If I need to, I’ll add in several pinches.
I’ll just kind of go pinch to pinch to pinch.
That’s a great way, that’s that bean bag idea.
That’s a great way to measure how close it gets because on the pinch side everything
gets much closer.
That’s a great place to check your proportions.
That’s going to go down this way.
Then I’m going to feel that spine.
Correct it, here’s the gluteal split there.
There is the gluteal fold.
She has this beautiful long torso, which is a lot of fun.
You can see the final contour.
Sometimes I’ll actually add a final contour on it lightly or darkly.
Just because this gets so simplified and abstract, I might want to feel whether or not it really
Sometimes you’re drawing these balls, boxes, and tubes, and nothing up there is that simple
or that abstracted.
Go ahead and put in something a little bit more realistic or parse it out a little more
Chisel out as you’re doing here to feel that.
The final armpit, just so you know, would be over here someplace.
If it was some heroic figure, it might be way over here.
But, that gets us going.
Slow, slow, slow.
Let’s try another one.
Alright, so the arms are up.
I’m just going to, much more vertical.
Make the arm, shoulder, shoulder blade a corner that’s going to make the top.
It’s going to replace this with an arm and the connecting tissue.
There is the arm there just so you can see it.
Pass our little beanbag idea.
Let’s go on there.
Then I’m going to come down that side here waist wide.
This is really a bean bag in here.
We have the clothing there, so you can put that in or not.
You can pretend it’s a full nude or not, but here is the rib cage.
You can see how rounded it gets.
Here is that contour coming down here.
Then the hip is in here.
I’m actually going to draw that in there so you can see what I’m looking at.
I’m looking at every little bulge.
Now it’s going to be an egg.
There is the egg of the rib cage.
Then we have the egg of the oblique in here, drawing again what you see.
Notice as I did this, the advantage of doing some of that before or after, you can start
with the egg certainly, is that tells me where the structure is, that little structure, and
I’m using that to figure out where this next big structure is, very similar process
as I did here.
But now, that tells me how this integrates back into the hole.
Notice that is a gestural idea.
We’ll look at that more carefully when we get into more sophisticated ideas.
Lay in major landmarks.
If you’re not sure of the big stuff, lay in some of the smaller stuff,
especially at the joint.
We’re going to spend more time talking about that as we move along into the body parts
and into the next lesson and stuff.
So, just simple.
As much as you can observe.
I don’t know what that is anatomically mainly, maybe, but I know that little triangle shape,
kind of a sailboat shape like we draw for here is a little structure that helps me understand
how it sits on the big structure.
It’s just architecture.
I’m just a woodworker.
I’m just building with materials, big materials.
I may not know exactly what that material is, but architecturally I know what it does
It allows this big arm and this big rib cage to fit together.
Okay, so that’s that.
Here is the center line in here like that, and it goes off to the legs, which is a—look
at that, I screwed up didn’t I?
I screwed up again.
I screwed up again.
Just stay with it until you get it.
Oftentimes, that ends up being just charming, just like this stuff is.
It’s not so much a mistake as it’s a lovely search for the truth, and the audience oftentimes
We’ll see in Pontormo one of favorites.
He’ll search all over the place to find stuff.
Sometimes the abandoned solutions are just as fun to see and just as beautiful to see
as the committed solutions.
You might draw three nipples looking for the nipple, example.
So, that’s that.
Alright, this has a little bit of perspective in it.
Now I need to get that pencil test if I’m not sure.
I’ll use the top of my pencil, and I’ll tilt that back, and I’ll lean that back.
I can do it in two steps.
I can say it leans this way, and it tilts about that way.
If I’m going to make a mistake, I’d rather have it tilt too much.
I’m going to have that rib cage go way back in space.
I’m going to have it tilt too much if I’m going to screw that up.
Always err to the more dynamic.
Notice how I’m very careful to make sure that the sides of the tube come into the roll
at the end of the tube.
Notice that I don’t do this because that’s going to feel like I stepped on the roll of
I need to feel it going around.
These construction lines need to curve into the sides, not bump into the sides.
The breast forms are in here.
Let’s say somehow these were fuller breast forms up here, I could think of that as just
like a shoulder line.
I could go from nipple to nipple down and on a secondary step break them into two separate
cup shapes, breast forms.
In this case, it sits fairly flat as it normally would because you’re laying back, and so
the breasts are falling or collapsing back to some degree.
But anyway, getting that bigger construction line that can relate to other construction
lines, just like the eyebrow line.
Do that with a full breast, set of breast structures.
You can see how we step back to the shoulder in here.
So we have a difficult structure, a difficult position, make it a little boxier is usually
what I do.
Then that gives me the armpit.
I can measure back, and look how close that hip is.
If I didn’t see that, I would have probably put the hips down here because that’s closer
to the true proportion.
That’s the way I understand it because Steve was showing me these proportions that way.
And I brush my teeth in the mirror, and I didn’t brush my teeth in this position.
It was closer to that position.
So, then just parse out—there is the breast.
There is the rib cage coming back to the breast.
Here is more or less the end of the rib cage.
There is the belly button there.
Notice I’m drawing the belly button this way so it’s a stretching belly button on
that a stretching form.
So, the belly button is actually showing the gesture.
The little detail is showing the big, constructed idea.
We don’t draw something because it’s a nice detail.
We draw it first so that it reinforces the important ideas.
Quite often when you have a stretching torso like that you’ll see that hip bone pop out,
and that is a nice corner.
So, I’d want to pick that up.
If I do this, I’m going to destroy that corner.
I’m going to lose that sense of tension, and I’ll scoot the position over a little bit.
I might even end up putting the belly button over here.
Make sure you shoot out to those big corners, those important corners where a structure
Like, you wouldn’t want to lose the elbow.
You wouldn’t want to lose the shoulder.
You don’t want to lose that either.
It’s a much subtler statement.
Notice I can think of this by using the highlights here.
We’ll see that when we get into full tone.
That is the other corner.
That boxy structure.
For a moment, I’ll go to the box just like I did up here.
And that will give me a nice finish or understanding really to the ending.
Again, we’re not into legs yet, but we know it’s a tube.
I’ll bet you can guess that.
There we go.
And then this is back in here.
Let’s think about this for a second.
Let’s look at the arms first, for no particular reason.
The arms don’t have a natural center line.
What’s over here is not over here.
They’re asymmetrical, which means they are probably going to curve most of the time in
most positions, which is good for us because that is going to give us that sense of life,
that fluidity, whereas sometimes the torso and head can get stiff and straight.
We’re dependent on its position to bring that curve back in.
But the arms and legs tend to be more fluid and almost always have a curve.
So, let’s take a look at that.
We’re going to draw the upper arm as I already suggested in the earlier drawing as a curve:
length, width, depth.
Notice I did the little depth line first.
It won’t matter the order you do.
Maybe I’ll draw that top because I want it to connect to something.
That kind of thing.
So, there is goes there.
Now, why did I draw it that way?
Here is going to be the elbow here.
Then the forearm will go that way.
So, why is it that way?
Why isn’t it this way?
You can tell immediately it doesn’t feel right.
How do we know it’s wrong?
It feels wrong, but what is it about it that makes it feel that way?
Here’s the simple solution.
If you know where the elbow is—here’s the elbow—we just use the elbow test.
The elbow test says if the elbow points down, the curve of the upper arm will swing up.
The curve of the forearm will swing up.
And our rule of aerodynamics means that if we curve it more, that’s a better mistake
than curving it less.
The only danger of curving something is to curve it the wrong way from where it’s supposed
If you do it that way, it’s a big problem.
We just want to use the elbow test.
Let’s look at our arm here.
If the elbow is pointing down both the forearm and the upper arm swing up.
In this case, it’s like a hammock.
If the elbow points up, then the forearm and the upper arm swing down.
It won’t matter whether it’s articulated or open.
That swing is going to stay the same almost no matter what.
So, I can bend this way up here, and it’s still going to have that same up and away
curvature to the forearm.
I can straighten it out here, and it’s still going to do that.
It’s still going to go this way off the straight.
Okay, so use the elbow test.
Well, what happens if the elbow isn’t on the surface but just closer to the top.
Well, if it’s closer to the top, it’s still upper arm and lower arm are swinging
If it’s closer to the bottom, it’s still swinging up.
As long as the elbow favors one side, favors the bottom and swings up, favors the top and
swings down, that’s all we have to do for our elbow test.
Whatever else we put on there, I’ll put a little bit more on there so you can get
the idea of it.
Elbow test is going to ring true.
Well, what happens if it’s a perfect front or back view?
Well, the upper arm can get stiff and straight in that position.
That’s the first time we’ve run into that with the limbs.
If we’ve got a perfect front view of the arm or perfect back view of the arm, it can
look stiff and straight.
You can draw it that way, and it’ll be just fine.
You’ve lost a little bit of life in the overall composition, but the forearm is going
to come right back into a curve.
Let me draw it this way.
Here is the rib cage.
These gestures are true for male or female.
The upper arm may well, let’s draw it stiff and straight.
You can see I started to give it a curve—anyway, we’ll talk about that in a second.
Stiff and straight.
But, you can just see how the arms—let me get up into the camera here.
See how the arms, even though I’ve pushed my upper arms right
against my rib cage right there.
The rib cage is touching the elbow right there, but look at how the forearms swing out still,
So, even when the upper arms are stiff and straight, the forearm will take us back into
that lovely curve.
We’ll recover that fluid design.
It can be, as I said, stiff and straight.
You’ll be fine.
However, I hate straight.
There are times we want to use it, times we have to use it.
A guard at attention standing right in front of us, so we can’t get into the nightclub
or whatever it is, the super-secret place.
But, I would prefer to do curves almost always.
So, the good news is the straight didn’t last long, and then we went right back to
The bad news is we did have to put a straight in there.
But, look at what happens.
If I cap the arm with the deltoid, with the shoulder, the bulging shoulder that’s sitting
out on the side here to lift that arm up like this.
If I put that there, now notice how it swings this way.
That’s what I had drawn the first time, so if you simplify that out you’re welcome
to do this.
It’s absolutely accurate.
In fact, it’s more accurate in a way than if I do this.
Notice how I’ve added a curve there by thinking of that bulge that comes in.
Then the forearm actually bulges there too.
I’m simplifying that.
So, take your pick.
It can do this, or you can do that, and you’ve got a curve.
Now, let’s talk about that.
When I have a tube, there are actually three ways to get a curved design.
I can draw it stiff and straight, and that, of course, will not be a curved long axis.
I can draw both sides parallel and curving the same or tapering for a forearm or calf
and curving the same.
Each of those—it’s curving the same direction so, of course, the gesture is going to flow
I could also do it this way.
I could make one side a lesser curve and one side a greater curve, and then I’d have
something in between for the gesture.
Not as fully curved as that.
Not as minimally curved as that.
Somewhere between the two.
Or, I could make one side stiff and straight as I did here, and then make the other side
Then the natural center line, if we could see inside, would split the difference.
That’s the gesture idea.
If we want a neck curve, it’s both of them curved, one curved more than the other, one
curved a lot, and the other not curved at all.
They’re all gestures.
To some degree or another, they all fulfill their need, our need to get fluid,
organic, lively forms in there.
So, take your pick.
Again, it’s just simple and characteristic.
When I look at it, is it more this, more this, or more this?
and I don't have the name of this beautiful draftsman here
but what we'll notice is
when we get the shoulders inside the torso
and we don't have that
shoulder line to worry about and it shows the tube
of the torso or the beanbag of the torso or whatever it is
but it shows that waist wide relationship. In this case
he's playing a little bit with that, letting it
cut in a little bit for effect there, which is lovely.
but it's still the same idea. And that solves a lot of problems,
we don't have to worry about that shoulder v-ing out. We're gonna have to deal with that
in the next drawing. And so
that the arms don't intrude and hide the beautiful
simple shape and relationship
and rhythm. Notice the head
here, that's just barely shown. It's actually been
erased against that - against that, one, two
three, four. Down there.
It's much more easily seen. And again we can use the far sides
or we can use the gestures to map that out.
Here again. One
four, five even. Okay but really the first
two or three is what we want. One, two, three, down here
I should say actually. One, two, three. This is part of that same
structure on that gesture so
ping pong match like so. So beautifully done
and the shoulders stay out of the way for the most part. Here we get a little bit of
intrusion but it's on the far side behind the head, it doesn't cover our head.
And so it's not a problem at all.
But the problem we have
without having the shoulder line is that the shoulder line
when it's in front, three quarter, or back three quarter
view, anywhere in there, when it's not in profile
we get this nice, simple corner. The shoulders work as a corner. Now here
the corner's coming out at us basically
isn't it. And so it's inside here
and we don't get that coming out of the paper idea. I'm wiggling my
pencil like you can see it coming out of the paper. Imagine it coming it out of the paper.
We're not getting that. We're getting a little bit of it over here and then we
get - we can see that lovely graphic effect, just in terms of the silhouette
we feel wide
into a corner, swinging arm. It works
beautifully there. So what do we do? Well we can do a couple
things. If the arm lifts up
then we're just gonna use the shoulder and
the arm as a corner. And then we'll just add the
arm on it. And notice if I curl that arm a little bit
this way towards these connector muscles, the shoulder girdle
we get a nice sense of the
tube ending and this other structures beginning and we don't have to explain that
other structure at all. We can just say it
ends like that. But here's my corner there. Takes care of it.
Now the ribcage is underneath it
and we might even want to
head, neck, now we use the shoulder line this way
instead of head, neck,
shoulder line this way. So we might even want to start with that
corner and come down and then
coke bottle and then center line to make sure it all tracks
off the neck. Coke bottle there. Finishing out in whatever
perspective and this comes out here. And so we could actually
use that as the beginning of our torso if we wanted to.
The construction of the torso as we've moved off the head and the neck.
Or if we can see the
arm down, then we go
head, neck, pit of the neck,
center line. Or center line, center line.
Far side, near side.
Make sure I add this construction, this
structure, I come back and feel the gesture. It's real easy
to do this and this
and this and add this stuff, whatever the shapes are,
and just stack it and not come back and feel
what it should be. Because if we feel what it should be
rhythmically, often times we find the mistake.
Like ah that should be tighter up there
and then it comes down.
So anyway we got that
and then we come back to that pit of the neck again and go
just a simplified collarbone. It just curls. In fact when you're
on top of a ribcage like this -
we can just use the collarbone as the simplified top of the ribcage.
tracks pretty well. Not perfectly but pretty well. And bring that right over
where the shoulder blade - I'm sorry where the collar bone
ends, the deltoid begins. Just draw your little egg shape.
draw your little
tube. Got the big tube of the torso, now we have a
little tube for the arm,
and it works right underneath that clavicle.
And then there we have it. So then we can come back here and use the
backside because that gives me a contour to work with, coming off our
gesture line, gesture number two
Gesture number two. And we can roll right
off that and then find that corner. Notice by going over
and then under we get a nice corner there. And also we've gotten the corner
through the gestures. In this case the supposing gesture.
So just because we need a corner
doesn't mean we have to draw a straight line. The corner can
be created by two curved lines and usually should be
because we want that organic quality.
That lively quality. Notice the
corners are all created here without any straight lines at all.
So that swings off here and takes off
that way. And we just
add in the thickness of the arm
off that collar bone, or off the egg shape
that's against the collarbone or off that
And notice that the nipple line
up with the pinching construction, that's all on the
front and so this rounded tube could also be thought of
as a boxy idea if you wanted to.
And often times you want to.
And then that could go - that would be
the side of the box like so. So they track
beautifully these simple forms. Simple constructions. Because they are fairly
simple. The deltoid is kind of an egg shape
or a tear drop shape which is just an egg with a tail. You know
they very much are those things.
So anyway that gives you that and then if the
forearm lines up and goes in generally the same
direction as the upper arm, they usually connect on a curve
so you can just continue that tubular idea
and we're just gonna make the tube though taper
as it gets to the wrist. It will be a parallel tube
as it moves along the upper arm.
Track. And then once it gets to the
forearm, then it becomes a tapering tube.
And then in this case the hand
turns the other way. So it's going
arm, hand, like that,
And that's a lovely finish. We see the same thing here.
Upper arm tube comes down,
it's a parallel tube coming off the egg or off the collarbone
or both. It's actually coming towards us just a touch
because he's moving the elbow out towards the end of the
leg. And then we come to the corner because in this case the upper arm
I'm going in distinctly different direction than the forearm.
And then we taking off, right on down
towards the wrist and it tapers to the wrist.
And I usually end that forearm with a little S curve. I do
I do the same thing with the thigh often times because it gives a better finish.
A more refined connection. So we're gonna do that again.
This swings off. I always comes on the outside corner because I get the better connection there.
Inside corner can way up. This comes this way. And then
I turn that at the very end make it a little S curve.
Make sure you can see that.
Little S curve like that and then that takes me,
gives me a nice transition in to the hand and then again
the hand goes this way. So this way to
this way. This way to this way.
And that's a lovely, watery
finish to that arm. Here we have Michelangelo and Leonardo,
that's a nice pairing here. And
the Leonardo of course is anatomical study, you can see the skeleton
with some of the facial muscles still on there but not on the
neck. But because Leonardo's Leonardo, we have some
wonderful sense of aesthetics here, which is useful for us,
it's a good lesson. Let's actually start with the MIchelangelo
first. Michelangelo, because he's Michelangelo, puts
in every single muscle - well that's not true, he puts in more muscles than there really are
usually. He packs it. He does it aesthetically,
beautifully, and you can see there's a real soft light to this, it's not a real direct light.
and you'll see that in mannerist painting especially.
But also in fresco paintings, you don't have a lot of value range
to play with like you do with oils. So often times the frescos were
fairly flat in light. And so he has these wonderful rhythms and
patterns, but there's a lot of half tone detail
there's a lot of detail in the shadows and the two get kinda confused and
so you don't get as powerful a light and shadow effect
like you do here for example.
When you keep it simple, a simple two value system where the lights are,
light and the shadows are dark and the two don't compete
but you get a lovely rhythm
but the reason I pick this Michelangelo is I wanna be able to look at the
a figure up on the stage or in
photograph or analysis of some favorite artist and see the
simple truth underneath all this complexity. So there's that head,
here's the head suggesting with the neck. They're flowing
together and then we're gonna get this countercurve of
course, there's my G2 against the G1. That's that
rhythm, inside gives us that wave action. Two,
here's three, up in here. It would start way up at the pit of the neck, we can't see that because
of the interruption of the arm of course, G3.
But feeling that and actually trying to feel where the pit of the
neck would be is an excellent exercise and then
G4 would be the buttox here
or the buttox here.
So anyway that's the rhythm. Let's do that again
and now let's take those rhythms and add
construction on it. Let's
do that let's say, well that's not so good, let's do that.
There we go, here is.
That ear is so important, if the ear gets closer to the face
we know that face is turning about, in this case we're getting
three quarter back, a little less than that, we're getting like that let's say.
Here's that strong neck, you can see he's made
the head smaller than it really should be to idealize this
There's the shoulder line covering some of the face of course.
Chin and a little bit of the shrugging muscle, it's hard to see with all this
stuff there, little bit of the shrugging muscle but just a bit. We're actually below this,
this was a figure that was up high in the Sistine Chapel and
we wanna feel like we're underneath it. It's on the ceiling of course. But we wanna feel like we're
underneath it in terms of perspective, that body. So
we're getting that kind of thing going on. And then -
and then we got this huge, massive, muscular character, but we're gonna
go from the inside out. That's the strength of
the gesture structure is if we can build architecturally the
bigger masses under the more
articulating smaller masses, the wilder
and freer smaller masses then it's gonna
cohere better, it's gonna fit together. Here's the tube of the torso,
coke bottle idea, this is doing this,
flattening out and then it actually goes this way.
The other way. And look at how we can come right on down and
waist wide tube. And notice also
take this off.
Notice how since this
is almost a profile,
we can treat it as a perfect profile.
And that wouldn't do us any harm it all, in fact it would make life a lot easier.
So any time you get the torso or part
of the torso, maybe the hips are almost a perfect profile but the
ribcage isn't. In this case the hips and the ribcage are almost
perfect profile and then the shoulders aren't.
So do that and then add on
the little extra
that you need to. Let's say that.
And then we might find at the end
shoot I goofed up, I should have moved that over
into even more, that's okay, we can make that little correction later.
We just want it to ring true. So it's approximately
true. Like that. And then later we add this big
triangle of a shoulder blade and all the
accompanying muscles, the latissimus and the rotator cuff
stuff and all that kinda stuff. You can see this huge V shape and
you can see I'm putting this simply in how probably half
of the male superheroes and probably a third
of the female superheroes have some design like that on their costume
to show how many or how powerful they are. So that's
that V shape, the hood of the cobra, is like a hood of a cobra
a lot of work in terms of showing power and strength and maleness
and all that kinda stuff. And it's a very modern idea
and western idea. It's been in the West for a long time.
The Greeks, that V shape, not
this much but they did it a lot. In the East, up until
modern times, Eastern art would
consider great strength being rooted in the
stomach and the hips. Think of the
seated Buddha or the horse stance
for martial arts. Low center of gravity
and wide root of the
action in the hips and in the waist. So I can assume
a wrestler. They don't want a V shape, they wanna have a lot of weight down here, they have a big belly
belly actually so you can get a lower center of gravity.
But nowadays even in the East, most of the aesthetic, what's
considered beautiful, the action star,
the martial artist is going to have more of that traditionally Western
proportion. So that fits like that and it sits right underneath -
the tube of the
torso I should say sits right underneath. And then we have the egg of the hip in here.
So let's do it one more time because we got kinda side tracked. You guys got me
talking about something I shouldn't have been talking about.
There it is, fitting into the neck.
It's almost a profile so I'm gonna make it a profile. Let's do an egg this time
because he has so many egg like forms. And notice
if we now treated it as an egg,
what we might wanna do is make the egg a little bigger because of this bulge here.
Can you see how stylized he's made the
waist in terms of pinching it and bulging out
those muscles. So that would be - or you could do it
doubling up like
that. Do two eggs, split at the spine of course
and then you'd have two eggs below here also
for the buttox.
So and then I
in effect an hour glass figure
with that thinner waist. And then on top of that we build
out again. So here is the
is the waist and hip
and there's the waist and hip. Alright so
that and then we come back to that shoulder line
and the shoulders are lots of things
but mainly we want them to be a corner
for the arm, corner for the arm.
Make sure it's nice and clear there
and then we add the tube of the arm and if we curl off
that line then we know the tube
of the arm has ended, you can see the end here
and the shoulder
girdle has begun. Now let's look at the shoulder blades
real quick and if we look at that center line
unless the arms move up
closer to the horizontal, closer to the
alignment of the shoulders, if they stay down here
or down at the sides, the shoulder blades probably not gonna move
and it's gonna be close or exactly
parallel to the spine. Specifically this section of the
spine, right there. And here's the other shoulder blade here, that
shoulder blade is a little triangle that goes in
perspective, that's why I gave a thickness here, in perspective over
to the arm and that's
with along with the muscles, that's what makes that corner there. So
let's do this.
There's one down there and you can see that
triangle in the contour here.
The contour here and the
shadow here and notice now the shoulder, shoulder blade
unit is on top of the ribcage,
on top of the
ribcage here we come up again.
So it's on top and that's what straps
onto the torso.
So let's pick up the shoulder blade here.
See it's a -
it's a anatomy lesson, it's a
structural lesson, it's a gestural lesson, and to a great extent
these old masters are life lessons too. There's so much to be
learned. So if you don't like the old style, if it's old
fashioned looking to you, still look at it, please I beg you
because there's so much to be learned from it.
So that sits there, so we wanna be very clear
that we have the shoulder - shoulder blade
unit on top of the ribcage and working independently
of the ribcage and that's another reason to make it a waist wide
and egg and keep it and build out
secondarily into the wider V shape so that's a
that lays over the top like the football players shoulder pads.
I doesn't feel fused on or broken away.
Alright so now when we look at Leonardo here we'll see here's the shoulder line but
actually because this arm's lifting up, the shoulder line goes
this way. Lifts up a little bit that way.
So let's do
this, pit of the neck, collar bone,
comes along here, let me do a better job than that.
Collar bone. Where the collar
bone meets the shrugging muscle, that's our deltoid
corner, the shoulder which makes the corner.
Here that arm lifting up a little bit so it swings up a little higher.
Now watch what happens. Here's the breast
bone, it's actually slightly
malaligned from the
pit of the neck
and there's the chest. You can
see the chest attaches across the ribcage.
It's attached to the ribcage there and then it breaks free
from the ribcage and goes up and attaches at the armpit.
And actually - and usually we see it just -
I can do this.
We usually just,
we just see it pinch against the arm and we think it just dead ends but when
the arm lifts up we see
it stretch over and wherever the
deltoid goes, which is on the outside of the arm,
the chest goes, also to the outside of the arm, so it pulls over here.
And when the arm lifts up you can see that, see how it wraps over there?
This is the arm now.
And you can see the rest of this grouping here
is behind so what we wanna feel
is the ribcage
in whatever perspective it is. The chest, pectoralis,
or breast forms, either way or both.
fit there. Shoulder blade
or shoulder line we should already have, corner of the shoulders we should already have
and then we're gonna take the
chest over the arm towards the
outside, out here, and over the arm
towards the outside or in this case in the top side here.
And then if we see a little bit of the V shape,
muscle, this massive affair, poking out here, we can
pick it up and probably should. And then this has this odd draping there, which
you almost never see that but
that's what you get with cadavers. Okay.
So that's that. Here we're looking down on top of the head.
And you can see
the collarbone which is here, here. And the shoulder
blade which is here, the spine of the shoulder, this is the blade of the
shoulder blade, the spine is - the blade is
right here. And you can see how we can draw
an egg shape for the ribcage and then this is the deltoid
you can see how the deltoid builds out
from that, builds out from back, and here's where it builds
out from that and this would be the arm if we move the arm into
a more open perspective it's easier to see.
Like so. And then we'd see a little bit of the chest in front
or we'd see spine in back and back.
With Leonardo, you can see that when the arm is down
it stays well inside our silhouette, the profile.
You can see how we can group all of this stuff into a simple egg for the rib cage, and we
can see the coke bottle bent on the profile, like so.
Then if we come back to that deltoid, the egg that accepts the arm, then here is the
collarbone right here.
It comes all the way over the surface.
You can see it bumping on the surface there.
There is the collarbone.
We can just come right across that egg or that coke bottle, and that’s the best we
can do for a corner.
It’s a pretty pitiful corner, but it does help.
It does help attach.
Or, you can pull this way, and we could go back along the back side if we wanted, and
there is our shoulder blade.
There is the triangular shoulder blade.
In this case now, sitting like this.
You can see it barely affects the contour.
It just pushes out and fills out from, I should say, the true egg of the rib cage.
If we look at a skeleton we’ll see that the rib cage is an egg shape, and that shoulder
blade pushes out.
Notice how it kind of chisels out.
That’s nice and useful.
That gives me kind of like the roof of a house.
We feel this is top and this is front.
It actually steps in before it goes down to the bottom.
Each of those little bumps, rather than just doing this make it feel like it’s architectural
because it is architectural.
It’s go those corners and it’s more structural.
Oftentimes, when we like them we get shadow shapes working along those corners.
That’s exactly what happens here.
They are not really shadows in this observational sketch, but they are tones.
And the tones are all on the side and bottom plane.
In fact, you can see how the bottom plane gets darker than the side plane.
Of course, the side plane is darker than the top plane.
That’s a useful way of thinking if we’re going to add value because then the tones
can attach to a certain plane, and then they stop at a very clear stopping place, the corner.
Now, when this arm comes forward as it does in this one, curl that off to let us know
it’s ended, here is the corner right there.
We could have used the collarbone.
We’re seeing a little bit more of the shoulder.
It’s actually going down here.
Now, as that swings forward, it’s going to start to drag that shoulder blade, start
to rotate it around a little bit.
It’s pulling this way.
Now that corner is getting dragged out, getting sharper, and pulling down.
Again, the values are tracking those corners beautifully as any good artist will do.
This guy was pretty good.
Even this kind of vague, subtle hatching if you really look at it carefully, everything
is there we need.
It’s just kind of lost in found variety, and it would be fairly easy to fill in all
that stuff like that.
As soon as that arm—not as soon as it starts to articulate, but when that arm articulates
strongly away from the body, the shoulder blade starts to become affected.
We want to pay attention to that because that’s going to show that dynamic difference.
The fact that that shoulder blade moves like that from here to here—although that’s
a little much isn’t it—that lets us know that the shoulder/shoulder blade unit which
is here, here, and here.
This is the shoulder/shoulder blade unit.
That is on top of the rib cage and not fused into the rib cage.
Now, from this front view, the only place we see the shoulder/shoulder blade unit is
on the contour.
We’re seeing that shoulder blade move, and it’s affecting those, especially this one,
affecting that latissimus dorsi, the V-shape hood-of-the-cobra muscle that’s pushing
But, we don’t really see that because we’re in a front view.
So, all we’re going to have then is the collarbone and the chest to work with and
some of the deltoid.
So, pit of the neck, breastbone, belly button, crotch.
Head is over here.
We have that subtle flow down, which we so enjoy.
Here we’ve got the head on there.
We really should have more skull in back.
That wouldn’t look very good.
It would look clunky.
This skinny of a model you would see more skull, but it’s been played down so that
we have a more fluid connection, I would guess is the reason he did that.
Then there is that coke bottle, that lovely transition.
You can see how the actual details—look at the tones here and especially the tones
here, take us right into that.
The anatomy does do that if we take a look.
The rib cage does come up in this position.
All this stuff is on top of it and covers that, all the muscle comes up and covers it,
but it does do that.
Now, wherever the chest is, the chest attaches across the rib cage and across the perspective
and character of the rib cage that way.
Then right about here, right at the corner, right here, it detaches and those muscles
stretch across space and attach over, in this case on the back side.
The chest actually comes over.
It doesn’t look like it from these views.
The chest comes over and attaches here.
The deltoid goes over it.
The chest is over the biceps.
But, when we get into this position where the arm is down, the shoulder and biceps push
in against the chest muscle, the pectoralis.
It looks like they separate there because they pinch.
We have this kind of lumping thing.
When the arms open up and stretch, we see the true connection.
The chest is not ending on the inside here, as what might be assumed here and oftentimes
is by artists, but rather it wraps over the biceps—there is there—over the biceps.
There it is there.
It goes, as I say, around the backside.
So, let’s do it here.
Here is the bucket or here is the bottle.
This pulls here.
This is in here.
Shoulders up here with the arm, wherever the shoulder goes the chest follows.
The arm intrudes in front of it.
I always think of that locker room hanger that you hang your wet towel over.
And so we come over here.
Pit of the neck.
We can follow the bump of the collar bone.
Wherever the shoulder is.
The chest follows.
They attach across the perspective of the rib cage.
The upper arm comes out of.
Then we have the V-shape muscle.
There is that V-shape muscle that we saw on that Michelangelo behind and invisible, but
we can see it here and here.
All we do is we fill in behind the rib cage.
This is all in front.
The yawning muscles, the latissimus dorsi muscle, they sit behind.
Okay, so that’s that.
Oh and then, let me just say on the arms, they break out of that.
In this case coming toward us a little bit.
You can notice how the bump of the elbow there is the bone coming to the surface there.
IT gives us a close, not exactly, it’s really a little thinner than that, but a close approximation
of the end of that cylinder gives us a sense of that.
Over here, there comes this way this way.
And here it’s a little less there.
Always attach the next form to the outside corner if you can.
It’s going to be a cleaner connection.
In this case, as in most cases, since the connection is great—not much greater in
this case—greater than a right angle, then we actually get two corners here.
That is to avoid it coming to a point.
Not much danger of it in this case, but still, we’ve got two corners there, so it fits
So, that’s that.
Then the forearm tapers and oftentimes is a little more curved than the upper arm.
That’s the case here.
Then the hand attaches on, and we’ll just do a mitten even without the gloved fingers
So, it attaches on, or we could do a box shape, like so.
Okay, let’s do the next one.
Alright, now as we look here, again, we can feel the torso coming down.
The shoulder and the arm when they lift up make a great corner.
Let me do that one more time.
There is the corner.
We’ll start with the corner.
Then we can come down.
That makes a great top, doesn’t it?
Make sure you go through that corner.
Look past the interruption to feel how it fits into the neck.
We get a really good connection there.
This is on top.
It’s hiding it.
We want to feel… let’s do this.
We want to feel that connection through.
Beyond that, we actually have two ways to work it.
We can work it as a profile as I just did, but we can also go along the shoulder line
because it’s a three-quarter profile.
Both shoulders are showing.
We can do a shoulder line through just like we can over here on the Raphael.
We could do both.
That’s not a bad idea at all to do both.
That arm is going to take off this way here.
Let’s go back to this.
Now we can go to that same corner, and/or we can do that same coke bottle.
Here is the coke bottle from the front down the center line.
Here is the little sliver of the far side back to the bucket shape or back to the coke
bottle shape, any one or you could actually do both.
We’re slightly on top of that.
We can tell by the pinch.
Here is another pinch showing it.
Then it gets to the skinny neck and goes on up.
The waist acts kind of like a spare tire muscle, or
not a spare tire muscle, but acts like a spare tire like that, kind of squished out.
You can see how simply we can conceive of these things.
The simpler we can do it, and yet the more characteristic, that has a lot of the same
character, does it?
We’re losing hardly nothing.
Or maybe I should say we aren’t losing hardly anything of the real, complex character by
conceiving it that way.
It really rings true on most any level, so that’s good stuff to have.
Let’s look a little more carefully at the arm now.
Here is the shoulder blade right here.
You can see it with that overlap right there.
Just use that—that’s part of the rotator cuff group in effect.
When you injure something you injure stuff in here, but it’s in that range.
That’s that shoulder girdle.
That is the muscle that stretch over and help to define the shape of that triangular shoulder
blade, which is right here.
There is the triangle.
You can see it’s not very different than the head shape.
You use basically the same two shapes.
Then that is the shoulder/shoulder blade unit that accepts the arm.
It’s accepting the arm and now is going to allow for the great articulation of the
arm on top of—here are more strapping muscles here.
The latissimus wraps back around there.
All this, this whole group here then fires up, moves that arm around in the position
it needs to be moved.
All of that is on top of the rib cage.
It all sits on top of the rib cage.
We’d have a similar assembly if we were looking at that model from back over here
on a drawing bench.
We’d have a similar assembly back over here coming to attach down in the backside, well
Let’s take that out so it doesn’t confuse us like so.
So, that’s that.
And then the forearm, let’s take this off again.
We have a lovely position to that forearm.
This sits like this.
Then we come to the outside corner and we feel that forearm going this way.
Let’s switch to a darker—there is that nice outside corner connection that we want
It’s a nice clean connection.
The corner gives us a good structural idea, a big change in direction.
The corner is created by two curved lines.
I’ll oftentimes even criss-cross them.
Let’s do it here.
Practicing what I’m preaching.
We have some tone here, and that gives kind of that feeling of a 2x4 for the upper arm
rather than a tube.
And that’s absolutely fine to do, especially on a muscular male.
And by having that flat plane, we have a nice opportunity to insert the deltoid into and
on top of that, whereas a young child or a woman oftentimes you want to keep it tubular.
When you start getting muscle, the biceps bulging forward and the triceps bulging back,
then it’s going to feel nice usually.
Feel true, ring true.
If we make that a little bit more of a 2 x 4.
If we were take that arm off so we could just see the forearm, we’d see, again, if we
wanted to, we could make this a 2 x 4 and take it back this way.
That’s why that’s doing that here.
We could feel through, feel that 2 x 4 idea.
It’s kind of a flat idea.
It’s actually overly flat for the real volume, but in this perspective it’s very effective.
That’s why this is a masterpiece, one of the many reasons it fits in.
Notice if we go to the thumb side, here is the thumb out here, but if we draw through
that thumb and cut it off in effect and go right down the knuckles and the little finger
side, the karate chop side here, which meets with the ulna, that little knob there.
Notice, again, how we get this lovely S-curve.
I’m always looking for the structure to fit on that fluid rhythm.
If we look at the thumb, the thumb gets in the way of that and takes us off this way.
We want to go this way.
I’ll look past that thumb.
And then, of course, in this case and in many cases in this situation, the pointer finger—I’ll
straighten it out—points and continues that gesture in a lovely way.
We get that same thing on this backside forearm flowing down.
And here is a great example of how the forearm is much more curved, oftentimes, and even
usually than the upper arm.
Upper arm is a little curved.
Forearm is usually a big-time curve.
Over here, here we can see a fine example of seeing the upper arm stiff and straight.
Every once in a while, we’ll have a fluid forearm not be fluid.
It’ll catch an angle that it happens to stiffen up.
And on the back of the upper arm we see that pretty consistently.
Here again we notice the back because the elbow is inside the contour almost right in
Again, this is very stiff and straight.
It pinches here.
That’s a tricky thing.
As art history went on, the taste of people changed a little bit, and the egg thing got
kind of old.
It had been done for a while.
Especially once you get past the Baroque period, that egg starts to decline.
Even in the Baroque they’re using boxy ideas for it.
In this case, the egg is still alive.
Notice how we could turn most of that upper arm into an egg, and then we’ve got the
shoulder as an egg on top of it.
Look at all the eggs here.
Now, the downside of eggs is it can get lumpy.
But of course, Raphael is Raphael, and he made sure that those eggs were subsumed into
the tube idea, and I’ll make it do that even more.
But, notice also what happens is makes such a deal out of the egg of the elbow that we
feel that very strongly, especially in this arm.
Anatomically, that’s pretty close to accurate.
But what happens if you’re not careful, if you’re not Raphael, or if you haven’t
learned by looking from Raphael, because who is Raphael.
By doing that, can you see how disjointed it becomes?
How the upper arm pinches away from the forearm.
That’s a real danger.
We can get these eggs in here and make them such powerful eggs
that it starts to pinch away.
It’s almost like links of sausages.
If they connect, it’s a tenuous connection.
And so, that’s problematic.
If we play up as Rubens would do with the eggs, play up this and this, then we can play up.
In effect it’s three eggs, but they push up.
They squeeze out.
I’m going to push out here a little bit more and push out here a little bit more.
Now, it feels closer to a tubular end or even a boxy end.
Then it’s going to fit, insert in to some degree, and you can see how now we get a nice,
Just a little bump out or a smooth move through and not a pinch in and out.
So, very important.
The forearm gets a little stiff and straight, which is very unusual for the forearm.
It’s not totally stiff and straight because notice we have a short bump here, short curve
here, and a long curve here.
And the gesture on any form is defined by the longest sustained curve.
We’re going to use that and that.
Then we’ll add all this on later.
If we wanted to make a bigger deal out of the overall gesture and not the Christian
egg metaphor, then we’d play way down.
Maybe not that much.
We’d play way down the lumpy quality and pick up that curvature quality.
We’re going to do that hidden arm, the one that’s behind here.
Make it real easy on ourselves so we don’t have to worry about the shoulder connection.
There is the beginning of the upper arm right there.
As I do it, I’m going to compare it to the vertical and say—ugh, shouldn’t have gotten
to talking there.
There it is there.
I’m going to make that correction.
No harm done at all.
I’ve drawn nice and light.
Notice how light I’m drawing.
I can always go darker on top.
I think I’m slightly on top of that arm, but I could be slightly underneath.
I’m so close I can’t tell then it doesn’t matter.
Take your pick.
I’m going to put it slightly on top there.
This comes down.
I can’t tell whether it should curve into the forearm, or it should bump into the forearm.
When in doubt, go ahead and do that little bump, that corner.
It’s going to help with your proportions, how far down.
It gives us a specific landmark.
And you can always round it off later in the rendering.
In fact, any curve I can do this and chisel it out.
So, there we go.
The crook of the elbow is right there.
You can actually see that little shadow shape bumping there, so we’re just going to make
a mark there to show the end of that.
And then this is coming out.
Come back here to that corner.
Notice I’m drawing several lines to find it, and then come over to the other side and
feeling the connection across.
This will just taper right down.
This is simple, yet characteristic, so we’re going to go to a very curved tube and a slight
The more sophisticated and this definitely comes out toward us a little bit.
The more sophisticated, maybe I’ll even do a little bump to it because that’ll be
still very simple but a little more characteristic to what I see.
Then I’m going to come back and refine that simple shape at the connective place, at the
wrist in this case, where I’m going to get the hand.
We haven’t really talked much about hands,
but we’re just going to break it into simple shapes.
And that shape goes into the thumb shape.
I’m just going to do that.
And the finger shape.
I’ll just think of it as a mitten in there.
That’s good enough.
Or, you know, I don’t know what to do with that because Steve hasn’t told me enough
Just leave the hands off when you get to your chance to do this stuff.
That fits in there like so.
Alright, that is that.
This shouldn’t turn this way.
It turns this way.
That’s all we have to do.
That’ll set us up for incredible new details to go on top of it like shoulders, like shadows,
like contours, that’s all we need.
Okay, now we’ve got the upper arm kind of blocking the shoulders.
We haven’t had to worry about shoulders much.
That’s a good thing.
I’m just going to draw the upper arm because it’s in front.
Then I’m going to draw the shoulder stepping up on that.
What I’m thinking of is the modified drumstick.
The drumstick is all over the body where you get a longer, thinner structure into a more
Tendons into muscles, that kind of stuff.
Notice that the elbow is here.
On the front of the back of the arm, quite often, let’s just do that for the elbow,
quite often you’ll end up with a stiff straight.
One of the rare times.
Here we have this lovely curve.
Here it’s stiff and straight.
When it’s there go ahead and go with it.
But, we want to generally have a sense of the gesture in there.
But, every once in a while, here is the armpit in here.
Notice I’m spending a little bit of time feeling the connection.
You can just do this, too.
Just say the armpit wobbles off or pinches off enough to
let us know how that structure ends.
This side ends by going into a more bulbous structure.
Here is just wobbles and fades out into a hollowed structure.
The shoulders are this way.
The rib cage is this way, maybe over here.
Even smaller there, I guess.
The shoulder blade goes right back into the torso.
Let’s just draw a little bit of that so you can see it.
It fits in here.
I want to have a sense of how that comes together.
Notice how I keep coming back and correcting, and I can chisel it out when it’s tricky.
I can simplify into a simple curve.
It amounts to the same thing.
Now, let’s add the forearm on it.
The forearm is foreshortening, so it’s getting short.
Look at the end of my pencil there.
That’s what it’s doing this way going back like so.
And notice the longest sustained curve is over here in this case.
We’ll pick that up that way.
The inside we can just make straight or a lesser curve.
Then it kind of bulges here, doesn’t it?
So, when we get into deeper perspective, sometimes we want to separate a single shape into a
couple of shapes.
So, maybe I’ll pick up the egg.
I wouldn’t have to.
What I had just done is fine, but pick up the egg shape on there and pick up the wrist
as a 2 x 4 or cylinder either way.
Let’s just keep it a cylinder.
There we go.
And then the hand fits in here as some lesser structure meaning smaller and smaller.
It fits in there.
We’ll figure more out on that later, but there we go.
I like to come back through and just kind of check things.
I’m going to move that elbow back a little bit.
Things like that.
Make this actually a little bit bigger.
Let’s say it’s a male or it’s a miniskirt shape.
Let’s say it’s a female, and we’ll make this one front and this one back like so.
Now, first off, the shoulders are going to make a lot easier
connection for us than the arms.
We’ll talk about that when we get into the whole body.
We’ll talk about it more carefully when we get into the whole body for the legs, too.
In general, what we have to remember or what we have to understand is this would be a hip
from a profile, by the way.
We could do that.
We could do something square if we wanted to.
That’s a good one, especially for a female.
A little square.
A little rounder.
Either one is fine.
Now, if this leg bends up, I’m going to lift my leg up here.
Notice how things are connecting there.
This will go back to the arm.
There is the upper arm.
There is the forearm.
Notice how I added that forearm.
I went to the outside corner, and that’s almost always the easiest way to go,
Look at that nice, clean connection.
On the inside you get this material wadded up muscle or cloth.
It gets lumpy and bumpy.
Also, look what happens if we try and connect things on the inside corner.
There is the upper arm.
There is the forearm.
Now I’ve got all that extra space, and I’ve got to put a third little form in there.
If this is the right proportions, I just made it too long.
You’re much better off drawing the gesture and then the two-dimensional
and/or the three-dimensional structure.
We can even do this.
Then have that upper arm, in this case, that forearm or that upper arm, that thigh.
Here I’m going to the outside corner, aren’t I?
It’s a rounded corner or it’s not a rounded corner.
I’m going to the outside corner, and then I’m going to draw in the simple tube idea
and let the inside corner, let’s say the leg is coming out at us this way.
The inside corner connect as it connects.
Inside corner connect as it connects in whatever perspective.
So, I do that complete form, not worrying about how it’s going to connect.
Don’t try and do this because you know you’re going to have to miter a joint on there like
you would a picture frame.
Don’t do that.
It’s going to look distorted.
Do the one shape, complete.
It has a complete truthful gesture.
A complete truthful structure.
That’s going to be our guideline.
Do what I put down, just what I put down.
Does it ring true or not?
It doesn’t have to be exactly right.
This is not the finished rendering, but it rings true to that gestural truth, that structural,
solid truth of the part I’m dealing with.
Get that so it rings true.
Then come to the outside corner.
Draw the next gesture and the next structure.
We’re going to draw a gesture, gesture number one.
We’ll see this again a little bit later.
We’ll revisit this.
Gesture number one.
Then we’ll draw structure number one.
Then we’ll come to the outside corner.
Every once in a while it’s convenient not to, but generally that’s safe.
If you’re in trouble, outside corner, and then you get gesture number two, and then
you’ll build structure number two on it.
Then you’ll go the next outside corner, and you’ll draw gesture number three, and
you’ll draw the next outside corner.
And on and on and on.
Gesture number four, gesture number five, for as long as it takes to complete your thought.
Okay, so in this case, when we go to the outside corner for a lap, notice how far that thigh
goes up into that egg shape.
The danger is we’ll draw the egg of the hips, and we’ll try and fit on the thigh
It’ll be disconnected or disconnected.
We want to connect it or make them a smooth transition.
The gesture is the connective tissue.
It’s how we flow or bump from one idea to the other.
Sometimes we flow into it.
Sometimes we bump into it.
It’s how we move from one idea to the next, the movement between the forms.
That means since this is breaking like that, the lap so high, the hips actually connect,
the thigh actually connects in the middle of the hips way up here.
When I add a thigh, I don’t want to put it down here.
I want to come way up to the middle at least.
It can also be all the way to the top, and I’m going to draw my thigh here.
Now, the simple, yet characteristic thigh here is stiff and straight in the middle.
That’s how you can, you can’t see my legs, but my legs are at attention.
My feet have come together, and everything aligns right up with it.
So, to be able to bring those legs to attention, we’re going to make a tapering tube.
You can see it here.
We won’t worry about the three-dimensional stuff for now.
Save that for a little bit later.
Tapering tube right there.
It gets skinnier here.
Fatter up here.
It starts here or it starts all the way up at the hip.
Generally, what’ll happen is if the legs are in line like they’re at attention, you
can start all the way up here.
If the leg steps out to a wider stance in whatever perspective, then you’ll break
it somewhere around the middle.
It doesn’t have to be exact.
Anywhere in here is fine.
That would be true on the front or the back, and it’ll be true whether it’s coming
toward you or going away from you.
It’s going to be a tapering tube, like so.
Notice that it’s oftentimes, sometimes you have a more bowlegged character.
Generally, you can make that inside stiff and straight, the outside very curved, and
that’s one of those choices in getting a net curve to the gesture.
We look to the outside of the thigh to that gestural curve.
The inside is going to stack up together.
Outside here, stiff and straight.
Now, we’re going to come down to the lower leg, outside curve again.
The full calf coming back as we’re still at attention, coming back to
the foot around there.
We’ll save that foot for another time.
We’re going to end up having all sorts of lumps in here we’re going to have to decipher
a little bit later.
There is a lump here.
There is a lump here.
There is a lump here.
There is a lump there.
There is a big lump here, and it relaxes around the knee.
Then there is a big lump here.
Then it relaxes around the foot.
Big lump, big lump, straight.
Think of it as a B like so.
It won’t matter whether it’s front or back, male or female.
As long as you can see the ankle bones, the knobby bones.
Those are called the malleolus of the tibia and fibula.
Those lumps out there, those knobby bones.
As long as those are on the contour, it’ll tend to look like a B. Not every single time,
but almost every single time.
There is some rotation that can happen there, that can refine it.
Basically, if you see it on the outside, assume it’s a B-shape.
All these little bumps kind of line up on one-subtly bow-legged lazy curve or a straight.
That’s how we can bring our feet to attention, like this.
And on the outside we get the big swing from hip to knee, and the big swing from knee to
ankle, the B’s.
If we go into a profile, whatever shape we choose for our hips, we can come off the outside
and make that perfectly straight or slightly curved, or we can fall off the inside just
a little bit and build that into a full curve.
This is going to be the tummy area.
This is the lower back.
There is the rib cage up here.
Male would be a little bit rounder, sometimes a little smaller in proportion to the rest,
but it’s basically the same idea.
It’s just simple, yet characteristic.
Refine that shape as the situation suggests.
Some males have more feminine looking hips.
Some females have more male looking shapes.
They can mix and match all over the place.
But, in general this is all going to ring true.
We’re going to have the hip.
We can come off the outside corner or on this straight leg.
It doesn’t matter so much because it’s not heavily articulated.
Come off the inside corner.
You can do whatever is easiest for you as long as you get a good result.
The audience doesn’t care.
The back of the thigh stays fairly stiff and straight or slightly bowed.
The front of the thigh is very full.
I think of that as the full thigh bulging forward.
Then the knee comes in here, and then the shin gets barely curved or fairly straight
like this does, and the calf bulges into a fuller curve.
The way I remember it is full thigh, thin shin, or more easily just an S-curve.
And that’s when the ankle bone is on the inside.
Just think of BS when you’re drawing those legs.
It’s just BS.
You either find the ankle bone on the outside.
If it’s more of a front or back view, you get a B.
If it’s more of a profile, it’s going to be an S. Then this has this lovely transition
out, and you can just deal with the feet as a little triangle.
Back views are particularly difficult.
Front views are fairly difficult.
We’ll save those when we get down into the full proportions, and I’ll more carefully
break those down, same with the hands.
But that’s it.
Notice that that leg can bend, and you still get that thin shin idea.
There is that bulging triangle for the foot.
It won’t matter which way it articulates.
Come back in here.
Notice how far it pinches up on that lap.
Come to the knee.
Just treat the knee as a corner when it articulates.
You get into some really dynamic views of the leg and foot and stuff.
Those things can change a little bit.
But for now that’s plenty.
We won’t deal with the big dynamic positions, perspectives until much later in our time
So, that’s the basic leg, the basic hand.
That’s the basic body parts as we would like to see them.
We want that gesture structure.
Let’s talk about gesture one more time since we’ve talked mainly about structure in this
The gesture has to be two things.
It has to be the fundamental design line, fundamental design line.
That means the gesture is more important than the architectural shape, the structure you
You can make that more tubular.
You can make it more boxy.
You can put an egg in the box.
You can make it three-dimensional forms rather than one three-dimensional form.
You can make it two-dimensional.
You can do any of those things.
You can make it contour or stipple technique.
There are a lot of choices you can do for the structure, and it won’t matter that much.
It’ll still ring true.
But, if you don’t give the curved gesture when it should be curved, or if you curve
that gesture the wrong way when it should go the right way, it will completely destroy
your drawing, and you’ll lose that sense of truth, realism, aesthetic beauty.
Now, if you are a crazy modern artist—I have friends that are crazy modern artists.
I like crazy modern artists.
Then it’s up in the air.
You can go up against those things as Modigliani will sometimes and break those gestures for
all sorts of lovely, fun, aesthetic for psychological reasons, Chagall or whatever.
But, if you want to get a sense of aesthetic beauty based on realism, then you’ve got
to follow the rules.
You’ve got to stick with it.
You can make it more dynamic.
You can play it down.
You can play it up.
But, it’s got to be there.
The gesture is more fundamental, more important.
As we said before, more difficult than the structure.
But it has to be one other thing, too.
It’s got to be the fundamental design line.
It also needs to be the connecting line.
This is one of the big places where it gets, the point is missed.
If people know about gesture like they do in animation oftentimes, they’ll think about
that fluid quality of the guy dancing or whatever it is, or the little carpet in Aladdin so
that it feels like it has a little personality because it has gesture and movements that
suggest emotions and stuff.
They’ll understand that flow idea, but then they can’t take it any further and they’ll
They’ll say it’s this imaginary lifeline somewhere inside this mysterious electrical
charge of energy and life inside the form.
You need to feel it in your drawing, but then they don’t tell you how to do it.
They just say, if you don’t feel it, work harder on it.
If you do feel it, move along.
What it needs to be to be useful to us, and to make sure we’ve got it, it’s got to
be the connecting line.
That means it has to come to the surface.
I always think of the Loch Ness monster.
When you see Nessie—if you see Nessie—she rises up on the surface and then goes back down.
At some point, she comes right out and is visible to us.
Then she submerges again.
Then she comes up again.
That’s the way we can track her as she moves along that Loch.
We can see now the hips, just a bulging box is a real nice way to do it like that.
Then I’m going to feel the waist-wide torso.
I would have already drawn it more than likely, coming down and sitting right with the bottom
of the stomach on top of the crotch there.
That would be true for male or female.
Female we might change the shape of the hips a little bit, but it’d be the same basic idea.
Now, that’s going to be the root of the torso.
It’s the fulcrum.
It’s where the torso articulates from.
The torso can go this way and this way and all that good stuff.
It’s also going to be the source of the legs.
It’s the most powerful part of the body, these hips.
They have the biggest, thickest muscles.
Not the greatest surface area, but the most massively strong muscles.
You can pick up hundreds of pounds.
That’s going that way.
Notice what’s happening here.
Let me step back.
There are the hips.
Let’s just shade those.
Let’s move this away like so.
Now, I’m going to go up above at least to the pubic area, usually higher, somewhere
in the middle, close to the middle.
Just picking the middle is a good spot.
Middle of the hips.
That’s where the legs are going to start.
One of the mistakes we make, and we can make it here.
If we imagine these are the hips, then a beginner could easily just do this.
Put the hips there.
Thinking of it like it’s a post.
That’s good structurally—not even structurally, just mechanically they show that load-bearing
quality to the hips and legs.
But, structurally, mechanically in terms of the dynamics of balance and movement, action.
It doesn’t work at all.
The legs do not come out of the bottom of the hips.
They come out of the side of the hips.
I think it might be the next pose I do.
We’ll see the pose when it starts to move towards a lap position.
It’s coming out of the middle of the hip structure.
Make sure you’re in this range and not down at the bottom in this range where it’ll
And then the outside, a nice big curve.
That’s where the gesture is.
It only lasts, not always, but usually only lasts for the thigh into the knee, and we
have to begin a new gesture.
Then we’ve got a lot of lumps here, but we want the longest sustained curve which
is on the outside of the leg, almost always in these front views and back views.
So, we’re going to pick up that, and it has whatever perspective it has.
The process wouldn’t matter.
We’d go down the outside.
Simplify the inside, and then let’s say that goes back that way.
It won’t matter.
The perspective will be the same.
Notice if the leg is more vertical right underneath the hip rather than kicking out a little bit,
moving outside the axis of the hip.
When it’s more in line with the hip then we can oftentimes go from the very top of
the hip all the way down from the knee rather than the pinching middle of the hip.
That’s where it starts to break away as it articulates out towards the lap position.
So here this one lines up together.
Then we can add the eggs on top, and again, Raphael
He’s a Christian artist.
We get another bulge.
Notice we get a bulge on this side, but with one, two, three bumps.
Here it is just one into a little S-curve so that we’ll use the longest sustained curve.
If you run down the inside of this, basically where that one is, you’re following the
tibia, the shin bone.
Here it is here.
That’s also a good place to pick it up.
You can go along the inside, cutting off this calf, or you can go along the outside of the calf.
Here it is here.
Go on the inside and cut off the calf.
It’s a little easier to see here, isn’t it?
Or, we can go on the outside and follow down the calf like so.
Every once in a while, the leg, especially in this stylized Renaissance form, the upper
and lower leg will all group together.
That’s actually pretty rare.
Usually the knee pushes out pretty strongly against there, but it can happen, and he’s
You want to be careful you don’t do that too much because oftentimes you’ll really
miss the subtlety of that.
The legs have to be treated pretty subtlety.
There has to be quite a bit of nuance in this because they’ve got two different competing
They have to support all the weight of the body above.
That’s what this post and lentil idea is.
But, then they have to move and articulate.
They have to be able to move in quite flexible, highly articulated new positions, and they
have to create locomotion.
They have to move that body and oftentimes explosively move that body into new positions.
Run away from the Sabretooth tiger and that kind of thing.
We want to make sure the gesture and the structure is carefully composed and things insert and
fit together as they should.
And so you tend to get a B-shape when you’re in the front view.
And when the leg starts to turn more into a side view then you’ll get an S-curve.
Here we could do either one.
B-shape or, of course, reverse B-shape or S-curve.
Take your pick.
One last note on this costuming.
This shows the perspective of the form, of the torso, and this shows maybe that the torso
is turning this way.
This does not show the top of the pelvis, though.
The top of the pelvis is here and here and here, let’s say.
Somewhere in this range.
Alright, so here we can see when we have a seated figure in a profile, we can think of
that hip as an egg.
Sometimes the egg is going this way.
Sometimes it’s going the other way.
If we’ve got a little bit of an angle on it, we can think of it as a tipped over barrel
if we want.
There are a few different ways to go with that.
We could also just get away with keeping it all as a tube.
That’s a little dangerous because we really want to feel that pelvis separate so that
there is a sense of potential articulation, even if the articulation is not happening.
There is potential energy to move there.
So anyway, there is the hip.
If you come to the outside corner, that’s going to be a better fit, a better connection.
An easier, cleaner connection.
Always come to the outside corner.
That gives you a better connection.
Then we come back here or just go up thigh high, but I like to fall off this hip.
You can see a little bit of tone in here.
So, anywhere in here, let’s pick up and use what’s there.
There it is there.
There is the curve.
This is going this way because it’s coming off the fatty hip, and it could even be going
Then it’s going to go back at the very end into that gesture.
That’s the longest sustained curve, so don’t let this be the longest sustained curve.
It’d be real easy to make that mistake.
But, look at how weird that looks.
It doesn’t work.
It’s got to be on that top side there.
Usually on the top side is the longest curve, or the outside, or if it’s a standing pose
on the front side like so.
Then we’re a little bit in front of that so it goes that way.
Come to the outside corner again.
Go down the shin bone.
Take off that little bump.
That’s the easiest place to do it.
You can do it out here.
That’s the longest sustained curve.
It’s easier, as I said, to come off the outside corner.
And so, I usually do that and just cut off whatever little lump or bump of the calf or
the tibialis anterior, whatever is in front there on the contour.
And there we have it.
If we look over here then we’ve got the hip, and we don’t have a very successful
or satisfying hip there because it’s pressing against the ground.
It’s probably some of the soft material pushing against it.
It feels that way anyway.
This doesn’t feel as full as it should be.
The flip side of that is it gives us more a curve there.
But really, because it’s kind of going in that Mannerist proportion, which is everything
stretched and oftentimes flattened a little bit.
The Mannerists would flatten things a little bit.
Pontormo was a Mannerist.
That could be a little fuller, let’s say.
Like that there, in any case, is the miniskirt or the bulging box, whichever.
Here is the pubic area.
Here is the stomach as like a bullet shape, stomach and waist coming into that and this
huge articulation going that way.
Very cool, almost disjointing of those forms.
Radical shift there.
Extra waste in here.
That is one of the hallmarks of a Mannerist.
You’ll see that in Parmigianino and Michelangelo’s later work.
But anyway, crotch is here and look at where that leg is starting.
There is that lap.
It’s starting to come toward us.
It’s turning into a lap.
Right up in the middle of the hips.
Here also up in the middle of the hips—let me get rid of some of the surrounding information
so we can see that better.
You can do this at home with tracing paper, of course.
It’s a fantastic way to work and think and analyze and learn.
I would recommend once a week do two or three or five of these.
They only take a few minutes.
You could spend 20, 30 minutes on one, looking at it from several different standpoints or
trying several different analyses to try to figure out what’s going on there as you
But anyway, that’s going that way.
That’s going that way.
That lap is created by the top of the thighs going a least into the middle of the hips.
And that’s where it is.
Of course, we can see it over here.
Here’s the bottom of the hip.
Look at where the top of the hip is.
Way over there is the pubic area in there in the midrange.
This comes out here.
Here is that B-shape again.
Let’s do it with this.
This is going this way.
Or, let’s look at our wave action.
Bump, bump, bump.
It’s our wave.
Notice here, I can pick up a change on the inside.
It takes me right into the shin bone.
Really, I love doing that connection.
It’s a real nice, much more gestural, we’re flowing down rather than focusing on the calves
that tend to bump out, get lumpy.
We have those calves on later.
Here it is again this way.
Because we’re taking off at a greater than right angle, we have to bump around the thickness
of the thigh.
And we get two corners.
Otherwise, we do this.
It wouldn’t feel right, would it?
So, we cut that off and bump around that thickness and come on down.
There is a calf here.
Okay, so let’s do the next one.
Alright, beautiful Raphael here, here.
Look at here, I should say.
Here, here, here.
This comes all the way up there.
We can’t see it.
It actually stops here.
Every once in a while we can group that together, but it’s not quite right.
There is that.
So, strictly speaking, usually it’s a little more careful and nuanced gesture if you’ll
pick that up as one, two, three, rather than one all the way down.
You can see it starts right up here, swings down.
Again, in the Renaissance that’s grouping together.
Technically, actually it’s doing this.
It’s just that tibialis anterior is pushing forward because we’re on a profile and slightly
behind the profile.
That calf is starting to intrude over with that other muscle, the tibialis muscle.
It’s actually going to feel funny oftentimes if you do that, and then you don’t know
what you’re doing, and you build off that.
Really, it’s going to be easier to build and more accurate to build the architecture,
the structure off of that gesture because now there is the calf.
Let’s just do that.
Then you’re just adding an egg back on top.
That’s a more accurate process.
Gets you closer to the truth, like so.
Then off the back of the hip, it swings down here.
Notice when I say gesture, gesture, gesture, when I get to the other leg, gesture, gesture,
Again, this comes all the way down.
That one is so cleanly connected, that way you can get away with that.
Again, usually it’s dangerous to do.
But, Raphael got away with it, so certainly we can if he can do it.
Alright, then this foot, let’s bring that up a little bit bigger.
This is flowing down.
Wherever the ankle comes in, the heel pushes back a little bit from it.
The Achilles tendon, which allows you to go up on your tip-toes, and the heel create a
By having that calcaneus bone push out the Achilles tendon attaches out to that bone,
and it pivots here off the ankle.
It gives us a little more leverage, basically.
We have this come way forward like this.
Not only does it give us more leverage, but it gives us a wider base here.
And so, one more time let me show that.
That pushes back.
That heel, think of that heel as a box and a backside.
It’s a back against the side.
Notice the foot sits as a wedge on the ground there.
Then if it’s on the big toe side, if we see the big toe on the inside as we do here,
you’ll take out an arch, in this case not much of arch, but we’ll have that arch idea.
If it’s on the little toe side then we won’t have that.
We’ll still have the heel pushing back so it fits like so.
If we look here we’ve got the calf and ankle coming down.
Here is the end of the ankle going away from us.
Then the foot, I just think of it, I kind of think of Daffy Duck, the duck bill, sufferin’
succotash kind of thing.
And so, I draw that, and then the toes fit on there.
Notice that the big toe kicks in, and the little toes tend to hide behind, and that
allows us to wear cowboy boots and fancy shoes and stuff.
And then this one throws us a little bit.
It’s a little out of whack in a way, structurally.
There is the toe here.
The other toe is here.
We need to feel this volume here, and the way it’s marked, these tendinous connects
here, which are true anatomically.
Since we didn’t feel this construction here, then we’re feeling the gesture, and then
this flattens out a little bit.
It kind of deflates.
We don’t feel the up and over quality that we should that makes it come out.
If we cut off the toes we’re feeling this idea that’s coming out towards us.
Not only that, we’re feeling this idea coming toward us and those other toes fading back
away, so we get an S-curve.
It builds over to show the perspective, fades back to show the diminishing structure.
You can see the same thing here.
Again, it creates that tight-booted toe kind of thing.
Here is the B.
There is the B. Notice how the inside pretty well lines up in a straight line.
That’s how we can bring our legs to attention.
Notice the S-curve.
Here we already described the S-curve behind that bump.
Here also is the S-curve behind that.
Alright, now if we look at the feet from a slightly more dynamic pose, so there we have
that beautiful flow here like so.
So, if we can see the heel past those toes, again we can get
that boxy idea.
It’s so important to show the back to the side so we can get that architecture, that
Let’s do this like that and this like that.
And there you can see it.
Notice we have the ankle here, the ankle bone; it’s called the malleolus.
Then we have the ski slope, the wedge of the foot.
Then we have the toes.
Oftentimes we have another thing here.
We barely see another one there.
We end up getting this kind of thing as we make that transition from vertical to horizontal,
there is a subtle overlapping of several things going on there.
On the bottom here, then, it’s important to separate the bottom plane like it’s a
chunk of wood.
I always think of those hoax bigfoot reports.
You find some guy with cut-out wooden snowshoes, basically, but they’re dirt shoes, and they’re
cut out like Bigfoot's giant feet, and they’ll walk around with a 50-lb pack on his back
to make it look like it’s a heavier print.
But, we want that bottom there.
That’s what we’re seeing here with Durer, our good friend, Albrecht.
We want to group this whole thing.
And because of the arch here, we’ll look at it more carefully in our intermediate lesson.
We can group this—let me do it like this.
We can group this here.
It looks like a footprint in the sand kind of a thing.
Some version of that.
I like to avoid starting with the roundness there.
You get that roundness and you’re seeing the roundness here.
You’re not quite sure where the round ends and begins.
And you’re losing that bottom to the side and to the back and that boxy quality.
When I have something that’s difficult in structure and in a difficult position, I’m
going to make it squarer so it works like that.
Then we add whatever bit of back and side we might happen to see and need, like so.
On this one, I’m going to feel the bottom here.
Notice that we’re getting this collapse here of the foot.
You can see how it has all these zig-zagging folds.
It’s just collapsing.
Just like the thumb is opposal—we don’t have a toe that’s opposal, but it separates
out because of the arch and has more movement in terms of its position against that bottom
plane of the foot than the other toes.
Like the little toe is pretty well fixed.
It’s equivalent to the karate chop side of the fingers and hand.
That’s not going anywhere.
None of these do too much, but this can twist around and articulate, kind of cup.
In this case, we get this twisting effect.
It’s very much, this is overdoing it.
But, it’s very much like a ribbon, a folding piece of paper in the wind say,
floating paper twisting.
It wraps that way.
That’s all bottom plane even though it fans out like that.
Then we’re going to get a side plane, and then you can see with my highlight line there,
that’s the karate chop side, side plane, and that’s where the little toe attaches.
The other toes do this, and here is the big toe like that.
Then we’re going to have the wedge on that.
And then the ankle comes out of that.
It goes away.
In this one, very rounded, keep it square.
This is the little toe side.
There is the tube of the calf and ankle here, and you can see this and this.
That’s what I was talking about here.
That pulls in here.
This is really picking up around that ankle bone.
But again, safer to keep it a little bit squarer.
But, then we’re getting this part of that swell of that arch.
Then the rest of the arch and the toes.
You can see the rest of the arch—or not the arch, but the rest of the wedge is building
here like so.
Here it is here.
That’s catching light, and as it gets down into the toes it’s getting shaded, catching
light and getting shaded right there.
Catching light and getting shaded.
We’ll just shade out the toes completely right there.
That’s the idea.
This is going that way.
You can see it’s kind of a bean bag idea, again, isn’t it?
It’s like the torso.
We can pick up that knuckle here.
Here it is here.
It turns in for the possibility of the pointy shoes with the big toe.
We want to pick up that direction, but that's it.
Get the center line so I know how it’s facing.
There is the belly button maybe.
Here is about where the crotch is.
There are several shapes we can do.
But, that miniskirt is a nice simple one.
And then I’m going to come on the outside corner and take off
with that tube for the thigh.
Now, notice the contour.
Let me draw the contour real quick.
The contour does this, something like that.
Look at the end the way it goes back in.
This is all transition of the meaty forms going from the big full hips to the skinny
knee end, and so we’ve got quite a bit of transition here to where the hips finally
It’s a lot of bulge.
Look over here, though.
You can come down here.
See here, there is that little tone there.
Here is the cast shadow across just so you can see what I’m thinking of.
I’m going to come over here, and here is the end of my tube.
Notice this lasts the whole distance, so that is the gesture line.
This is lesser line.
Don’t make the mistake of doing this and cancelling it out.
One of those sides has to dominate the other.
And this pulls down this way off that slightly bent leg, knee, shin.
We can go down like this, or we can go down like this.
This is going a little bit this way, let’s say.
This is pretty flat to us.
It’s underneath this.
It’ll go that way.
Then the foot, we’re just going to do a wedge shape and let it hit the ground lik. so.
That’s all we need.
You can do it like that, or that might seem a little underpowered for a simple shape.
So, if you come back here and give us as a second step or right off the bat, whichever
is more comfortable.
You can swing it down this way, or you can even this way, this way, whatever you want
in terms of simple shape.
So, that’s that.
And then this picks up here, gets lost behind the other leg, and then we have the foot here
as a wedge like that.
A lot of this is covered by the other leg.
So, we just have this down here poking out behind the heel in just that wedge there.
Here are the hips.
You can see a little bit of the other side.
In effect, I’m just going to do this for the hips, and it’s going to fit into that
Then we’re going to take off from that hip into the thigh right there.
It takes me on back, pulls in here.
How far away is that?
We’ll check on the short side.
The hips are somewhere in here.
The hamstring is here.
The inside of the leg is here, not all that far away is it because it’s going away this way.
Now, notice that the legs are at an acute angle.
We’re going back in with that lower leg.
I’d rather have it go in too far than not enough.
When we get more than the right angle, then I’m going to bump over that thickness.
Rather than doing this I’m going to do two steps, two corners there.
This takes off this way.
The calf is in here.
We’ll make that just a little bit longer, I think.
The hip lasts a little longer.
We’ll do that.
No, that’s not right.
That’s what the lay-in is for.
I’m going to put it here and trim it back a little bit farther.
This is coming out towards us a little bit.
It’s fairly stiff, isn’t it?
Not a lot of curvature.
You can see the knuckle in effect of the foot.
It’s kind of the equivalent of this swelling here, that joint.
That connective joint.
That gives me a little bit more of a washing S-curve.
That would be an excuse to do that.
Also, this is bulging this way, so we can feel it curving that way if we wanted to.
You can work hard to find the gesture when we need them, and you usually need them.
And then the foot is in here, pinching.
Just do a little zig-zag or a little hatching.
I like to just do that.
Here are the ankle bones.
Good landmark to get.
Then we’ve got just a little bit of the bottom of the foot shaded here, showing itself.
It’s really just a wedge so you’re welcome just to do any version of that.
You can make it as simple as possible or you can make it a little more refined.
It’ll be a little more characteristic, but you don’t have to.
Simple is good.
The other leg is behind here with the foot and the leg and the bit of thigh in here.
And that’s it.
then get our different positions; front, back, and side; and look at the difference more
carefully between male and female.
When we talk about the difference between the sexes or the races or ages, any of these
differences, the muscles are the same.
The tendinous connections, the skeleton is the same.
It’s just a proportional difference.
It’ll be a bigger shape here, a smaller shape here because of muscle mass or fat deposits,
it’ll change the architectural shape.
We’re going to see some silhouetted differences between our characters in this case, male
and female, but everything works the same.
The mechanics are the same, the structures are the same.
It’s just nuanced.
It’s just like a character type.
Somebody might have a big chin with a cleft in it.
Somebody else might have a weak chin that drifts back, it’s that kind of thing.
Alright, so we’re going to start with a head as a simple egg shape.
Now, let’s take that a little bit further.
Let’s give its center line.
Notice what I did.
I drew the structure first, and then I did the gesture.
The audience isn’t going to care.
Just get them both.
Sometimes you can shortcut it, and you knowwhere the gesture is
if you do a vertical head.
And so, you don’t need to do the gesture line.
You can do shortcuts when you get really good at it.
But, having said that, do that at your own peril because the more steps you leave out,
the greater the room to screw up.
So, getting that center line or that gesture line, especially when they’re curved or
in some dynamic position, it’d be really crucial.
So, don’t get sloppy just because you’re in a hurry.
I should also say, as we draw we’re going to take our assignments and look at the old
masters and we’re going to look at reference and draw together and have, but what we’re
going is we’re not spending 60 hours or eight weeks or four hours
on a hand or an arm. We’re quick sketching.
We’re getting these ideas down simply.
That’s part of the constructed style.
It’s to get things simply placed and move along quickly.
It’s going to ring true but at a very simplified level.
Then we can get the whole composition.
All these difficult, dynamic relationships working on a simple level.
Then we can build them into a more or incredibly more complex level.
So, when you work with a quick sketch style, when you only have five minutes to draw a
whole figure or even a rib cage, you feel rushed, don’t you?
You’re going to feel rushed.
You do not want to speed up.
I always think of golf.
I’m a lousy golfer, but if you’re going golf—well, we’ll do baseball since we
have a short camera.
A baseball player, he’s got to practice.
Even the pros have to practice.
Even the pros have batting coaches.
They’ll get into the batting cage.
Let’s say they only have 15 minutes because their baby is sick and they’ve got to go home.
So, they’ve got 15 minutes to practice rather than an hour.
In an hour they take 50 swings.
In 15 minutes should they do 50 swings just to get those 50 swings done?
Is that going to make them a better batter?
Or should they just take eight or ten swings or three or four swings and get the mechanics
They won’t get as much stuff in, but what they do will be exactly right.
It’ll ring true.
It’s going to train their muscles and their thinking and their whole creative beam to
focus on the task at hand.
So, when you have a quick sketch style, or anytime you feel rushed.
I’ve got a deadline, the model is going to move in a second, my pencil broke and I
have only one pencil left.
I’ve got to go before it runs to or whatever it is.
Just do as much as you can in the time you’re given.
What we really want to do in the quick sketch style is not learn how to draw faster.
As you get more competent, you will draw faster.
Oftentimes, I don’t want to bore you up here, so I’ll draw faster to get the thoughts
down or to keep the thought going in our head rather than taking minutes
to render something out.
But, what we want to do, no matter how fast we go, no matter how little time we have,
we want every mark to ring true.
If it doesn’t you do not move on.
You don’t say, well, that’s good enough.
That’s the head.
If you give me more time, I’ll come back and draw this incredible head.
No, you do simply and truthfully the best job you can at that stage.
Then you use that in relationship to the next to move along.
So, really what quick sketch drawing or painting is designed to do is not to force you into
a nervous breakdown where you go I need more time.
If you just give me ten more minutes, it’ll be such a better drawing.
Don’t think like that.
In two minutes, in five minutes, in ten minutes, in only three hours, how much can you put in?
But, not that.
What has to be there to ring true?
What eight or ten marks do I have to put down to say a head in that position?
Even more, maybe, that young man’s head in that position.
Maybe even more.
That young man with that emotion in that position.
That’s what we’re trying to do really.
In this style, which I love so much, it leaves you into the long poses, the Italaes, or the
hyper-renderings, if you want.
What it does is it makes you prioritize, so when you get to those final rendering stages
you know what the big things that have to still come through and hold it together and
can’t be lost in the process.
What we’re really trying to do when we work quickly, we want to learn to prioritize.
We’re learning to edit.
Now, go back and look at your favorite artist, Sargent, Rembrandt, Soraya, Poussin, whoever
Look at them and say what do I like about them.
More than that, specifically, what did they leave out?
Look at Rembrandt’s shadows.
There is almost nothing in those shadows.
It’s all about the lights.
He left almost everything out of the shadows.
Look at the backgrounds.
There is almost nothing in them.
He left almost everything out of the backgrounds.
That’s what we want to see when we look at our favorites.
That’s how we’ll start to see why we like them.
Rembrandt, Sargent was not a realist in that sense.
He was an abstract painter.
He put down colored marks, abstract marks that happened to correspond by relationship
to a nose or a cheekbone or a lovely set of lashes on the eyes.
So, what we need to do is learn to leave everything out except for what has to be there.
Then later we can indulge and add stuff on top of that.
But what we’re trying to is learn to prioritize.
That’s going to make you a much better artist.
It’s going to make you a much quicker artist, and it’s going to make you a better stylist.
What you leave out eventually as you get comfortable with materials will be a little different
than what I leave out.
How you put what’s in in will be a little or a lot different
than the choices I would make.
Our great strength is in our ability to edit.
We choose what in the world is important to us, and we put that in in our own special way.
They’ll be lots of commonality within certain types of artists, figurative realists,
that sort of thing.
They can still be radically unique.
Rembrandt does not look like Sargent.
Sargent does not look like Manet.
Manet does not look like Puvis de Chavannes.
He does not look like van Dyck, and on and on and on.
So, there’s that.
We’re going to do a little bit more work.
We’re going to lay in the center line of the features and then the eyeline.
The eyeline can be almost exactly in the middle, the halfway point of the head.
Now, if I’m going to screw up, I’m going to give a little more jaw and a little less
skull because we happen to find that attractive.
If you make it a head that gets a little bit higher, a little more here, a little less
there, a little jaw heavy, especially for heroic types.
Sometimes for those sneaky Nazi spies, or whatever it is, for a story, or the evil minion
of our Muwahaha supervillain.
Then you might change it.
And for a young child, you would change it.
In general, halfway point.
They eyes would be here.
Eyebrows would be above.
Between eyes and chin, halfway again, that’d be the nose.
Between the chin and the nose, halfway again, that would be the lower edge of the lower
lip, like so.
Almost always when you lay in your simple shape like that, whether it’s boxier or
more pill capsule-like, let’s put on the ears.
The ears sit between the nose and the eyebrows, and usually they don’t fill up that whole
If they do, they seem a little oversized for the average.
For your particular likeness, you may well make them fuller-sized.
Notice when we do that, what we end up with oftentimes is not enough skull.
Make sure you add back to the skull, or usually it doesn’t matter quite so much because
you’ve added the hairstyle in there.
Maybe there is something like that.
Make sure you don’t end up with this kind of thing where it’s big the jaw, tiny in
You’re better off making it an egg that goes the other way.
Heavy on the top and more true egg shape.
Light in the curvature down in the jaw.
Anyway, that’s that.
It would be very much similar for the male.
We’ll do the male a little bit later.
The neck for the female is going to be a little skinnier.
Now, the shoulders are very complex structures, and we’re going to have to spend some time
in our intermediate section talking about them so that we can articulate them and move
them in these dynamic positions and stuff.
For now, we’re going to deal with keeping them down here so we don’t overcomplicate
things too early.
But, no matter how complicated these get, and these are the most complicated parts of
the body by far in terms of the mechanics and the anatomy because they have to do so
But, what we want to do, no matter how complicated they are, they’re just going to be corners
for the arms.
They’re going to cap the top of the torso.
They’re going to sit on top of the rib cage, and they’re going to be nice corners for
Depending on how they articulate, they’ll still stay as that corner unless they happen
to perfectly line up there.
Even then you can see a bit of a corner, as I’ll show you at some point.
So, what we’re going to do is look for the shoulder line.
The shoulder line can be placed in whatever convenient moment you find.
Pit of the neck is a good place to put it.
Then that neck from the chin to the pit of the neck is about usually a third of the head.
If it’s a beautiful, long neck you want to do this lovely long necked princess or
something like that.
Maybe you’ll make it half a head.
Rather than bringing that tube all the way down, I’m going to let that tube kind of
poop out and start to go into a slight hourglass, and then we’re going to have it go into
the shrugging muscles.
The trapezius are the muscles that do this.
They’ll let you shrug.
That just makes this lovely transition, this nice footing, kind of like the foot off the legs.
It gives us a nice, wide base.
It goes from skinny neck.
Lovely transition out the wide shoulders.
And so we have this sagging triangle that merges with that tube or that subtle hourglass,
and there we have it.
Again, all these will be true for male and female, and you’ll see was we compare it
to the male, the subtly different and sometimes quite different parts.
Now, I come back to my center line.
It goes through the pit of the neck.
It goes through the breastbone, belly button, crotch.
I don’t know where the crotch is yet, but there is more down here.
There is more center line.
I’m going to add on my tube, but it’s going to be a waist-wide tube.
Somewhere down here is the tube, waist-wide tube.
Bring it right up.
Again, the shoulder girdle, which started with that sagging triangle on the shoulder line.
That’s all we’re going to do of it now.
That moves independently of the rib cage.
The rib cage comes right up as a tube, and you can end that tube against the pit of the neck.
you can end that tube by going underneath that shoulder girdle and drawing the coke bottle.
Coke bottle, just take the neck into the rib cage, and I’ll show you toward the end of
this demonstration there is a skeleton.
I’ll show you how it connects on there.
We can do—either one is fine.
We can just bump it up against the shoulder line, or we can let it move right into a transition,
a lovely tapering transition like a coke bottle, skinny neck.
They even call the coke bottle part of the neck there down into the body of that like so.
Either way is fine.
Let’s look at that rib cage and notice that when I put my pen right on my breastbone,
if I don’t sag but stand up straight, notice how the pen goes back this way.
So, if you’re looking at me straight-on, that breastbone is a little foreshortened.
We draw it this way.
Let me get a nice round tubular one.
Not a squished one.
Here we go, like that.
We’re underneath that.
So, straight on when you’re talking to someone or looking in the mirror, the top of the rib
cage is a little farther from you than the belly button, let’s say.
Just imagine if a perfectly vertical wall came up to bump me, it would bump my belly
button before it could hit the pit of the neck.
Until I do this.
In other words, until I get a crease in my stomach if I’m sitting down, now it’s
perfectly vertical like this.
But, if I’m upright, then it’s going to be going back.
Or, if I’m swan diving forward, short of that, it’s going back.
Notice what I did here.
I turned the top of that tube this way like that.
Let me take just a moment to talk about tubes again.
Let’s come down here.
Let’s draw a tube that’s moderately deep in perspective.
Let’s draw a tube, if possible, that’s perfectly flat in perspective, in that tilting
Let’s draw a tube that’s radically deep in perspective.
Now, if I break this into thirds, notice that in the flat perspective, the moderate perspective,
the deep perspective, that center section isn’t hardly any difference.
These guys have little curves to them.
But if replace them with straights, look what happens.
In a flat perspective, the center looks really the same as the center of a moderate or deep
There is no difference in how I drew it, really.
It’s where the end meets the sides, where the end meets the sides that is the difference.
There is the flat perspective.
There is the moderate perspective.
There is the flat perspective.
There is the moderate perspective.
Where the end meets the sides is radically different.
That’s where it shows.
That means when I draw a tube, that’s pretty self-explanatory when I do a box.
When I do a tube, look what happens if I don’t do it right.
If I do this, that, notice how the side meets the ends.
I wanted to say it was a pretty deep perspective, but what the audience sees is a pinched perspective.
In other words, it looks like somebody took a roll of paper towels and stepped on it and
Here’s what is really happening there.
The construction lines are so important for a lot of reasons.
They give us that third dimension, the three-dimensional ends idea, but what we’re also saying or
what we’re implying, implicitly saying, is that when you see the front you can’t
see the back.
If you see the top you can’t see the bottom.
The best you’re ever going to see of any particular form is about half of it.
Oftentimes, it is less than that when it gets covered up/overlapped with stuff.
When we see the front we can’t see the back, but you’re drawing is not going to be convincing.
Your painting is not going to be convincing if, as you show them the front, you don’t
imply that there is a back.
That is what beautifully drawn construction lines also help with.
When I do this correctly, we’re saying look at the front.
Let’s come in here.
Look at the front.
Look at the front but dot, dot, dot; feel the back.
Notice how when I draw it correctly, the end curves into the side.
It doesn’t bump and become a corner to the side.
It curves into the side.
When need to do that.
Now, when we’re doing a construction line, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has
to be pretty close.
We want to avoid that.
When you do that, you’ve lessened the perspective.
You’ve stepped on the roll of toilet paper or paper towels.
You’ve ruined, you’ve crushed all the hopes and dreams of your audience.
You’ve crushed the idea that dot, dot, dot; there is another side.
When you see a ring or a stripe or a belt, that’s giving you a sense of the other side.
This is not going to be convincing finally if I don’t have clear marks that say, yes,
you are just seeing the front, but dot, dot, dot, can’t you feel that there is also a
Likewise, yes, you’re seeing the front covered by the arms, but dot, dot, dot going through,
can’t you feel the fullness of that front and movement into the back.
That’s what we want.
That’s called the law of ellipses.
The law of ellipses says that you don’t have a corner on the elliptical unit.
It moves smoothly into the sides in a curved manner like so.
And the law of ellipses say that longest axis of the elliptical end is at a perfect right
angle to the long axis of the tube.
Or, if we’re drawing a car, whatever the axel is doing, not a perspective, but a perfect,
flat, pull at your triangle and draw it.
See how that works?
It has to be a perfect T to the end of it.
If you take that and tilt it off, do it that way, it destroys it.
If you look at the corner where the top of the box meets the side of the box.
That might not be a right angle.
Well, it is a right angle.
But, visually it might look obtuse, acute.
Not for the law of ellipses.
It doesn’t matter how deep or what perspective you put in.
You want this to be a perfect T. If it isn’t a perfect T it’s going to feel distorted,
twisted off, and not correct.
Make sure it stays at, more or less, because we’re sketching it in, a right angle.
Make sure it curves through.
That’s the law of ellipses.
Very important for our drawings to ring true.
It’s going to end about right here.
Now, if we take the head minus the hairstyle, plus the neck down to the pit of the neck,
use that to come down again.
That’s going to be where the end of the rib cage on a slightly idealized figure, which
is usually what we want to do.
Usually we want to make the head a little smaller and the body a little bigger.
We want to make the torso a little shorter or smaller and the legs a little bigger.
In fact, if you take each subsequent form and make it a little bigger than the last,
than it should be, that’s a better mistake.
It’s going to look more heroic, more statuesque.
Think of the Greco-Roman great statues.
Think of the thigh Renaissance with Michelangelo.
And then they move into Mannerism where it’s incredibly long, Greco, those guys.
Baroque, comic books, fashion drawings, and even our fashion.
We put women in high heels to make their legs longer.
We have high cut bathing suits to make the legs longer.
We have a low cut neck, and we put the hair up to make the neck longer.
We have long fingernails to make the fingers longer.
That length we associate with more beautiful, more health.
The body is healthy.
It’s grown bigger over time.
We see that as healthy, and so we see that as beautiful.
That’s generally—it used to be more on the West and not so at all in the East, and
that aesthetic has really taken over every part of the world for the most part.
Anyway, that slightly idealized perspective is that.
Head and neck equals the rib cage.
There other way to do it is take the head and go down one head, and you’ll get to
the nipple line.
A male or female.
A very full-busted woman it’ll be a little different, nipple line, chin to nipple line,
chin to the top of the head are about equal.
Do another head down.
That’s going to be about the belly button.
That’s about where the waist is.
If you have an hourglass waist you can add that in, but start out with a waist-wide tube
that’s basically as wide as the bottom of the rib cage.
Then you can dig out a little extra later, or if you’ve got love handles on the guy,
add on a little bit later.
Take that, go down again.
That’s going to be pretty much—you can just extend the tube if you want.
Pretty much the bottom of the hips, which means the bottom of the pubic area.
Let me take a look here like so.
If you want to, as we’ve said, make these tapering tube or a miniskirt idea, that would
be more feminine.
We’ll look at that more carefully when we get into the secondary section, the intermediate
section where we really parse out the three-dimensional forms and get more nuance in those.
Notice what’s happening.
We said that the rib cage is going back into the paper at the pit of the neck and then
coming out at the breastbone.
Then the belly, from breastbone to belly button—if I suck in my stomach here—is vertical like that.
And then when we get below the belly button, it goes into the crotch.
The pubic area goes this way.
So, it goes back this way, straight down, back that way.
Back this way.
We’re underneath the tube of the torso.
Here we’re straight-on the tube of the torso, and then the hips down to the crotch—pubic
area—we’re on top of that.
That is how that sits in space.
Then our eyeline will reinforce or go against that as we talked about with the pencil test.
That would be the pencil test.
I’d be drawing the rib cage this way and the pelvis this way and plotting that out.
It’s like an accordion.
It does this.
We’ll see it better from the profile.
Now, so we can break this into thirds.
Generally, you take a little bit away from the hips.
Like I said, you’re better to make it a little too big rather than too small.
That’s a better mistake.
That’s going to make it a longer, more heroic figure.
It’s not going to be a little 5’ 4” young lady.
It’s going to be a 6’ 6” young lady, probably, something like that.
So anyway, that’s that.
Now, we come back up to the top or the middle of the torso.
A good rule of thumb for proportions, come to the top of the pubic area.
We’ll see male or female.
Start there, but you can make the gesture line start all the way up here.
In terms of proportions, from that line down to the bottom of the knees is two heads.
This would be the kneecaps that sit right on that line.
Let’s play this up a little bit more.
Notice that because of the hips tapering out and the knees tapering in, we get kind of
a diamond shape like that.
That’s that full thigh, that pushing out.
The inside just has these little wobbles.
It could be a little bow-legged or something, but they kind of cancel each other out.
We go to the bottom of the knees down, two heads down again, we get to the bottom of
Bottom of the knees right here.
That would add the calves and the feet.
We’ll have to figure out how to do the feet, and they can be more chiseled or more rounded
if you prefer.
The toes will be in here like so.
Even so, it looks a little short-legged sometimes, so oftentimes I’ll make it more if I want
to make it more heroic, my boxers or workmen or a statuesque female.
I’ll make it a little bit longer.
Notice that if I made the rib cage a little bigger than the head and the neck, that would
be a better error to make.
If I made the hips a little bigger than the rib cage, hips and waist a little bigger than
the rib cage.
Hips and waist a little bigger than the rib cage.
Remember, this structure, the bottom of the rib cage, the hips and the waist equal the
If I made this a little bigger than that, that would be a better mistake.
Come on top of the crotch.
Make that bigger than two heads.
Make this bigger yet than two heads, or just bigger than this.
That would be a better mistake.
Always increasing the length makes it more heroic, more statuesque, gives you longer,
It’s going to make it more fluid and graceful.
That’s part of it too.
That’s the way, the better mistake.
Now, when we add the arms on we just go back to the shoulder line, and we make the corner.
We can make it a nice, lovely rounded corner, or we can make it a perfect corner.
Whatever, rendering you do on it, though, you don’t want to do this so that you can’t
tell where the top of the shoulders meet the side of the arms.
Better to make it way too square than a little too round.
Bring that right on down.
The upper arm from shoulder to elbow is to the bottom of the rib cage again.
It’s the same length as the rib cage.
Notice the rib cage is a 3 x 4 proportion.
It’s a little bit longer than it is wide, 3 x 4 proportion.
Then when add the forearm and the hand to the knuckles.
Actually, you can even do that on average.
But this, again, more graceful usually.
Forearm from elbow to knuckles of the wrist.
That’s going to be the same distance.
I’m just going to do a little bulging box shape or a little 2 x 3 proportion the same
size as the rib cage, the same proportions as the rib cage, and we’ll just put that
We’ll figure out how to do that later.
But, that’s that.
Okay, so you can see the hands start to come down to the mid-thigh area.
That’s the arms.
That’s the view of the front.
The view of the front for the male, it’s all the same.
You can make them taller and longer or even more statuesque, or you can just make a bigger
head so that they’re this big rather than that big.
You can make it a little more square-ish.
If we make things more square-ish, that tends to be more male.
You can go to the pill shape rather than the egg shape.
You can chisel out the jaw if you wanted to, rather than rounding it out and then thickening
As soon as you do that, you can see immediately it feels more male.
But the same proportions apply.
You can add a little more jaw if you want.
Hairline comes on top of that.
Make sure you have enough skull or you put the hairstyle on top of that.
Same shrugging muscle idea to the pit of the neck.
Notice we have plenty of room to move.
It’ll still look very athletic and not overly thuggish or superhero-ish if we trim that
neck a little bit thinner than the jawline.
But not that thin.
Same square shoulders.
It might extend farther, but same square shoulders.
This comes down.
Rib cage is exactly the same position.
It can be the same shape.
You used to have the nipple line on the pectoralis muscles.
We’ll look at it at some point rather than the nipple line,
nipple construction on the breasts.
But we’ll just do that.
Again, it’s one hand down.
In fact, it might be a little shorter.
You might want to give a little longer neck to the female there.
This can be the same shape, bulging or not.
It comes down to the same proportions down here.
Then we have the waist.
Instead of going straight down or pinching in with the hourglass, we’ll go straight
down and then maybe build out for the love handles, the obliques.
Right in there in that waist area, male or female, middle or bottom of the waist just
That’s going to be where the belly button is.
That’s a spare tire muscle or love handles.
Notice the more you build those up the chubbier it looks.
You can always build this on making sure your proportions are good this way.
If you make it a little too fat, a little too thin, that’s an easy correction issue.
Refine your construction or move into your rendering.
The hips are another bulging shape just like the love handles.
That’s going to be the hips.
The pubic area is here, extending a little below rather than ending right at the crotch.
Sits in there.
Again, we want to stop at the top of the pubic area or all the way up to draw the legs and
the construction of those legs would be exactly the same as doing the female.
The proportions would be the same.
The difference would be you don’t have the flanks here, the pads.
Women collect fat here, and that is what that kind of diamond shape.
Men collect fat here first.
It’s where we store it.
And so, we have more of a teardrop shape here.
The curves may be fuller because they’re more muscular or they may not.
It can be in a little bit of perspective difference.
It’s not going to matter.
It’s when it articulates out some way or another, that’s when it makes a big change
in its connection.
But, we just start right from the waist, basically, and move on down.
This starts here, stays here.
Take that same two-step deal.
If you want to add a little bit—or two-head bit, if you want to add a little bit.
It’ll make it more heroic or more statuesque, and that can be squarer or it could be rounder.
It doesn’t matter.
There you go.
Arms would be exactly the same.
If you want them to be muscular you wouldn’t make them more lumpy.
You’d just make them thicker tubes.
Okay, so that’s that.
Let me do that sailboat shape, this gesture center line.
Right on the surface where the forehead meets the nose, where the mouth meets the chin right
We’re going to step back here.
It’s called the digastric plane.
If we come right off there, it’s someone who is older or the skin is sagged or destroys
If we come right off, no good.
If we step back that’s going to give the feeling that there is a volume, and it’s
just not a cut-out mask like a cheap Halloween mask.
Just swing it here.
Swing it here.
This could be an egg shape this way if you wanted to draw it rather than a sailboat shape.
I usually do that as a second step.
I just round this off and take that tip off, or it hides behind a ponytail or a bun or
something like that if I’m drawing a female.
If we take that head and cut it in half, the ear sits more or less in front, give or take
the personality or the likeness, like so.
Pit of the neck sits here.
Now, because that rib cage comes out, you have that accordion action.
We’re not going to do this.
We’re going to come out, push it that way.
Going to thrust out.
If we do this, we’re going to end up with a little rib cage or a giraffe head.
So, if I had a—it’s a little harder to see with my collared shirt.
Well, I guess it’s not; I just looked at the monitor here.
This drops down.
Sometimes it’ll this stay up.
If I’m Elvis I guess this will stay up.
But, this drops down like that.
Notice how this drops down this way.
If you have a T-shirt on you’ll see it very clearly.
The pit of the neck is lower.
This is where the top of the rib cage is in front.
That’s lower than the top of the rib cage in back.
It starts up higher.
It’s the 7th vertebra, the last cervical, the last neck vertebra.
The 8th vertebra is the 1st thoracic or ribcage vertebra.
That rib cage starts way up higher in back than in front.
That’s why your collar does this.
You want to make sure that wherever the pit of the neck is, you come up high.
It’s one of the reasons you want to end that skull up high.
Notice if I feel where the skull meets the neck, bring that right around, I’m at the
That’s what we want.
This has to be here, a neck collar line would be there.
We’re going to have this swing out.
We’re going to go from the skinny neck,
and then we’ve got to build out to the waist-wide tube.
Now, the shoulders aren’t in the way at this point.
It’s going to be easier in that sense.
We have that high-low dynamic that’s going to throw us a little bit.
It takes some practice.
This is the kind of thing that you can practice in a sketchbook or draw out of your head.
I love drawing out of your head not because I want you to draw out of your head as a career.
I’d actually recommend you don’t do that for a long time because if you’re doing
comic books or storyboarding or something out of your head, you end up with eight or
10 or 20; if you’re really good, 20, 25, 30 stock poses with just little variations,
and you just use those over and over and over again.
You get the types.
You have the thug type, the fat type, the skinny type, the heroic type, supermodel type,
and that’s about it.
And then you just repeat those over and over and over again.
Whereas life is almost endless in types and endless in possible poses.
So, look to life when we do it.
So, what you can do is do two things.
You can lay tracing paper or put it on your computer if you have a touch computer and
draw over old masters or reference.
We’ll do some of that as assignments.
Draw this out of your head as I’m doing.
When you draw something out of your head you will instantly know what you don’t know.
When you try and draw that articulating leg off that hip as it goes into a sitting position,
if you can’t imagine, if you can’t visualize how the thigh fits into that hip on the bend,
then you go back to your sources.
Go back to reference.
Next time you’re in front of a model you work on that so that you’ve got that clear
in your head.
Working out of your imagination is very, very useful for that and for some other reasons.
But we have this kind of bent coke bottle idea, like this.
This is still waist-wide.
Now, once we get past the chest or the breast, whichever we’re doing, we’re going to
drop right down.
This is going to get vertical in here.
It gets vertical.
Then it tucks down the other way.
The waist-wide, small of the back.
Here is where the rib cage ends here.
The rib cage actually ends a little higher in front.
It drops down.
Belly button is about here.
We’ll give him an outie, or maybe here actually, an outie.
Then the hips go back.
It’s more rounded if it’s a male.
If it’s a little fuller and oftentimes a little squarer.
This gets pretty round on a muscular male.
This gets a little flatter oftentimes on the woman, so you can see the difference there.
But, they’re pretty close.
You can take your pick.
The spare tire muscle would be right here, fitting on him.
We’ll do all those secondary forms another time.
But, you can see this going back in, and that’s why we’re curving this this way, this straight
across, this this way, that accordion action.
Here it is here.
Then we can come off the back outside corner, or we can fall right off the hip
Then you get the full thigh, thin shin bit that’s two heads down, you know,
the S-curve in this case. This was the B.
This was the S. Or, it might be a reverse S if we flip the pose.
Come back to the pit of the neck, and you can just draw.
This is close to the collarbone.
Just draw the collarbone over, and you can draw the arm right here.
Let me change colors there.
Right here we’ll take more about how to do that.
Here would be the armpit here, there, and there.
It might come this way like so.
Okay, so that fits like that.
That’s the profile.
Very little difference between male and female.
Let’s do the back view.
Now, all we’re seeing, if we go back to the profile, the skull fits like that.
It’s an egg shape.
And so when we look at it from the back, the egg is end-on, so it looks like a ball.
We just draw a ball.
This is a little tricky.
Here is going to be the shoulder line down here.
We’ve got a series of overlaps.
I’m just going to draw it, and then I’ll explain it.
Here is the neck here.
Here is the face a little wider than the neck, usually.
Here would be the ears here like that.
Whatever hairstyle can cover all that.
We’ve got face peeking out.
We’ve got neck peeking out.
Then we’ve got shrugging muscle.
Remember, that shrugging muscle was that sagging triangle.
Now, from the front here is the head and the neck.
The sagging triangle—I almost said the shragging triangle—is behind the neck
so we just do that.
Now that we’re behind the whole head, we’re behind the neck, too.
Now we’re going to see that shrugging muscle goes all the way up to the skull.
Without the face and neck, we have a shrugging muscle that connects all the way up to the
skull and then comes down this way.
And so it’s connecting to the corner, the shoulder corners all the way up to the neck.
When it contracts, it’s going to draw those shoulders up towards that skull center like that.
They go up in.
So, we’ll draw this triangle like that, and then there is neck.
Then there is head.
Then the ears sit on.
The ears I usually draw as a little egg shape.
On the back end, I just draw this little straight line.
It’s thinking of it as a little slice of a disc kind of a thing.
So that fits there.
This comes all the way out and, again, finishes on the shoulder line.
This comes down.
Again, we do a waist-wide tube.
The silhouette, the shadow on the wall is going to look the same as the front.
Here is the end of the neck just above, or really here, into the neck just a good little
step above the shoulder line usually, just depends.
The beginning of the rib cage.
What I’ll usually do is I’ll push that rib cage up over the shoulder line, and that
helps to remind me, and it is accurate to the fact that the shoulder, the connection
is higher in the back and lower in the front.
The rib cage is up this much higher than the front view.
In the front view the rib cage would end here, let’s say.
Here it’s going to be there.
Somewhere in there.
It can be even more extreme.
That’s good enough.
Just bring it up a little bit over the shoulder line.
Or again, just do the coke bottle right down through like so.
That can be in here.
Again, this is going to go into the skinny neck.
Big rib cage is going to go into the skinny neck.
Then at about the end of the shoulder blades—we’ll have to talk about shoulder blades another
time—but about at the bottom of the shoulder blades, it’ll get flat in here.
Notice it’s a little different in front.
There it’s from the breast bone down to the belly button.
Here it’s from the shoulder blades down toward the bottom of the rib cage.
Then the rib cage tucks into the skinny neck, the skinny waist here, here.
Then we have the skinny waist.
Then the hips push out from the skinny waist.
You can see it’s pretty complicated, isn’t it?
It goes in and then it comes flat.
Then it goes in the other way, and then it goes flat at the waist.
Then it comes back out this way.
Out from the skinny neck, down the shoulder blades into the skinny waist, down the waist,
out to the full hips.
Then again, into the skinny legs and down again.
You can even take the bottom of the hips and do that at the finish if you want.
Now, the good thing about the hips and back, you don’t have the crotch.
Oftentimes the belly structure—we’ll look at that later—and legs overlapping the hips.
You see the fullness of the hips right there.
Here or here.
The difference for the male would only be the hip area.
Rib cage would be the same.
Let’s do this a little more carefully.
There is the rib cage, let’s say.
Here is the shoulder line, bottom of the shoulder blades is here.
This is going back that way.
Tucks back under to the skinny waist.
Here is the spare tire muscle flat across.
Then the hips pull back this way and are more of a bulging box.
You can see it’s kind of a lumpy tube that you can smooth out or bump up, depending on
how full the rib cage is, how full the spare tire muscles are in the hips.
It’s all a parallel tube, whereas the female is a bell that steps out kind of like so.
The gluteal structures, the rear end splits, and then we have that break across called
the gluteal fold that we’ll look at more later.
The split goes up halfway or a little above the hips, and then the hips comes right out
of that into the B design.
Then you can have a wider shoulder line.
The arms just come straight out wide.
Elbow would be in here about at the bottom of the rib cage.
The arms would swing out this way.
Wrist, close to the bottom of the hips, let’s say.
Hand and fingers get you down toward the middle.
It can be longer or shorter.
These are kind of long armed.
Somebody else, you might have the fingers in here.
They can vary quite a bit.
That’s two heads down to the back of the kneecap.
You can’t see the kneecap, but you can imagine where the crease is in the back of the leg.
It bumps out, same distance down.
That would be about here, about up a third or a half, anywhere in here, two heads down.
Two heads down.
Feet, we will figure out another time.
Just put socks on them or just make them little wobbly kind of elephant feet or something,
So, there you go.
That’s the proportions.
That’s all the basics you need to know.
Now to articulate that and to get fuller volumes and stuff we’re going to have to do some
That’s what our intermediate section is about.
But, we’re going to stop there.
I’m going to take just a second actually and show you a couple things on the skeleton,
and then you will have done your beginning course.
Then we can then build on top of that fine base.
Alright, a real quick look at our skeleton.
We’ll come back with our friend here and look at him more carefully.
You’re not going to really be able to tell, unless you’re an absolute expert, whether
it’s male or female, even what races are.
There are just subtle differences between.
Notice that as we come down here, you can see the rib cage in the waist just at the
bone structure level is about the same width.
When we add on the meat, we’re still about the same width.
That’s why we can take the whole thing into a tube that then slightly is modified for
the bulging or tapering forms.
What I really want to show you is a couple of things.
One, I wanted to scare the heck out of you to show you how
complicated the shoulder girdle is.
You can see all this connective stuff just with the bone.
There are all these strapping muscles that go on top of that to articulate and move and
work this stuff.
It’s very complex.
We’re going to have to demystify that on our next section.
There is a lot going on here.
That’s the shoulder girdle.
It starts from pit of the neck down the breastbone.
The deltoid here.
The shrugging muscle there in back.
The shoulder blades and quite a few connecting features on the back.
But, it’s still just a corner for all that so the sagging triangle comes down here.
The shoulders end at this bone and muscle connection, drops down.
We just need that top and side connection.
Even when it articulates, that’s all we need.
Let’s think of the coke bottle for a second right here coming down.
If you could imagine the neck with the skin on, the bone.
We’ve got the erector muscles, the sternocleidomastoid these are called, nasty-named muscles.
We get that tube of the neck coming down.
If you can imagine that into the rib cage, that neck comes right down here.
There is our coke bottle.
We’re seeing through this interruption.
We’re going down through, and we’ll feel that coke bottle.
Notice the lovely thing it does for us.
If we do head and neck and shoulder line and then put rib cage up against it, we’re stacking
these things together.
But we’re not seeing or feeling the fluid connectivity of that as it articulates.
But, if we can go, as always the case, instead of going on the outside accidental contour
that’s going to change if your muscular or older or feminine or whatever, go inside.
That connection is going to be consistent from type to type to type, whether it’s
young or old, male or female.
And you’re going to feel that interior connecting line through the center line.
All we’re going to do is we’re going to build out of the symmetry of that center line.
We’re going to take this.
Notice how we can cut through all this garbage, all this difficult articulation and feel this
And so, when it articulates around and moves here and even dynamic and incredibly deep
positions, that’s going to connect the head into the rib cage.
That’s what we want.
The head is the first gesture.
And the torso, the rib cage becomes a second gesture in how they play against or play with
each other is absolutely critical to getting a true feeling and lively feeling piece of work.
We’ve got the whole figure now, and we’re going to look at it from a profile because
that’s from an asymmetrical position.
We’re going to see an interesting thing, a wonderful thing happening, actually.
I’m just going to draw it because I’m showing you how to draw it the last go around.
This is going to be true on male or female, what I’m about to tell you, that mysterious
thing I’m about to tell you.
Okay, so there we go.
Then I’m going to put an arm back here, and I’ll put the hand here.
I’ll take that arm, or it could be the other arm, comes out this way and take it out this way.
It goes off the page.
So, there is our lovely figure.
Let’s now look at the gestures again.
Remember, as we refine our understanding of structure, we need to refine our understanding
of gesture so we build the sophistication and the process together.
It’s always, always going to be gesture/structure, gesture/structure.
From the first form to the next form, from the biggest forms to the smallest forms.
It’s going to be the same way.
When we render this little knuckle we’ll still be dealing with gesture and structure.
Let me show you how that works kind of at the next level.
Let’s look at the gesture of the skull or the gesture of the face, I should say, right there.
We’ll call that gesture number one.
Remember, every single body part, every single jointed part had a gesture.
Sometimes there was a gesture here.
Every time we drew another jointed part, we wanted to make sure the long axis is curved
into a gestural truth that’s going to make it ring true and seem more alive.
Sometimes those parts will line up, and sometimes they’ll fight against.
So, let’s see how that works.
What I’m going to do is I’m going to look for all of the gestures that I can.
Here is a long axis curve.
Let’s take a second here now.
When I say gesture, if you’ve heard of gesture at all, I’m, saying long axis curve, and
that’s all I’ve defined it as.
I’m showing you how to find out.
I haven’t taken it very far, though.
That’s different terminology then you’ll find when people do talk about gesture.
They don’t talk about often.
When they do they usually talk about stretch, pinch, and twist.
In fact, stretch, pinch, and twist is a staple of animation, cute animal animation and any
If we look at a little Donald Duck type of character, something like that, generally
there are two balls put in a sack, in effect.
Then that figure can bend over and have this wonderful articulation and seem alive because
it’s on this long axis curve.
Let’s look at that.
We’ve got two shapes, and we put them in a sack.
If the shapes articulate, one side of the sack will stretch.
If the one side stretches the other always pinches.
We have stretch and pinch against each other.
Notice how, and notice how I’ve never mentioned this until now because I don’t think it’s
the critical way to think of it.
But, we are going to talk about it because it’s out there, and there, and we want to
see how it ties into how I’m approaching it.
If we look at the stretch side we may notice that the stretch side is really long, and
the pinch side, because the forms are coming together can get really short.
Let’s draw it again.
Notice how the stretch side is also really simple, and the short pinching side is really
Notice how the stretching side is convex, bulging, and the pinching side is more concave.
I can spell that word.
Notice how when we draw the lines that make the stretch side, they go up and down.
They don’t go over the form.
Up and down and even around is two-dimensional.
But, notice on the pinch side they go up, down, and over.
They move over the form, at least a little ways over the form.
Notice how each side has a completely different character to it.
Notice that as we define this now as we first did, we first defined structure as the movement
over the form.
Notice how the pinch side fulfills that requirement.
We move over the form, dot, dot, dot, and we feel the volume as we move over that.
The pinch so that fabric moves over the form.
We feel the volume of that form.
So, really, the pinching side is fulfilling the three-dimensional structural idea.
Notice when we come to the stretch side it’s really moving between the forms.
We don’t have much or any information about the character of the forms that are stuffed
in that sack.
We just feel the whole, stretching, bulging side of that sack.
It simplified or eliminated the variations of individual forms in that, and we’ve moved
into this long, simple movement.
It helps us move between the forms.
This helps to describe the forms.
This describes the movement between the forms and kind of doesn’t pay attention to the
character or the forms.
And so, by my earlier definitions, the stretch side is naturally gestural, as I’ve chosen.
This is just convenience as I’ve chosen to define the terms.
The pinch side is more structural, more three-dimensional, as I’ve chosen to describe the forms.
Just look at the process.
If I want something that’s simple and easy, if I want to be able to cover more territory
comfortably, it’s much better if I can group a lot of things into one simple idea.
That’s more efficient, and it’s going to be more graceful, more fluid, more alive.
It’s going to fulfill the aesthetics I’m after, as well as just being functionally
So, by making it simple, covering the most territory, I am choosing to call stretches
in the traditional way of thinking of gesture, I’m choosing to call just the stretches
the gesture line, just the bulging curve, the long bulging curve that simplifies or
totally eliminates those lumps and bumps.
And notice when I do start that bean bag with the stretch side, and then I add the two-dimensional
or three-dimensional structures on the pinch side, I get the pinch by default.
The pinch takes care of itself.
That gestural idea is taken care of.
Notice how when I add more and more structures, little structures or fuller, more realized
big structures, this pinch gets more and more pinching.
It just gets better and better and better.
I don’t even have to worry about the pinch.
It is there.
It is part of the theory.
It does correspond with gestural ideas if you want to follow that more traditional,
but it’s not very efficient.
You’ll notice if we started with the pinching sides we’d be kind of disconnecting things.
They’d just be barely touching on the inside, and they would still be yet to be determined
how to fit them on the outside.
They would have to go over every little form to get it done, presumably, or at least a
lot of bigger forms.
Here we can move through a whole big section.
That’s how I’m going to define it.
Twists, let’s save that for a little later.
We’ll save that for another page or two for now.
We’ll figure that out later.
That’ll be just as easily solved, actually.
What I’m going to do, then, is I’m going to look for all the bulging sides, all the
There is a bulge.
There is a bulge.
Here is a bulge.
That’s a bind.
Here is a bulge.
There are a lot of little bulges.
There is a bulge.
Now, when we look at each jointed point, we find the bulging side for each jointed part.
When we’re lucky, we might get several parts joining together.
We might get the back of the hand and the fingers.
We might get the upper arm and the forearm.
We might get the rib cage, waist, and the pelvis and then good for us.
We’re going to look at each joint and part, and we’re going to get each joint and part
only one bulging curve.
If we give it too many curves, it’s going to look wobbly and rubbery.
Remember, we had two ideas here.
We had curves and corners.
Gesture and structure.
If we get too much gesture, which is hard to do, but it can be done.
If we get too much gesture it looks rubbery and doesn’t feel like it can hold its position.
If we get too much structure it gets stiff and Frankenstein lifeless.
We need to balance it out, so we want curves and corners.
If you’re drawing away and your artwork looks too stiff, go to each jointed part and
make sure that the long axis curve is curved and is curved enough.
If you’re getting it too rubbery, you’re not getting solid structure, then we want
to look to the corners.
Notice that the joints when they articulate, that’s where the corners are, those jointed
The big corners where the skull goes back and the face goes down.
Where the face goes down and the jaw goes back.
Those are the corners.
Look to those corners.
Basically, look to the points for the most part.
You’ll find those corners.
So, if it’s getting too rubbery, just get a really good corner.
If somehow that leg looks too rubbery into the lower leg, come back and get a better
corner at the knee.
Corners and curves.
Get really good, clear, sharp corners at those articulating joints, and the squarer the better
in terms of being sure that it works.
Then, like a wood carver, I can come back and round off the corner later anytime I want.
In between those corners, give us curves like crazy.
Give us good, long curves.
Every once in a while, you won’t need to, or you shouldn’t, but usually we want them,
and usually you don’t do it enough.
Notice how that’s great.
We can do that.
What if weren’t sure whether that elbow should be a strong corner or should group
into a fuller curve?
It doesn’t matter really.
We can make that fuller curve and put the corner on top.
If we don’t need that much corner, we’ll round it off in the rendering later.
Hopefully, we’ve drawn this stuff in pretty light.
We can think like a wood sculptor.
Notice that a wood carver might build this bean bag like this with a lot of corners.
The net feeling is still this beautiful, fluid stretching side, and then in the rendering
he or she would round off those corners, buff them out, and you’d have this lovely, fluid
When in doubt, add a corner at that change in direction.
You can even chisel it out.
In fact, that’s how we did the leaning dimension, if you’ll remember.
We chiseled out that to place that curve in the right leaning position.
We broke it into several straights and corners or lesser curves and corners, whichever we
All of those end up being the same idea.
Okay, curves and corners.
Just a balancing act.
The lovely thing about that is it’s something you can easily go back to in your mind and
say—and this is part of an important process—you can say there is something wrong with my drawing
or my painting.
What is it?
It feels too stiff.
What are you going to do?
You’re going to add more long axis curves.
It feels to rubbery.
What are you going to do?
You’re going to look at all of the major changes and directions, usually the jointed
parts, and you’ll put a corner there, or you’ll chisel out several corners there.
You’ve basically solved the problem then.
It gives us a great tool.
That’s why it’s so important that as we do our lessons here, and we build our process
for beginning 30-second gesture drawing to finished 8-week rendering, that we build them
We understand corners a little more.
We understand curves a little more.
We understand corners.
Now we’re understanding curves a little bit more.
We build them up together.
Now, let’s go back to our figure here, and let’s see what we have.
We have the face, and we’re going to call that gesture number one because it’s on top.
As I said before, the gesture of the face, the head is what we’re going to look to first.
Our audience is going to look to our art, they’re going to look at our head first.
Face if they can see.
Gesture number one, that’s the first bulge.
Now we’re going to find the next highest bulge.
It’s actually back here, isn’t it?
It starts all the way up here.
That’s the next highest bulge.
This is going to be gesture number two then.
Where is the next highest bulge?
There is the next highest bulge at the pit of the neck.
Here is gesture number three.
Look at how long that lasts, potentially.
All the way down to the crotch and even maybe down to the bottom of the hips there past
Then where is the next highest bulge?
Not the little one.
We’re looking for the jointed part, so we’re going to go to the hip.
There is gesture number four.
Notice we’ve kind of ignore the neck, that transitional structure and the waist.
That transitional structure.
I’ve not come back and talked about that.
I’ve just shot past it to the big bony parts between, basically.
I’ll explain why momentarily on that.
But, I’m not cheating.
It’s just easier to think of it this way, and I’ll show you in a second why.
Gesture number one.
Gesture number two.
Gesture number three.
Gesture number four.
Where is gesture number five?
There it is on that straight leg.
Or there it is on that bent leg.
It wouldn’t matter the articulation on these things.
No matter how we do this, these gestural relationships will still be there.
Then gesture number five is on the backside.
That’s the bulge.
Remember, this binds in like that.
Gesture number six—this is five.
Gesture number six here.
There you go.
And then we just, I usually just actually use this one in terms of my lay in.
I do a full thigh and a thin shin, take us right down to that foot.
Then we get this lovely ski slope finish into there.
Strictly speaking, it’s over here on this side.
So, look at what we have.
Gesture number one down to gesture number two.
We’ll go to kind of the middle of them.
Gesture number two to gesture number three.
Gesture number three to gesture number four.
Gesture number four to gesture number five, five to six.
Then if you wanted to go that way fine, but you get the idea.
Look at how we can look at the hand here.
If the hand went this way, this would all be one gesture.
If it goes this way it’s two gestures, whether it’s bent or not.
Now, functionally you’ll probably go gesture, curve, corner, and then another gesture, but
this is all bowing, bulging the same way.
It’s just doing it over a massive curve.
But, here is another gesture, and here is another gesture.
These rhythms work through the limbs, too, through all the parts.
They’ll work with the smallest.
Look at the thenar eminence to the thumb.
What we’re finding, then, if we go not to the outside, but to the inside, look at this
wonderful thing that happens.
It could go over the bent leg like that over that corner.
We get a wave action.
That is the design of life.
Life is designed on the way because life is mainly watery.
And so we could see the little contours.
If we look at a contour we might see here is another knuckle, knuckle of the hand, knuckle
of the wrist.
There is the forearm.
Look at the contour how it creates this lovely wave action going.
That’s not what we’re talking part.
That’s an accident on the surface, but it speaks to that watery source.
We are 67% water or something like that, depending on how much coffee and fresh water we drink.
And so we’re mainly water, and anything that is alive is mainly water.