- Lesson details
In this highly-anticipated series, master draftsman Glenn Vilppu shares with you his approach to figure drawing. In this second lesson of the series, Glenn covers spherical forms. He begins with a lecture introducing the concept of spherical forms in figure drawing, followed by analyses of spheres in Old Master works.
- Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen
- Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencil – Sanguine and Black
- Pentel Water Brush
- Drawing Paper
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fundamentals of being able to describe form in three dimension. I’m going to be lecturing.
I’m going to take and do a demonstration for you. From the demonstrations we’ll talk
about old master drawings and the basic procedures. At the end I will take and give you an assignment,
and then I’m going to do the exact same assignment.
Let’s get started with this assignment.
everything is the most important. But it is really critical to being able to take and
think three-dimensionally. Particularly in the animation industry. Look at classical
animation forms. There are spherical forms. Well, actually we begin with the gesture.
So let’s take and go from there. The first step in the drawing is just a simple flow
of movement that you’re trying to communicate. That’s the starting point. It doesn’t
have to be complicated. Just take and build things. It’s like an armature for a sculpture.
You take and you feel the flow of what the form is doing.
Now, each step that we go through in doing the drawing has to clarify that step. And
so we build on that. Now, the next point that we go over the surface of the form to show
the direction of the form. That’s an ellipse and we’ll talk about that when we do cylinder
forms more. But this is taking and doing the form going that way. But as I do that, in
other words, when I’m drawing a line like that going over I’m already setting limits
in here and thinking it all the way through and visualizing the outside edges of that
form. So it’s going to come through. It’s like when I’m taking and drawing a head.
We block in. Very rudimentary. We communicate going across the surface of that form. I don’t
think of this paper as flat. To me it’s three-dimensional and it’s round. So everything
I’m doing is going around and over that surface, so if they come down. Pit of the
neck. Now, I’m drawing essentially the rib cage. But first, it’s just a simple volume
that’s sort of the rib cage. It’s going over that surface. Coming through.
Now here is where we it starts to get interesting. Now we’re taking and talking about forms
that are overlapping each other. So as I’m drawing that now we get a very strong sense
with the lines that I’m drawing here and with how this fits into that. We’re actually
getting a twist. We can communicate the direction of forms in space, how they overlap.
Let’s get started with this, if I just reverse this.
So it’s this connection of how the spherical forms relate to each other. Now, I can take
and add to this by taking and just simply drawing a line that goes over the surface,
and now we’re also getting a twisting of that sphere. Twisting coming toward us, going
back. Okay, now, in doing this you’ll notice that the line really feels like it’s on
the surface of that sphere. That’s what you need to take and be able to deal with.
I can create even more of a thing by taking and adding a pinch as we start to come through.
So we build. If was to render this I could even start pushing tone in here to push that
down, creating more of a three-dimensional quality.
So this becomes the beginning point. So as that leg comes forward I’m first taking
and saying it’s fitting in. I’m coming through and I’m saying, okay now, leg is
going down. Going from one side to the other. This is the spherical form. I’m taking over
that surface, coming through. I’m building one form on top of another so it’s constantly
visualizing, going from one side of the form to the other, but essentially seeing simple
spherical forms. The neck becomes a variation on that coming through. Muscles as we pull
off the chest. Here’s a section of shoulders coming through. It’s building spherical
forms one on top of the other.
As I build the drawing then, coming through. We’re going over. I’m always going over
the surface. Coming through. Visualizing the overlapping of these forms, how one form fits
into another form. It’s a progression. Notice how I started with just a very, very simple
form. I’m taking and now it’s getting more complex. We can see as I build the thing
it’s just a constant working over these surfaces. It’s not complicated. It’s really
quite simple. We all tend to make things a little more complicated.
Now, as I go farther in the drawing what I would do is start to give information. In
other words, I say, oh we started out here in the pit of the neck. Well, okay, here’s
the sternum. We start to feel the rib cage. The rib cage on the other side would be pushing in.
So maybe you need to drop this down a little bit more. Feel more compression.
Make the corner of the pelvis. Maybe this is squishing out a bit more. It’s going over the surface.
Feel this pushing in. Feel the stretching. Feel the stomach coming around. Pelvis on
the other side. It becomes a series of steps of modifying that simple sphere that I began
with. If you take this modification and take it step by step, building on top of simple
volume, that becomes the essence. This is cartooning. That’s just Renaissance drawing.
used by my instructors to illustrate the whole concept of spherical forms. So let’s take
and reduce this down a little bit so I can draw over it.
If you look at the—probably one of the most simple examples here, as I draw over this,
you can see that this rear end really is just a simple spherical form. Then we take that
spherical form and we break it in half, and then we start to take and work over it. You’ll
notice that in the process of all of the rest of the drawing here now is that what we have
as it goes over the surface of the form rendering it. He’s just pushing the side back. And
we go through. Even here you get the highlight hitting the center. Then the tone is pushed
to the side. Every little point it takes and starts to stick out a little bit, it’s another
form built on top. So as we go down, feel that this is built from that. Come through.
The heel of the horse. This is really the basic simple of starting to take and think.
If you take and carry this farther, you go back in and you start to look. You’ll find
that everything will be taking and really starts with very, very simple volumes.
But let’s look at some more examples, and then we’ll go from there. But this is a
starting point. Simple Rubens is always such a great example. This is Lempicka. You can’t
get more round than that. Yet, at the same time it’s a highly abstract painting. Let’s
ghost this down a little bit so I can go over it. Now, as you can see it doesn’t take
much imagination to see what we’re taking and working with. Very, very simple round
forms. Come through. Here even as we start to build one round form fitting into another
round form, we’re taking and building this whole simple figure, simple spherical forms
building up. All of the fragments, the way she uses the drapery going over the form,
the way she’s using the cast shadow going over the surface of the form. At about the
same time notice what we have is very, very strong abstract element. Look at the shape,
the 2D line playing against the 3D element. She’s using the core as it takes and goes
over the surface around coming through, but you can see the way the knee, for instance,
is really a spherical form built on top so it’s a transition of how this thing fits on top.
Again, as we go back in you can see the way he’s working with the light. We can see
just rendering over the surface of the form. The whole thing is just built with lines wrapping
around very, very, like I say, this is sort of like almost overkill when you’re talking
about spherical forms.
At the same time, notice that she’s taking these very round forms and playing them against
very strong straights. So there is really a strong 2D element. Notice that we’re getting
these shapes that he’s got going, she’s got going here. Then even here. These still—no,
these are round forms. The straights playing, so she’s taking two layers of straight line
and playing these very, very round forms.
As you look at the head, for instance, this is really just a sphere. You can feel the
way forms are going over that round form. The breasts obviously are very round. We build
the forms on top. The whole thing is conceived as a series of round forms.
As we look at the drawing on the left and on the right, notice that the ones on the
right, he’s really, as he’s doing this drawing he starts off with very, very simple
volumes. Notice the way he’s working with the lines wrapping around. And so everywhere
you look he’s developing the whole composition. It’s developed on a series of very, very
simple forms. It’s also instructive to notice now that as you look at this drawing on the
right you can see that he actually started the drawing either with a charcoal or a graphite
underneath. And if you can see where my stylist is—in other words, you can see the lines
over here. So he went through and did this drawing first in another media and then came
back over it with the ink. So don’t think that he’s started this drawing out just
straight out. He went through several stages of taking and developing that drawing.
This is a preliminary sketch for the drawing on the left. Here he was trying to figure it
out. So what we have is we have the one gal sitting on the other gal’s lap over here.
It’s pretty clear.
So let’s take and ghost down the one on the left, and we’ll take and go over that
a bit. Okay, now as we look at the drawing on the left here, this is something that is
often very surprising to students. First of all, you can see that the head is really just—even
though it’s gotten lots of expressions it’s really just a simple spherical form. The neck
is just a cylinder so it’s very round. You notice that the torso is really just a simple
volume. It’s interesting. There’s a comment that was made by da Vinci. Since everybody
knows that da Vinci did all the dissecting and all the anatomy. He also came out and
said don’t draw anatomy, which is very, very surprising. But if you think about it
and looking at the way he did this, he was focusing on very, very simple forms. Notice
the way the drapery is going. This is really nothing more than cylinders. If you look at
the child, for instance, you can see that this is, look at the head, simple spherical
forms. The torso is just a simple form. If you take and go back and start looking at
say a lot of say da Vinci’s drawings of children you can see everything begins with
the simple spherical forms. If you look at the way the legs are drawn. Well, these are
just round forms. There is not anatomy here. This is just like having mannequins, the way
the drapery goes over the surface describing the forms. Again, it’s all a question of
just building one simple volume on top of the other, thinking of these volumes really
as primary forms. Everything that you do as you’re going over the surfaces around, and
you’re fitting one form into the next.
Okay, let’s take and go on from here. With Renoir notice how really similar it is to
the da Vinci, yet we’re talking about several hundreds years later; 300, maybe 400 years
later. Again, it’s just a series of simple volumes. It would actually be very instructive
to take and look at some of Renoir’s pieces because what he’s done—notice that as
he has a form the center of the form is light. So what we have is that light form and then
he’s pushing the sides back. He’s building that on top of another form. So as you break
it down you can see that the whole torso is very, very simple round forms. If you look
at the way this volume, thinking of the rib cage underneath, and I’m drawing over it
now. You can see that this is the rib cage underneath fits into another volume. So we’re
building one volume on top of another, and it just, literally this is really the whole
point of the drawing. You look at it as nothing more than the simple series of spherical forms
going from one side to the other. As you look at this, looking at the thigh here, the leg.
You can see, okay, the light here. You can see that this is literally a spherical form
built in. It’s fitting into another spherical form as we go over. It’s building one volume
on top of the other. A lot of people don’t realize that Renoir was very, very much focused
on very traditional, classical ideas in his painting, and that he was trying to organize
things. As you can see from this, this is not impressionism. People tend to think and
classify him as an impressionist. Well, some of the paintings, yes. But this is obviously
not impressionism. He’s taking a very, very, classical serious approach. In fact, in his
own writings he thought of impressionism as sort of a dead end. These are simple volumes.
Light brought to the center of the form. This is all built up on the point. Even here what
he does is he surrounds the lights with the dark. Notice that we have these forms in here.
He’s taking and putting the light, and then he puts a dark behind and dark in front. He’s
surrounding it. He takes the overall figure and he’s surrounding it with dark so it’s
a conceptual approach to taking and painting and drawing.
Okay, now Rubens is, of course, the one that is almost universally thought of as dealing
with simple volumes and you might even say fat figures as we’re building the things
up. So, what do we take and—this is a painting and actually a figure that was introduced
to me as a student in talking about round forms.
So as we come in and we look at the overall thing you can see, think of the rib cage as
it comes down. You figure just a simple volume, and then we’ve got the stomach coming out.
Big, simple volume. We’re also getting a basic squash and stretch. Feel the way the
external oblique is getting compressed. Feel the pelvis. Everything now can be taken and
broken down as simple, round forms. Notice how he’s taking and we’ve got the figure
in the back here, the dark figure giving him a pinch here on the flesh showing the roundness
and showing the real. Look at the arm here. Let’s ghost this down for a little bit and
we can draw over it.
Let’s take and draw over the figure here a little bit. You’re looking at the shoulder.
Through. This is a round form. Notice how that as it comes down and then is fitting
into the next round form. So these are all very, very clearly based on the simple spherical
form. And it comes through and around. So going back now, let’s look at them passing
over the figure here. We can see the idea of the rib cage underneath. We can feel the
lines that are just wrapping around, but the overall big shape is just this volume that
we’re building on top of the stomach coming over the way the lines are working around,
fitting in. This is 3D, totally 3D. So you can see even the knee area here, for instance,
really starts with a simple spherical form. Then we can feel how these other forms are
fitting into it. That leg is just going from one side to the other. We’re just bracketing it.
We come down and feel the knee fitting in. You go from one side to the other. The
leg goes down. So even on the figure leaning down here, the female figure down at the bottom,
you can see that this, it’s a very Renoir-ish figure. You can see the way the figure goes
down. We can feel the roundness, the simple construction underneath. Notice how she is
twisting to an extreme. We get the sacrum back here. This is, again, it’s just round
forms. The whole arm. This is just built. The realism is achieved more through the subtlety
of tone, but he’s building the very, very round figures. This is the whole essence and
what we think of Rubens generally.
When we think of Rubens we think of a big, round, heavy figures.
and take—he’s really building these forms. If you look at his art you can see that this
becomes an essential element. These really, round, full figures. Go to the Museum of Modern
Art in New York you will see sculpture that are out in the ponds out in front. Big, round
forms. It’s always just going from one side to the other. But what he makes a real point
out of is how the forms fit, how one form sits on another. He’s a sculptor. So we
can take and you really feel the volume as he’s wrapping these lines going around,
through the figure. These round, push the side back, feel the hips. Then as we take
and come down we can see that the thigh, okay, this is really—look at that. It’s a big,
round form. Then even as he’s going to the knee here, that’s another round form that
he’s fitting into. The other one is going back.
Let’s look at this. It’s round. It’s big. He’s pushing. He’s pushing the point,
and it’s all done. There is hardly a straight line in it. We find that this is building
the way the chest, you can feel the chest is going back. You can feel the rib cage.
That rib cage is really round. Then you get the breasts are fitting on that surface coming
across and going over the surface. Feel the push. The forms are literally pushing out.
Then as we go back you can see the way these shoulders are built on this. These are round
forms. Then, of course, the neck again going back in. It’s just a simple cylinder. So
this is not that far removed from da Vinci. We can see that we build these forms. We can
see that he was a contemporary of Renoir. We can feel where the size of the form and
building one form on top of the other. Feel these forms pushing down. You can see how
it’s fitting in. One form fitting into another. It’s the building of these surfaces.
Now this is Pontormo. This is a rough preliminary sketch. But again, look at the way the head
was started out. He was just literally sort of blocking in the shape of a head. There
are no eyes. You can see maybe a hint of something there. You can feel now, as he’s doing this,
even here the neck fitting in, it’s a series of forms, volumes that are fitting in.
Now, if we take and—let’s forget the shoulder for a second here. Just visualize the rib
cage here. This has become a simple volume and it’s almost a perfect sphere. Building
this volume. So you have this volume but the figure is twisting, so he gives us a center.
He gives us the corners of the rib cage. He shows that this is twisting. This is fitting
into another spherical form. Look at this shape here and the way it fits, going over,
so we see this is a volume that is taking and building. Come through. My masters thesis
was based on Pontormo. You can see I’m pulling the twist coming through. As that leg comes
out this way notice what he’s doing here now. This is a spherical form, but what we
see is—and this is something I’ve talked about now. I’m thinking of the compression
of the one form coming down, fitting the other so you can see the shape now. It’s very
subtle. What we get now is a compression. We get to feel a little bit of the fullness
or the angle that’s being created. So this is building on top of it now.
Then we get a series of steps, three-dimensional volumes that are taking and building. We’re
actually starting from underneath. The buttocks underneath and back. Feel the volumes coming
forward. Coming through. Going around that surface. One form fitting into another. So
it’s going around, over the surface.
Notice the lines themselves. This is what you see if you’re looking at da Vinci, Michelangelo.
You see the use of the lines going over the surface. We get this progression now of volumes,
one volume fitting into another volume. We’re building volumes on top of volumes. The whole
thing is taking, and as we come forward we’re building these forms. So it’s a constant
building of these volumes. So now if we go back up here to the shoulder we can see that
the shoulder is, of course, then just the simple volume. But keep in mind now that this
volume of the shoulder is in conjunction of the scapula, which is another volume on top
of the rib cage. Here he is using some fairly straight-ish forms for the arm, pushing the
things. But it’s building here. You can see now the bridge in the back here where we feel.
Now, the muscles of the back we can feel just pulling in front. These lines going over the
surface. So it’s a constant building, construction, seeing how one form fits into another. We’re
going over. Build. One volume and go from one side to the other. Also, you notice that
the leg here is actually, he’s using the box form, which is another basic tool that
we use as we’re talking and developing our drawings. Once the concept of the spherical
form was introduced to me then it was a process of taking and studying and looking at other
artists to see how they can use the concept themselves. And so this is a beginning point.
So now you take and you have the idea. Look at how everybody else is taking it and using it.
Let’s take a look at another artist here now.
Okay, this is Parmigianino. This is another artist that I personally have looked at an
awful lot. But this drawing was picked out because it’s very, very simple. You can
see how easily he’s taking and developing and using these simple spherical forms. It’s
almost like a mannequin. He’s coming through. Feel these volumes building one on top of
the other. It’s just simple spherical forms. So as these volumes are conceived just build
one to the next to the next. If you look at my drawings and watch me working you will
see that this is an essential element in the way I approach the drawing, using spherical
forms. Keep in mind, for those of you who are interested in animation, this is the basic
tool when you’re drawing characters. We take and we build characters. We take and
think of the gesture of something, come through. Animation drawing is just drawing. Then it’s
using the imagination to take and create characters that are giving the impression of 3D, but
using simple three-dimensional forms to create the illusion of reality that we build with.
the figure first. Then we’re coming back in and trying to contain the forms. But let’s
just take and take a little step here now. In containing the form that it is a process
of bracketing and going from one side of the form to the other. You’re always in mind
that this is a round form, so that as I go across the form I’m also at the same time
showing the axis of the center of the form. So now as I’m dealing with the gesture here
I’m saying, okay, the figure is going in. The neck is going to fit into the head. I’m
thinking of the center of that form as I’m going through.
Now, as this is coming down I’m feeling this action. So as I’m working with that
sphere I’m taking and thinking of the rib cage actually, coming through and I’m saying,
okay, now as I think of one side of the form right away I’m taking and dealing with the
other side of the form. So you’re talking about bracketing.
We’re thinking about the center of the form.
Now, as we talked about this is that we’re talking about how the direction is by how
we overlap. So now the pelvis is coming through, and the gesture would be taking and saying,
going across the back of the sacrum. Now as I fit into this we’re taking and overlapping
one form into the other. I’m going across. I’m picking up the axis. I’m going across
the form. Pulling through. I’m coming down. I’m containing this form. But at the same
time, remember that this sphere can be taken and gone around all kinds of different directions.
You’re thinking about the center or whatever.
Now, so as I go through coming down, now I’m taking and picking up the gluteus. We’re
going around a corner. This is going back. Now as I go into that leg, and the leg is
going back in, through. So now I’m overlapping. I’m going from one side of the form to the
other side of the form. As I’m doing this I’m being conscious of how one form fits
into another, and I’m constantly going over that surface coming back. You can see that
this is very, very simple forms. There is absolutely nothing complex about this, but
we’re taking them and coming back. The leg is coming back. I’m going over the surface.
I’m containing one side to the other. Going back, going through, going over the surface.
Even in the smaller parts you’re always checking and going over. Feel the foot. Notice
that I’m drawing the ball of the foot. It’s just really a simple sphere. And we start
to add these forms. The other part here now, this particular pose you can see that the
figure is actually seated. Now, the first mistake most students make is they look and
they see, well yeah, this is just a round form. But if I wanted to make her seated I
have to think that this is like a balloon filled with water. It’s going to come down,
and it’s going to flatten. I will go out of my way to create the feeling of weight
of taking and compressing. The big thing if that arm goes back now I’m lifting the shoulder
up on top what would be the rib cage, and I’m carrying the scapula out on the other
side. I’m building on top of this surface. It’s going back. Notice the line indicates
it’s going back in. So I look to see where the hand is going to be going over the surface.
It’s going from one side to the other as we’re going back in. Now, I’m going to
need to—I’m going to drop the head more. I need it to feel, just lowering the sphere
that I’m working on. So this is very straightforward. Now, if I take this and carrying a little
bit farther what I’m going to be dealing with is taking this—as I mentioned here,
this is like I’m thinking of a balloon. In other words, if we have a balloon with
water in it and we set it down it would go plopping through here. Now, the same thing
if we take it and we pushed on it, it would take and move.
So now I’m taking and approaching this sphere and you might say this ball of water, and
I’m saying I’m going over and feeling this pushing down. Coming through and I can
feel the sacrum here. I can feel these forms pushing down. But these are all dealing with
the same idea. This is just very, very round form that I’m taking and working on. We’re
constantly feeling where the corner of this sphere is turning. I can feel it when we’re
pulling in, coming through. Feel the overlapping. Feel how the form is coming in. Notice that
what I’m doing is I’m not drawing a contour. I’m creating a contour by drawing forms.
So we’re constantly creating forms that are creating the contour. So now I’m coming
back and I’m emphasizing the gesture coming through. We’ve got another leg in here so
I guess it’s a good idea to draw it. There is the leg. I wouldn’t draw that hand just
like that. I would bring it out farther so that we know where it’s at, indicating out there.
This is the basic stuff right here. Talking about the way it overlaps. One thing overlaps
the other, and the fact that we’re taking and notice that the line that I drew on the
surface now is taking and showing that action. Now in this next pose, bringing up the next
element here, that when you’re dealing with a sphere or, again, actually I should say
as we continue to deal with the gesture however they’re going through, feeling the action
coming down, coming in. We start to see the figure as it’s coming through, going back
in, down. Also, I’m just feeling the flow of how it goes.
That’s the gesture, as always, number one.
Coming down. Okay, now, how we communicate this gesture with the sphere? What’s the
important part in the pose is the fact that he’s really tilted and we’re compressing
on side. The other side is stretching. So as I come through I’m thinking, okay, the
bottom of the neck, the top of the rib cage here. Now, what we’re seeing is thinking
of the rib cage pulling through. In other words, I’m not including the shoulders.
All I’m doing is hitting the rib cage. This is coming down. I’m thinking of the axis
across through here.
Now, as we come through in here, coming across. Again, we’re looking at this as just first
the simple sphere. Now, as we look at this you can see that this is pushing down, and
this is pushing up. What we’re doing now is then seeing that this is being caused by
the pelvis coming in, and the rib cage is coming down. So what we’re getting then
is a compression in between with the external oblique getting compressed between the pelvis
and the rib cage. So what you’re focusing on then is this is the form that is pushing
down. This is essentially just a simple sphere and we have another simple sphere that is
working into this.
And so I start looking at the gesture so then we’re stretching on the other side so we
can feel the corner of the pelvis over here coming through. We’re pulling from the rib
cage. We feel the external oblique is stretching on one side, and we’re compressing on the
other side. This is a very, very basic thing. So now we can feel the pull. Shoulders taking
and coming back. The other arm is going back. So now we’re building. We build on top of
form here. So we have the 7th cervical vertebra which is the top of the rib cage in back and
the bottom of the neck. The neck here is twisting so we deal with the twist. Then we start to
build muscles on top. The scapula is now coming across. This is pushing. This is a compression.
So this is building on top of that sphere of the rib cage. And so it’s not just one
form. You’ll notice that as I’m drawing this I’m approaching this
still as simple spherical forms.
As the arm comes back here we can feel we’re building on this. The scapula would be going
back across, and we pull from this thing coming down. Coming across. So we’re going over
the surface and so we build again. The scapula. Feeling through. These are forms. One from
on top of the next form. Okay, so it becomes critical then that you
actually understand your anatomy.
Now, from here as I go across, through one side, coming down. Now I’m building within
that. We’re feeling on top as we come into the buttocks now. We’re taking the center.
Coming through. Going around. Coming in. Again, everything is based on a simple sphere. Going
through. Come down. Think about where I’m heading to the knee. Your overlapping one
form to the next. Building up. Coming through. In this case we get the tendons coming through.
There is a whole series of things, and on the outside we have the tendon of the biceps
of the femur. They give us a sense of corners, like the box. Everything is still working
from one side to the form to the other. Building form as we go down. Artists that you look
at where this becomes very obvious is look at Tintoretto. Look at Rubens. We find constant
play of forms going over and around the surface of the form as we’re drawing it. So it’s
one side to the other. It’s all basically just simple spherical forms. This applies
as you start working into the arms at the same time.
In other words, I jump ahead to think of where the end of the ulna is. Come through. Then
I’m just going over the triceps. Just bracketing, coming through. I can think of the tendon.
I start to build forms. Coming through.
In this case he’s taking and stretching his head back so I’m pulling the ear back.
Feel the head now as it’s pulled back. But at this point it’s just a simple sphere.
I’m doing this as much to take and try to get across the idea that we’re not copying,
you’re not copying. We’re trying to feel an action. Trying to feel the pose. I’m
just taking and trying to feel what the figure is doing. It’s going back in. You can see
a lot of my movements are circular. And so they really like the spheres we’re talking
about. Through. And the arm coming down.
Now, what I’m doing is we’re talking now about spheres. So what I’m looking at are
landmarks. Top of the rib cage and back. So I visualize now. I’m coming through. This
is the closest you’re going to get me talking about rules. It’s that when you’re drawing
one fragment of a form—in this case it’s the rib cage—if I’m drawing one fragment
of the form you go through, even if you can’t see it and try to think about where the other
section of that form is. I’m drawing the rib cage even though I can’t see it. Again,
this is the simple bracketing I’ve just been talking about. Also, they’ve started
going over. So now when I come in and start to draw the pelvis I’m thinking of a line.
Looking for the line of the spine. Coming across and seeing the back of the sacrum.
So I’m visualizing this volume of this sphere and seeing these on that surface. So as I’m
coming through, so as this, again, this is the sphere coming down. I’m looking for
the center. Coming through. Here we get a really nice example of what we were doing
in a previous drawing. She comes down. She’s sitting so what we’re getting then is a
clear compression. This sphere is compressing. It’s coming across. She’s going over a
surface so there is a slight pushing in, but this is all part of that sphere.
Now, as we start to build up we can see that this side is coming down, so this is pulling.
So it’s turned. The shoulder is higher on one side. We can feel the scapula lifting
up. On the other side we feel the shoulder dropping down. So here we are. This has dropped.
So the rib cage now is taking and going in. So when I’m thinking of this sphere I’m
going over. I’m coming around that rib cage. I’m seeing the volume and I’m conscious
now. We’ve got a pelvis that’s coming up. These forms are pushing back in so what
we’re seeing then again is the same thing we were looking at the drawing now. We were
getting this compression taking place. Since she’s leaning she’s tilted. Their fold
is taking now and going up this way. So you’re actually seeing. I’m going to exaggerate
this full now so you’re seeing this compression now. It’s taking and coming through and
we actually would be thinking of the pelvis now taking and pushing over. Then we come
back up here and make the spine a little bit higher. We’re moving up to here.
So now we can feel the external oblique. Actually, this would be more of just the kidney pad
that we’re stretching from in here. We want to feel this volume a little bit more. Overlapping.
So we’re constantly thinking round now. So, now as we come through here we’ve got
this simple roundness of the rib cage. Let’s just carry this up into the neck now. As they
go back up in here you’re thinking that she is turned. The ear is a little bit farther
over. She’s taking and turning so there is a twisting that’s taking place in here,
so I’m going over that surface. Now we can see that with the scapula over here on top
of this surface here you can see where the clavicle would be coming around. This, as
we go back in. Again, think of a cylinder or a sphere so as I’m going over it’s
over the surface of the form as it goes back in. Each of these things now is building or
building on top of this basic volume.
Now they come down, I can push, we can see that. Okay, in the photograph you really,
you can’t see it. But you know that this is what’s happening. We know that this is
a corner in here. You draw what you know. Forget about whether you can see it or not.
That’s not important. The important part is to describe the form. So here, for instance,
I would be going over that surface to describe that roundness. So this is all, again, just
coming from simple spherical forms. Now, if the leg goes away from us we have this volume
coming through, coming around, through, in here.
Okay, the buttocks are taking and coming down and through. This is pulling. There is a corner
here. This is around the center. The center of this form is here. Several forms here.
For instance, we come over and this pushing down so I’m breaking that sphere into some
smaller spheres but not destroying the big. So as I’m going over, now I’m going through,
and it’s round and we go back in.
Okay, going over that’s more overlapping. Now, the foot is coming out of here. We have
a foot now. She’s sitting on that foot. Okay, so what we’re going to get then is
a certain amount of compression. The foot is forcing the—notice the way I’m drawing
those toes now. These are simple spheres, pad of the foot is a sphere coming through.
Each of these toes is just basic simple cylinders. We’re coming back. That comes through. We
feel this from behind. We’re building up and going over that surface. So it’s really
round. Now, the same thing. As we get this it goes back into where the knee is. You’re
feeling this compression of the foot as it comes back up against it.
Again, this is just a simple spherical form that we take and we work with. Everything
is a process of overlapping forms, building one thing on top of the other. We pull. We
focus. You’re going over. You build using just a simple spherical form. We’re talking
about the same basic approach that is used in drawing cartoons. You look at cartoons
characters again. They’re just a series of simple volumes, one building on top of
the other. And so what I’m doing here is no different than say drawing Mickey Mouse.
It’s the same thing.
I’m coming through, going over the surface. Going over the surface. Building, building
these volumes. I’m careful which way I take and turn the pencil. Through. Of course, the
head is the obvious spherical form. I’m thinking of going around, over. Even the way
I draw the hair I think about going over the sphere. Coming through. Build. Build. The
hair is spherical forms. Building one on top of the other. So this whole drawing now is
really nothing more than taking and going from one side of the form to the other.
Very simple spherical forms. Build. The primary thing that allows a drawing to take and have
a certain semblance of realism here are the values. I’m controlling how dark and light
I get. I’m constructing it. The action of the way I’m constructing it and where I’m
putting accents are all part of why it tends to look more real. The subtlety of the tone,
where the darks are starting to be placed; this is just a very, very simple sketch now
or I should say construction as we build all of the forms.
and stretching. We take the head first. Again, when drawing I start out very loose. I want
to feel the action going over, around, through. Now this figure is not anywhere near as full
as the previous one, but we will find the same elements taking place. Come through,
across there, here. Arm coming through, stretching back and coming down. I can see you’ll probably
need to move that leg up a bit.
Okay, so now once I’ve got a sense of the gesture, now I come back in and start to reinforce
it. First she’s looking up so I need to take and really indicate where eyes, hair.
Round. I turned away so I’m hitting a dot for the top of the head. I’m going around
the form. It’s 3D, essentially. Again, it’s just a simple spherical form. Visualize. But
you have to sense the whole form.
Okay, now stretching the neck that’s in here. Now, here’s where you have to take
and really analyzing the form. This whole figure is taking and tilting towards us and
twisting at the same time. In other words, in other lessons you will find where I’m
talking about box forms. You’re going to see that this if I look at this as a box form
you will see that’s she’s tilted out this way, and we’re going back in that way. Okay,
so that’s what we have to be thinking about but even as I’m taking and dealing with
the spherical forms I’m taking and coming and saying oh okay, this is the sphere now.
I’m coming out to where one side instantly taking and drawing the other side, but now
in this case I’m taking and saying, okay, I’m thinking of where the center is coming
down. And I would be looking at where the corners of the rib cage are.
This is a sphere in here. It’s round.
Now, we’re getting a pinch. The pelvis is coming through. Like I said, this model is
not as full as the last one. But still, we’re taking and we’re talking about volume so
now I can take and really sense the stretching. The center is coming across. She’s twisted.
Going back behind. We can feel the pull from here so taking and coming across the pelvis.
We can feel the pull from here so taking and coming across. The pelvis is coming up. The
sphere in here. Each one of these.
Now, let’s just take a second here. As you look, if we take a simple cylinder and we
take and now I’m just bending that cylinder a little bit, and I’m doing this. These
are all forms that are going around the cylinder. But each one of these forms now is basically
a tube that’s wrapped around the form. These are all elements that are working around.
But you have to keep in mind that they’re working around a core so that what we have
as this rib cage comes down we’re thinking of both sides. We’re thinking about the
center. We’re feeling the compression that’s taking place. It’s pushing and coming around.
You’ve got to visualize this sphere. This is going over. We’re feeling it coming from
behind and going over. What we have to work with in this is to make sure that as we’re
doing something like that that each of the folds are not the same. Even if they are the
same in the photograph or the model you don’t draw them the same. You design.
Okay, now we can see that this compression is taking and building up against the pelvis.
We can feel the fullness of the stomach now as pulling out. This is part of the sphere.
It’s coming through and going behind. The pelvis is coming over that surface. We’re
coming down, through. It’s got a corner. So now as we pull into the leg then what we
have is a series. We keep going from one side of the figure to the other. Coming around.
We can feel these pulling. As they go down the leg. Go from one side to the other. Building
simple spheres from one side to the other. Coming through. Across.
The knee. First it’s round, but it definitely has corners to it. Feel the compression come
through. Go over. One side then you go to the other side. Come through. Across. So you
can see that this a very, very, tool-oriented conceptual approach to taking and doing the
drawing. The tool being using the basic, simple sphere. You’re building. You’re going
from one side to the other. Coming through and constantly going down through the figure.
Go from one side to the other. Through. Going over the surface of the form. Everything that
you’re drawing you’re constantly going over and around. Form.
So now as we pull from this we started out with this rib cage up here. We have to keep
in mind that the neck is fitting into the top of that rib cage. It’s a simple cylinder.
The arms, the clavicle is coming across over to the scapula. The scapula is coming off
the back, pushing out. The pectoralis muscles are coming off the chest. You notice that
we’re building again, going back to building on top of the simple spherical form. The rib
cage. We’re adding to it. Then the arm. Again, it’s quite simple. You would think
of the—you would jump ahead a little bit and look where you’re going. Heading back
and then you’re taking and, again, through one side to the other.
You’re slowly building the form through.
Okay, the other arm now is coming across toward us. So here is where now I take and with strong
foreshortening I first jump more or less into a cylinder and then look to the end of the
elbow, which is sticking out. Then going across to the wrist, which is coming through. Notice
that I build on top. I’m building on top. I already have the large masses underneath.
So even if you can’t see something you still have to take and construct it on
what’s going on underneath.
The breasts you add. These are things that are built on top. So that gives us now—even
if we start going into the hip here or the leg. See I’m going over the surface. I’m
feeling the volumes. One volume going over. Feeling one of the things going over. One
thing fitting into another. So you’re constantly going over the surface, fitting the volumes,
carrying and following through.
find that the breasts become so strong in the view you’ve got to basically ignore
them to start with. Where we start with is, again, the head is pulled back. It’s the
gesture. Feel this come through. Taking and thinking where are we pulling in. I’m taking,
I start very loose. Feel the flow. Feel the action. At the same time I’m going over
the surface. I feel the shoulders coming across, arm coming down, through. Right away, as I’m
doing this I’m very conscious in my mind now. As in the drawing previously, I took
and drew the idea of the box in here. It becomes very obvious. We look at the top of that torso
and we see that what we’re looking at is something coming down like this.
Okay, so that’s an analytical tool. So now as I’m doing that’s what I’m actually
thinking. Even if I’m not drawing it, right now all I’m drawing is the feeling for the
gesture. But I’m already, as I’m doing that I’m thinking of that surface coming
back and going over, going down. I’m going over the surface, through.
Things coming out, in, through.
Okay, so now we’ve got the basic gesture. Now, again, focusing on the simple volumes.
Taking the pit of the neck. See the rib cage is going in, and she’s twisting. We want
to feel this volume, the tie in back. In this case it’s helpful to draw this cylinder
fitting in. Now, we can feel this coming through. Going down. This is fitting in. In doing this
I’m drawing and thinking of the center. This is, we’re taking, we’re building
this thing up. Now the pelvis is taking and moved over so it’s at a different angle
than the top. So we’re still thinking this is a volume. Going through. Come through.
But I’m very definitely thinking that this is a corner that we have to be going over.
This is going back inside this way. You might want to pay particular attention then, that
right here this is fitting into that. Then we can pull this out.
Again, this goes right back to the last drawing. Same thing. So we take and we visualize these
volumes. So I’m thinking of where the corners of the rib cage are. She’s turned now. Now
when I draw that you can see how different the angle is for the pelvis. We’re getting
a stretching coming across. Feel the pull of these forms. Going over the surface. Coming
through. Here’s where we get—up here we were talking about pinching. On the other
side, of course, we’re getting a stretching. As we come down we have a thing of gravity
taking place. The stomach is coming down. The leg is coming out. So what we have then
is this compression taking place right in here. We can feel, and going to feel that this
is coming up and compressing against the leg.
So then the leg itself we’re talking about volume as it’s taking and carrying through.
Some volume in here. We’re building one form on top of the other, so we’re constantly
going over and around. Again, these are simple cylinders. Building one on top of the next.
We can feel they’re coming through. Build volume on top of volume. Through. Going over.
As for volumes here we have a pinch. I would maybe even create more of a pinch. When that
leg doubles up and goes back underneath, besides getting the compression against the other
is we get a compression of the skin as it comes through. And so we start to feel these
surfaces going around. We’re building over that surface coming down.
The other leg, same thing. As we come down into here then we have a compression. We can
feel the fullness of the flesh being forced around. Then we go into the calf of the leg.
It’s round. We build through and we’re going back in.
The heel going back, going through.
Here I started out with the idea of the box. Well, we’ve got the cylinder of the neck.
Notice how the clavicles now are pulling around that neck. This lesson is about spheres, but
you cannot really draw much of anything if you don’t also at the same time understand
basic anatomy. I’m taking and adding a little bit here, where the clavicle takes and comes
around. Then we feel the trapezius coming from behind, coming through. Coming across.
Now, the shoulder, again, it’s like a cylinder. We’re coming back. It’s a full scapula
coming behind. The full volumes that are taking and pulling back. The arm is coming down.
Through. Again, we feel the fullness of the pecs as it goes under the arm. Now I’ll
take and add the breasts. Now, I come down and say, well, okay, now we’ve got this
surface coming out. We can feel the pecs. We feel the rib cage is going behind. That’s
the center of the rib cage. We can feel the ribs behind.
Okay, now on the other side we can feel the latissimus pulling off of that rib cage, going
over. It’s a round form, but this is fitting into. Then the breast is pulling from that.
We get the overlapping forms coming through from here. I’ve built a whole thing, simple
volumes. That’s what I’m building on. Okay, so that’s the key to everything. It
is taking and having the simple, clear construction underneath that allows you take and come in
and build and add to the forms. So you build. You start the volumes and construction. It’s
simple, simple spherical forms.
but this is the way I take and start the drawing. Take and feel, feel the flow.
Notice as I’m doing this you can find that a lot of my movements tend to be spherical.
I’m constantly going over the surface. It’s like a wire sculpture.
Okay, now in a sense I’ve got the basic gesture. Now as I come through I’m constantly focusing
on anatomy and the volumes, basically the sphere. As I go over the surface feeling the
stretch here in back of the ear. Here now I’m taking and visualizing the rib cage
inside. I’m seeing the whole form as we’re stretching out. Now I come across, feel the
scapula pushing back in. Now, here’s where I’m treating each one of these muscles now
as sections of spheres going over the surface. Coming in.
Now, I haven’t blocked in everything. I’m looking at the forms and sort of visualizing
where things are, and so I’m thinking about how we come through, and I’m modifying.
As that arm comes back now I want to feel that the compression is going the opposite
direction than what I started with. So this is pushing back. So I feel going over the
surface is the spheres. These are just simple volumes now. I’m building on top. The other
scapula is connecting and going back up. We can feel the fullness of the trapezius taking
and compressing up into the end of the scapula, going over the surface. Through. Feel the
corners of the form. Through, across. Going to build.
So now you can see how this whole unit is building on top of that rib cage. Come through.
Now, as I’m going through here I want to feel where the spine is. I’m looking ahead
now. Coming in, through. Feel the sacrospinalis. These are forms that are building on top of.
Need to really feel where the end of the sacrum is and feeling the pelvis pushing out. Feel
the corner. The stretching of the external oblique coming down. This is building on the
sphere of the rib cage. So you can see how I’m consciously thinking
of the roundness of that form.
So then as I come through to the other side I’m taking and—well, first I have to feel
the stretching. This is stretching across, over. We can feel this fitting in, through.
Build. Okay, now we’re getting this. This rib cage is coming down, and I’ve been making
a real issue now of all the compression. So here we can feel the pelvis now is shoving
up into here. We can feel where the buttocks is coming down. So now we’re seeing the
external oblique coming up. We’re compressing in, and we feel the pushing down. Going around
that surface. And we’re building up.
I’m making him a bit thinner in the waist here. We come through. Then I’ll pull out
from that, feeling the muscles coming off of the rib cage, pulling over. We can feel
all of the mass. Now the pelvis or the scapula is coming over to here. So underneath here
all of this is the teres major. Underneath that would be the serratus anterior. This
is pushing down. All of this we’re talking about is all volume. It’s all on the round
part of the form. These are going over. We can feel the edge of the scapula. This would
be the deltoid coming all the way back.
As it pushes back we’re shoving up against the infraspinatus. Here we’re feeling more
of the spine. Now we’re going through. Around again. Around. Through, going over and around.
Through. Constantly working across and around the form. Push that a bit more. So you can
see how this is all build. Now we can feel this takes and comes up. I’m going to take
and use some wash in here to help emphasize this 3D on the form. Feel the deltoid taking
and coming across. Forearm here.
The condyle here.
We just need to indicate a little bit of what’s going on here. Okay, now, we get into the
box with compression. As this leg comes back we’re getting a very, very strong compression
of these forms as we come back in. We’re starting to get a real pushing back over the
surface. Now, as I go down through the thigh here, we first come down to the trochanter
and then we come around here. I go from one side and over. So I’m constantly going from
one side to the other. Now, I feeling the pull. Think of the action of the knee cap
as really just a simple sphere.
When we’re pulling the gastrocnemius in. Now, going over, through. Make a really serious
effort at making the inside condyle on the foot high and the outside low. Going constantly
over and around. Everything started here now with just simple spherical forms. That’s
the beginning. Spherical forms are one of the basic tools and one of the primary tools,
in fact, that we use. As we go farther we’re taking and dealing with that. The box forms
are critical, as well as cylinders.
it to take and feel the overall direction of this form here. Really feel the flow as
it comes down and we’re fitting in. We’re going over the sacrospinalis. Come through
the center. The way the light is actually there, it gives us a really nice sense of
how we can draw all of this and help to bring out the pelvis. In fact, I’m going to carry
the tone a little bit farther so I can think of the tone behind. So now we come through.
By the way, this is just water that’s in my brush. It’s the ink that is taking and
giving us all the tone as we’re doing this. So I come over, build, going over. As I’m
doing this these are just sections, just sections of spheres coming through. Now, I will do
one other thing with this now as I’m doing coming in. I’ll come back in and use more
ink to emphasize. Extend the value range. Out here we’re going to take and pull…
I’m pretty much using, most of the tone here is what I’m seeing.
I’ll vary it as I go along.
One of the primary reasons I use the wash, though, is—well, first of all, as you can
see it’s very useful if we’re getting quick effects. The main reason is I just like
the look. For me that’s enough. Come through. Here I’m going to take and use the tone
to separate the back leg. I’m using it like an atmospheric element. Coming through.
Okay, now, when I go back into this what I’m doing is extending the value range, but I’m
taking and at the same time I’m able to emphasize. I’m getting a—you can see what
I’m doing is I’m creating a rhythm with the strokes, and emphasizing some of the
Through. The strokes are all going on the surface as if the surface was just a bowl.
Adding a little bit more flesh. Come through.
We need to make this a little bit stronger. The rib cage going in more. Carry this farther around.
I’m thinking we’re getting to the point where you’re getting the idea.
Life starts with a sphere. It continues with the sphere.
I’ve picked out five drawings. These will be two-minute drawings.
You focus on the sphere. But remember, at the same time that you’re doing the spherical drawings,
you start out with gesture.
So do the gesture drawing and add the sphere.
These are two minutes. So don’t get wandering off into trying to copy the model.
Focus on the spherical forms.
Okay, let’s see what you can do with that.
doing the gesture drawings do it over. Do it over a few times. Focus on the sphere.
But this is an addition. You start with the gesture and then you add the sphere. Don’t
worry about being better or how good it is or how bad it is. You just focus on the process
of what we’re working with.
Focusing on the sphere here, I’m working with a Faber-Castell Polychromos pencil, which
is actually my favorite pencil. Sanguine is the color. So that is probably the pencil,
when I’m working with pencil, the one I use probably 80% to 90% of the time.
Now, focusing on spherical. First, I go through the same steps. First, it’s the gesture.
This becomes like an armature for taking and—it’s like sculpture—you’re taking and building
on this armature and adding masses of clay. So first her head is turned. Getting the direction.
Now, coming through. It’s volume. It’s just going from one side of the form to the
other. Through. Focusing on the compression of the two simple spherical forms. So even
with the buttocks I start with a basic simple volume, and then I’m breaking that. Then
I’m adding points that take and define bits of anatomy. As I’m going down the leg it’s
going from one side to the other. Going through. Feeling the overall action. Now remember,
this is just a two-minute drawing. So now I’m building on it. Notice I’m not really
drawing that fast. I’m just being very direct about what I’m doing. We add to the volume.
I’m building. Again, it’s constantly going from one side of the figure, or the form I
should say, to the next.
Now, pushing the action. You can see how the tone that I’m adding helps to show the flow
of the movement, and I’m still focusing on it. As I’m doing that I’m still going
over the surface of the form and thinking of the volume of compression.
Okay, now in this pose she’s tall, stretched out. Again, notice starting with the head
I want to feel the flow, the movement of how the figure goes. Now, as I’m doing this
I am consciously thinking that we have this volume. There is a compression that’s taking
place, so we’re going one side to the other. Going over the surface. Following through,
building up forms on this armature of the gesture. Feel the form as it moves up. You
don’t copy. You try to experience the action of the figure as you’re doing it. So now
as I come through. Think of the pelvis one side to the other. Through. We’re building
one form on top of the other. Come through, going from one side to the other. These are
spherical forms. Sometimes stretched out you might say like balloons, although I don’t
necessarily really like that analogy. In a way you’re going down through. These are
all spherical forms pushed through. Feel the muscles pulling off so you build on top, through.
Here I need to take a little bit more of a sense of where the head is. I’m over. Now,
this is going over one side to the next, to the next, to the next. Here we need to push
that pinching a bit more. Feel the compression. Feel the stretching on the opposite side.
Now the next pose, same model. In this case I’m actually starting with the hands up
top. So I’m feeling that pull down. So this is a little different. Like I said, I always
start with the head. Well, not always. No rules. So we’re coming through. I want to
feel the pull wrapping a line going over and showing. There is a twist. Tension. So the
gesture now is the important part. Then the volumes have to take and go along with that
action. So now I come back in, and I’m feeling the volume of the rib cage. So it’s spherical.
Feel the pressure coming across, over. Feel this coming in. Taking and sensing the whole
buttocks area is a large mass and feeling how we compress. Fitting in. Going over the
sacrum. Build the scapula on top. Through the breasts would be out here. It’s constantly
going over the surface, feeling the tension, feeling the volumes. So over, around. Feel
the pull going from one side to the other. You can actually focus on these as volumes,
not as contours.
Now, this is a—I’m going to take and approach this a little different in that I’m going
to jump right away into thinking of the volume here by drawing the volume to start with.
As basic as the figure is coming forward, and so we have these extreme overlapping of
volumes so you can see right away how the sphere now is taking and giving us the direction
of foreshortening in that sense as we come through. But at the same time, I’m still
taking building these volumes, the gesture, shoulders lifting up, feel the arm coming
across. The other shoulder is over here.
Notice that I’m not copying contours. I’m drawing the action of the form. So now I come
back in and fit the neck into that cylinder of the rib cage actually coming through. Feel
the stretch. Feel the push of the pectoralis muscles up. Shoulders behind, coming through.
Hand is wrapped over the knee. Now I’ll come through and I’ll indicate the breasts.
I need to take and feel a little bit. I’m shifting over here a little bit to get a little
bit of the sense of the head coming through. Feel the pelvis back, around. Depression.
Through. Constantly going over the surface of the form. Okay, let’s get a couple lines
for that arm going down.
Now, as I start this next pose it’s the same thing. Here I am. I’m going back to
the head. I’m going to start with the head. She’s really stretching so I want to feel
the chin really pulling down, and I’m carrying that line now into the overall sense of the
torso going back. So it’s really feel the arch coming through.
The arm is going up and pushing up.
Okay, so now that I’ve got the thing going up here I want to take and, again, indicate
a little bit of the hair. Now it’s the volume. I’m thinking of the stretching of the neck.
Feel the volume of the rib cage. So I’m really pushing. I want to feel the pushing
in the corner. This is the sphere, and she’s really stretching down so we can feel the
spine and the compression, but this is all volume now. So in thinking of volume, going
over. Feel the pull through. Then working over and around the leg. Going back again.
This is just a simple spherical form. Put the sacrum in here to give us a sense of that
action there. We can come around and building the volume. Then build the scapula on top
of this. Building up the spine, breasts pushing out. But it’s volume. The other arm is going up.
Bent behind, coming up. So now I want to take and push, pushing that rib cage more.
I think we had a great lesson here. The next lesson is box forms, which is right along
the lines—these are my basic steps that I go through in all of my classes. Gesture,
spheres, box forms. Then we go from there. Okay, until next time.
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1. Lesson overview53sNow playing...
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2. Introduction to spherical forms7m 57s
3. Old Master Analysis: Rubens, Lempicka, da Vinci, Renoir15m 33s
4. Old Master Analysis: Lachaise, Pontormo, Parmigianino10m 35s
5. Demonstration: Part 114m 47s
6. Demonstration: Part 212m 6s
7. Demonstration: Part 310m 5s
8. Demonstration: Part 49m 27s
9. Long demonstration with a fountain pen12m 35s
10. Finishing touches using a water brush7m 39s
11. Spherical Forms Drawing Assignment11m 57s
12. Glenn's approach to the assignment11m 50s