- Lesson Details
In this lesson, you will learn how to use rhythm and gesture to create a sense of movement and character within your figure drawings. Instructor Bill Perkins will teach you how to find the rhythms within the forms and contour of the figure. He also shows you how to apply chiaroscuro in designing your artwork.
This lesson belongs to the course Beginner’s Guide to Drawing. It is a 12-week course designed to empower new students with a structured approach for learning how to draw. Join instructors Steve Huston, Chris Legaspi, Heather Lenefsky, Bill Perkins, and Mark Westermoe as you learn the fundamentals of perspective, rendering, and composition. After completing this course, you will develop a solid foundation in drawing.
Throughout this course, you’ll have access to the NMA community for feedback and critiques to improve your work as you progress.
Transcription not available.
talking about is looking at shapes.
I can just, I'll start, just start off with a, with a simple shape.
If I just start off with a simple circle.
If I'm looking for a rhythm in this circle, we're really not going to
really find it cause geometrically what happens is, you know, this, this shape
is really a series of dots by geometry.
It's a series of dots, all equal distance from the center line.
So what we're going to end up doing is we're going to end up, we won't find
a gesture to this because these are all equal distance, okay from this line.
But we will find an access line.
And there will be balance.
So everything's gonna going to be balanced in some way, if it sits on a plane.
So we want to look at balance.
And we also want to look at the axis.
Now your access is important.
If you're drawing anything, let's just say that you're drawing a bottle.
And the size of the bottle might be parallel.
And this axis line is going to be like this, I guess it should drop with this.
There we go.
And then maybe the top of the bottle is something like this, that tapers
and the axis line is going to be important because what's going to
happen is everything on this side is going to mirror things on this side.
So I need to make sure that they come in closer on this
because these need to be equal.
And see the axis, your axis line can actually help you find the form
and I'll draw through.
I'm drawing through here.
I might draw through here.
And looking at where the taper is on this.
Maybe it starts here and from there, I'm going to go like this
and I'm going to find the equal and opposite taper on this side.
And I might even look at this for the label possibly that might sit down here.
I might go around to the back here if I draw through.
So our axis line is going to run down the center of something.
And again, this bottle is symmetrical, right?
So it's going to be down the center.
If I take an irregular shape, for instance, if I just draw.
Any other kind of shape just in irregular shape, what happens with this shape
and the unique thing about this shape, rather than this, this one has an axis
that goes along the longitudinal length.
You see there's a directional force that pushes in this direction and
as it's balanced, it's going to sit over here somewhere, right?
But this is our strong directional force and this, and also out here,
because this pushes out as well.
So we're going to get this, this dynamic movement here, which we might
call an axis, but we might also look at this as the rhythm of this shape.
Now the rhythm can come in a couple of different ways.
It, it has directional forces.
And those are described in the contour,
but at the same time, it has directional forces that move your eye.
So they might exist in the contour of an object or a shape, but the
consequence of that is moving your eye.
That will move your eye or move the viewer's eye.
See here, it's pretty static in this circle.
And it doesn't move the viewer's eye in this shape of the bottle.
It's all along this axis.
And it tapers down here up around
from here from the heavier barrel down here into this narrow area.
So there is a strong direction force that's actually pushing up this, this way.
The axis is going both ways up and down, but this one, because it
tapers in here, this one becomes a little bit more dominant.
So we end up doing two things with gestures and gestural lines as axis lines
and moving your eyes.
So these, these directional forces from the contour will move your eye, but also
in some things that are more symmetrical like this, but when we get into things
that are different shapes and I'll go ahead and draw something else too.
We've been playing with just a simple cup.
So if we take a simple cup, I'm going to draw through the cup.
So you have this and then where you put that the handle on the cup,
okay, that's also going to give you some kind of a directional axis.
It's going to make you feel like the front of the cup is here and
the back of the cup is back here.
So the, the barrel of the cup is going to give you the sensation that it's
vertical like this, but yet again, because the handle is oriented back
here, this is going to feel like the front and this cup is looking forward.
So we're getting also this directional force or eye movement that's saying
this is the front of the cup.
Now I'm going to draw the cup again.
Taper it a little bit.
So here's the cup again.
Now I'm going to draw it with a handle here.
So we have our access line.
And that gives us some rhythm, or it gives us this, this straight gesture here.
And then our foundation, this is our balance.
But because the handle is here again, we're going to be drawn to the idea
that this might be the back of the cup and the front is on the far side
This becomes - our directional force is moving back this way,
moving back into the frame.
And when we get into looking at, at, at still lives and landscapes
and so on these little directional things, help support our eye
movement or help to create stronger directional forces in eye movement.
That's what you want to do in your images is as, as the artist, as the director
of your image, your job is really to direct the viewer's eye in some manner.
And that's where both rhythm and gesture.
Fall one side of it is actually helping you to construct an object
dimensionally and see the angles and directions of those contours and forms.
The other is to direct the viewer's eye.
So there's, there's - the consequence is moving the, the viewer's eye.
And that's where we can even depart from something that's normal and
go into something that's fantastic or, or add or invent along the way.
We can - and we'll invent these shapes and so on, but as long as we're inventing them
to move the viewer's eye, they're going to have a purpose in the total image.
So let's take a look at just a, a structural form and an organic form.
So I'm going to take just a structural form here.
This might be
That has a structural form.
Now I made it longer on purpose because it gives us the chance
to have a longer axis, right?
Now it has some direction moving here and here, right, and here and here, because
these are fairly, even we could say this is the face moving a directional, having
a directional force here, or this is even too, and this could be a directional
force moving in this direction.
So let's give this a bias now.
Let's just say, here is, I'm going to do this and I'm going to do this now.
Now when I do this,
once I do this, this surface here has a directional bias, right?
So this starts to read because it's smaller in here.
Here's our axis line again.
And these and these.
But what happens is this surface feels like it's the front.
And gives a stronger directional force moving this way.
You see how this one could be this way, could be that way.
This one, clearly this is the dominant surface because we say this
is the front and it appears that that will be played out that way.
We see the same thing in the cup up here.
This is clearly because the, the, the handle is in the back.
The front has more dominance in this situation where it's
hidden or obstructed back there.
We see the detail of the handle, but the directional force is pushing us
back into this illusionary space.
Now, these shapes, these two rectangular shapes are a bit more architectural.
And if we take the idea of building more rhythms into these shapes, and we want
to make something feel like it's a little bit more, more organic or real, we might
just look at doing something like that.
And if I do something like this, I could even mimic the same, but what
I'm going to do is I'm going to take this and bend this up to here and me
take this and bend this down to here.
And I'm going to bend this and here and this here.
Now you can see what's happening here.
It looks like this box is being twisted, radically twisted.
Like 90 degrees from top to bottom.
Now, again, it has an axis line that runs the length of this.
The length is what gives us this strong axis line.
And we have a bottom like this and we have this, but we also now have created
this rhythm or this other gesture.
That comes off in this manner.
So something that's more organic might have a little twist to it.
And any of the shapes that we might create, I'll do something
that's a little bit more subtle
instead of becoming straight down like this.
Maybe what I'll do is I'll just tilt it a little bit like this, right.
And you're going to see that even a little bit of twist
makes it feel a little bit more organic.
let me get that right.
I'll make this as clear as I can, the top surface is coming
towards us a little bit like this.
So I want to make sure I get that.
And then going away a little bit like that.
So you see, I can, we can build this, this, this rhythm or gesture that's
going through the, the axis line.
We've basically in this one
what I did was I took it away from being this straight access line like this, to
having this over dominant curved aspect.
And like I mentioned here, our directional forces could be in the
contour and also move your eye.
So this - imagine the center line might be a gestural line in there, but
I'm also having it in the contours.
So it exists in the contours and it exists in this overall gesture.
contours can move in other directions.
And I think the best way to describe that is I'm going to just take this
simple figure and I'm going to simplify it down to just simple spheres and
cylinders and, and, and boxes and stuff.
But what I want to do is I'm going to break it down and show you the
different types of rhythms and directional forces that you can start
to build on and actually look for.
So this image, and I'm going to start by giving myself a rectangle.
And I like to start with a rectangle, you know, something that's going to
be close to what I'm working with, but also I want to know within my
paper, where's the border of my image.
And the reason is, is I want to know my positive and negative shapes.
So I'm going to take this from the beginning and I'm going to say that
my gesture, the axis, the gesture of the axis line of this drawing might
be from her head, coming down into her rib cage, into her hips this way.
And then I'm going to see that there's a, from her hips over here, the area that's
pointing out over this way, there's, it's going to be coming back this way.
And I'm seeing this kind of a, of a rhythm on the other hand, her other leg
that's coming out here be like this.
So these are these longer gestures that, that really show the directional
movement of this long axis of her.
So when I start building on this, I know that her head
needs to be along the axis.
Her shoulders are going to play into that by being kind of almost perpendicular,
but she has a little one, her this shoulder's up a little bit so it's
going to be skewed just a little bit.
It's not straight across because her hand is on her hip and so on.
So I'm going to play with that.
And then I'm going to look at her
rib cage is going to be on this axis as well.
Something like this.
And again, I'm following the rhythm of this, this axis line and then
And then her, her legs.
And from her shoulder, her arm comes down.
Her elbow is just inside.
I'm just matching these things up and then comes down here.
So, and her wrist is right outside here.
We're hand over legs or over laps, her, her leg on this side
from her, from her hip up here.
I'm gonna look at my, my positive and my negative shapes.
And then I'm also going to look at, from here, I'm going to
look and see what's the angle.
Again, if this is the overall gesture moving through her like this, building
this rhythm here, I also see her other arm coming off and I'm going to look for
the shape of, or the direction and gesture of that line too.
And I'm going to find that it's coming this way and this way, and her
elbow is right about at this height.
So her elbow here is just a little bit lower than this one up here.
Cause their shoulder, this one's up a little higher than that one.
I'm going to be coming out here.
so here's my silhouette.
This is my, just my silhouetted drawing of her following this gesture line.
And then you can see that even in these simple silhouette, even
in a simple silhouette, there's
there's a rhythm to these forms or these shapes.
So just within the shapes, there's a rhythm okay?
This has to do with, I'm just kinda looking at the line and shape.
So this is a basic rhythm as an axis.
Now there's many many, many more rhythms that are happening within this
figure, but this is where we begin.
We start with something that's a little bit more organic and we look for the,
the rhythm that we'll move through or some, some people call it the gesture.
And on that, we're going to build the structure on top of that gesture.
So in the beginning you want to find out what's the rhythm, what's
the balance you need to have.
You know, make sure that your weight is centered.
You can see most of her weight is, is over this, this leg.
So our, our straight axis line is going to be somewhere here.
It favors this foot because this is where her weight is.
We can tell her hip is right here.
So it favors this and this one is, is out farther.
So this is our basic access line.
This is our gestural rhythmic line.
And then this one comes out here like this, whereas this one comes this
way and then also comes back in here.
So we also have this arm, this basic line goes this way too.
So along these long forms, we're going to get - or shapes.
We're going to get these, these rhythms.
Now, within this second one, I'm going to do the same thing, except this time
I'm going to start with that, that center line because she's very, very vertical.
And like this, but I can also see that there's a twist in this drawing.
There's a twist.
And what I'll do is all I'll start with, I'll start with her head off.
Let me get this axis line, this gestural axis line that comes like this.
Now you can see it.
This line isn't complete.
It's not all just one line.
And this is like a, I'll call it like an, a near tangent or a rhythmic connection.
This would, this connection might go all the way out here, but
her body really doesn't do that.
It comes this way.
And then we get a little bit more coming out here, and this is actually
her calf, cause this is more active.
This is where your gesture.
We'll end up becoming active in here is going to be active.
In here it's going to be passive.
And this is going to be passive because this side is pretty much like this.
Whereas her figure, is going to be bent in this kind of a way.
And I'm still looking, I'm looking at my silhouettes right now.
So this up here, this coming in here.
So the axis is coming out here, coming out here.
And from here.
So you can see where her calf goes in like this, and this is important
curve in there because it's going to be contrasting this active and passive
right in here.
And then up here, this is passive and this is going to be active,
Cause we're going to get this against this, we have this active here.
This is more subtle.
So this is more passive in here.
And then this one gets passive down here and this one has
the bigger curve in there.
Now, since she's twisting at the same time, our, our center line might be
over here, but then it's over here.
Remember I twisted like this.
What's going to happen is if we take a look at it, her hips in here, we're
going to look at something like this
as a box.
And this box is going to be along the axis at this angle.
And then here,
if this is the center line here,
you can see now we get this turn of an axis and
So we can see a little bit more twist in this now.
And to even push this back farther, I'm going to make this
in front of her arm back here
and her arm would come back.
Back like this.
And then this shoulder is up high so - and this arm comes out this way,
and connects her forearm.
It's pretty much straighter at the top like that.
And this comes down like this.
And then her hand, something like this.
I'm just looking at the silhouetted shapes like I did here, but you can
see I'm getting some twists in this.
I'm adding, I'm adding the twist to this.
And I'm looking at my passive and my active sides.
I can look at a center line here too, because again, like our
cup, we sensed that this is the center I'm going to meet again.
This is the center and on our cup, this appears as the
back of the cup on our face.
Our nose may, might appear as the leading
That's going to indicate the leading angle of our, of our shape up here.
And then come back in like this.
But what I want to do too, is I'm going to also notice that I have my
my rhythmic gesture line down here, and this coming around here, I have
more rhythms going on in here than just these center axis lines.
So I go from the basic rhythms along the axis.
So these would be
rhythms in - founding contours.
Directional forces to move your eye.
So now I'm purposely looking for things that will move your eye.
And that's why I'm pushing this up just a little bit, her hip up and then
across here and the building across the length of this down here, there's
something also interesting here.
- now eyelines are also very, very strong, very important because your
eyelines -she's looking down this way and you can see this as a strong line.
And that line is, is parallel to this line.
So that adds to it.
Whenever you, you compound or add more forces in your image they can either
negate one another or reinforce them.
This strong eyeline
and this line up here together combined create a lot of emphasis on this line.
And to compliment that, you know, her comes down like this.
So her hand comes up and the shadow of her palm comes down like this.
Her fingers are both in this orientation.
Long neck kind of pulls up this way.
But if I'm looking for things that are working with like an eye line with
this, where this comes up, see this long line up here, her arm creates
the same kind of a gestural thing.
And then it moves our eye back this way.
And so I'm not, I'm not going to be shy when it comes to actually flipping
her risk back a little bit farther.
And like I said, if I'm using directional forces to move your
eye, I might just exaggerate this a little bit back this way.
And with her thumb coming here and her fingers a little bit higher,
this, this little bit in here, it gives me a situation where if I'm say
this is the back of her hand, and I'm looking at the contours right now.
So, these are just the flat shapes.
If I see the volume in here in her thumb, moving in this direction and
then one finger, her first finger here like this, and then I see the shadow
of her or second finger in here.
And then the other back here, it's going to give me
- I can clean these things up, but I just want to get the bigger rhythms going on.
Now if I have something that's, that's moving my eye, it could be
something like this and this and this, these lines they might be,
you know, three disassociated lines.
I'll I'll draw three disassociated lines right now.
Here's three disassociated lines.
So these have little reference,
There's very little reference between these two, but look at the rhythm that's
created by these, these three lines here.
These all have this slight curve and they're not exactly parallel, not
exactly the same, but they create this, this strong directional force
that goes out on each of these axes.
But at the same time, it moves our eye up this way.
So there's an implied directional force by these radiant lines.
And that's kind of what's happening here.
We get this, this, the axis here and the axis here, but these lines,
this from her palm and here under her thumb, this can bring us back.
And then the top of the thumb, the top of the finger, and these, these
are like these directional forces, like this move you up, up, up.
So these can actually work to move your eye up cause they fan out, her
fingers will fan out and put this directional force back up here.
So just to review this gestural axis, okay, this is strong gesture
and this axis really works with these, with the, with the lines,
finding the line of the character.
So I'm going to put line up here.
And this one we're drawing.
I did draw a couple of little forms inside here to help me understand kind of the
tilt on some of these, but these are some of the lines and this I'm looking a
little bit more at some of the contours in here, right, contours or shapes.
Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to look at the same thing, trying to find
these rhythms and within the figure.
So again, I'm going to start with basic rectangle.
I'm going to work with.
And this time, what I want to do is I want to see, I want to look at
this one in terms of forms, contour, or access and rhythms in forms.
So in with forms, what I'm going to be looking for is I'm going
to be looking at the volumes.
And first I want to start with my, my general gesture.
And I'm going to look at the length wise here,
and then back up here, I see this kinda coming this way and then back up this way.
So what I'm going to find too is I'm going to find that if I draw this
axis, I see a lot of this is my stable line, but what I'm going to see is
that there's, you know, the way that her weight is distributed a little
bit differently in this one, it might be right where her foot is back here.
And then the, the balance of our other foot is going to be here.
So I know her feet are going to be in here because this is where
weight needs to be distributed.
So between the front and the back, we need to have this balance that's
going to need to occur in there.
And then a real strong point in there is her shoulder.
That's a real strong anchor in here and it lies right above her ankle there too.
So, and then over her back, and then
I'm going to be looking at these, these gestures.
The rhythm kind of moving through these different forms.
So this way, and then this way, again, this is following a contour that's
going to build the rhythm overall.
And it's, it's gonna move our eye back and bring you back down here.
Up here axis coming up here, going out the front of her, her throat there.
Now I have these strong gestural lines.
I started getting into my, my forms, but I'll I'll, I'll go
back and review the forms now.
So what I'm going to be doing is I'm going to be looking at these forms.
And I'm going to draw through, I'm going to draw up to my right here, here,
kind of the front plane.
And then from her ear back here like this.
Now from her ear here also goes down with this strong angle down like this, and
then from her chin back in here like this.
We have her eyeline is.
On the front surface is going this way and the side comes back over
here, nose front and the side.
So we're getting a little bit of volumes going on in here, forms
that are happening in there.
And we can draw through in any of these areas like her neck,
her shoulder, and back now.
Her back and then shoulder and you see this at the top of her shoulder again.
Now, would this form going back I'm building on that gesture.
There's a lot of rhythm that goes in this, in this arm.
So from her, her back, I can see this is more stretched.
And this is contracted in the back of her arm.
So we're going to see a little bit more of this on the back of her arm.
Compared to this, and then the forms turn becomes flat in here
almost like a rectangle and then terms into a tube again.
A subtle tube because we see the top plane of her arm there to where her wrist is.
It's going to come through.
So we see the side of her hand, the back of her hand, and it
attaches to the back of her wrist.
As we get a little bit of twist in this form structure in there and
it's got to follow that rhythm.
So I'm staying with that rhythm all the way through here.
There's two things going on here.
We have this gesture here.
Or this rhythm, that's going to go through her center, the
center axis of her body this way.
But then we also have this arm over here and we also see the - if we construct the
form here, we're going to see that from her arms we have her pectoral muscles that come out this
way, that helped define the front plane.
And then the side plane is going to come down the side here and across and up.
And from her shoulder in here,
And again, I'm constructing these forms now.
And I was doing that in order that I can get this over here to
read clearly, and that would be
coming in here and then getting this shoulder working, and
this is going to taper down.
And again here, it's going to turn a little bit more boxy here cause we get a
flattening on the top of the arm here, and then we're going to see it's going to go
into the side and that's, that's what I was talking about with the, with the, the
boxes that start like this and then turn.
These things that, that turn are going to give some rhythm, but they're also
going to turn in their proportion.
So there's a twisting going on here.
So this has a greater proportion.
And then this has a greater proportion.
So what happens is, is, our straight axis is this.
Then we get this dominant shape going this way.
And then, because this is the bigger surface here, we get a
dominant shape going this way.
And this is what I was talking about kind of those near rhythms.
They aren't exact, they don't connect completely, but they do move your eye and
our eye will actually slide over easily if we lay these things out properly.
So it's about your eye movement and I'm using it this time I'm
trying to do it with these forms.
So I'm looking at these, these boxes, spheres near boxes.
Cylinders, spheres up here, cylinders in here.
So I've got this, and now I'm going to come from here.
I'm going to go back and I'm going to get the outer, her buttocks like this.
And if I'm still coming off the off of her rib cage, I'm going to see that off of her
rib cage comes down and we get a little bit of tummy in here and then her tummy is
going to go right into the top of her leg.
And I'm going to see that this leg
is going up into here, flattens into this area.
So with tummy, again comes this way.
And then comes down here just like this.
That's the edge of her tummy, it's going to come in here.
So it comes from here over to here, over to here and then down.
And this comes in here too.
So we get this whole frontal turn.
It's broader here and then it turns, we see more of her
side here than we do up here.
And there we go.
Just drawing through here and then back here we see where her feet is.
Her foot is here.
There we go.
And again, I'm always looking to see where this, where the active
and the passive side is as well.
When I put these forms in where this knee.
Ankles might be here like this.
So I'm looking to extend some of these, these motions and stuff through here.
And if I, if I get the, if I get the contour with my line
and I get internal forms.
So if I'm looking at like the, the box of her, of her hip in here,
Get a little bit more,
more in the box of her hips in here, thrown in here, her legs, like tubes here,
her buttocks, like a cylinder in here.
All these things will kind of add in, in this kind of, if we're drawing through.
Now even her leotard is going to help describe some of the forms
as it rolls around her forms here.
See, from her pectoral muscle under relies on a rib cage, back up into
the back here, and then even across the front of her chest pretty much.
And then back up here.
No in here all the way down into this area down here, crotch area.
And then as her hip turns right in here over a hip, this is going to
go over the top just a little bit.
I'm going to pull this up just a little higher.
It goes over the top,
just like that.
And these things will help me resolve some of these shapes.
So these are drawing through.
We're drawing through and we're trying to identify these forms as we draw
through a long, these rhythmic access lines, this will hold them all together.
And if your eye, or to tell the viewer's eye how to flow across the
form, so that's really important is get this, get the overall rhythm moving.
That helps tell the viewer how to look across the form, these gestures like this.
And then you can build your, your volumes or your forms on top of
that so that they'll all line up.
Actually, I'll do two more.
I'll draw two more.
And this one for this one, I'm going to go back to the original drawing.
And I'm going to look at my center line.
This is the center axis, and I'm going to see where my balance is for this figure.
I'm going to look at like this and I'm going to see that.
Her weight is going to be distributed a little bit over this hip on
this side so I'm gonna favor this one up a little bit here.
And so this foot is going to be in a little bit, and this one's
going to be out a little bit.
This allows this gesture remember move this gesture here.
And this one,
And then her hip is out here and this goes into this.
So this is my, my first major gesture.
And then I go back in and I'm going to find out where my, from my hips
to my head.
I'm gonna start with.
And gonna build off of that because it's starting to go off, see if this is
center off here and then I'm building off of this is going back to her shoulder.
So, looking at this gesture coming up here, and I want to look at to this, these
are rhythms, but these are alignments too.
I'm going to see where this line goes across the face up here.
And it tends to go under the nose, under her nose.
So maybe this needs to be out here and her nose is in here
and her mouth might be in here.
So I'm looking to see these longer lines now.
I've created the, the, this axis line.
I've created a gestural line.
And now I'm going to look for these lines that actually go from one area to another.
So this is going from the outside contour to an interior marking in here.
And her ear might be just a little bit higher because it's on an angle up here.
So getting all of this in line.
Moving your eye around.
And then I can even go to her hair, pushing this over the top.
And this will catch your eye over here just a little bit.
So I'm going all the way from up here.
And then I can see that this is the gesture of this goes into here, but
is this gesture comes down into here.
If I go all the way to the other side over here, I'm going to
see her hand, like right there.
And this is how I can also help kind of map out some of these,
some of these areas like her arm.
So this is going up,
her waist in here.
And then from here,
her hand coming in here.
It's kind of tapering down.
I made a kind of big, long
made to kind of heavy legs here, but I'm going to follow that rhythm and then see
where her ankle is in relation there.
Now I've got this silhouette on here, but what I'm going to look for on this
image is I'm going to look for - if I went through my forms and volumes there.
Now I'm going to look at it.
And these are different ways that you can view your, your subject here.
One of them is by the shapes of light and shadow.
So I'm going to make this about chiaroscuro.
And that's going to be kind of the sculpting of the form on this.
So now that I have these rhythms, now I'm going to look at my shadow shapes and
think, okay, well, how can I use my shadow shapes to add, to moving the viewer's eye?
So I'm going to - I'll start up here with, with the head and in this volume
and I see the bottom of her nose in here.
And the axis of her eye's in here.
Now I'm going to follow along.
There's a real hard shadow here.
And then her eyebrow up here, I see these two different things, the top of our
eye, and then her cheek underneath here.
So this is soft on the outside of the soft edge, but I get this hard edge in here.
My tool is a little bit big for the small shapes that I'm proposing here,
but on the try to do the best with it.
Just by giving a little indications.
Now, if this is a base of her nose her nose is a little bit illuminated
underneath there, cause there's a little bit of a low light and we're
going to go up the length of her nose.
And then it's going to go over her brow.
Okay, and this is going to go this is going to lead my eye back down here.
So on the other side of this ear might be this ear over here.
And there's an interesting thing that happens up here.
Her hair is dark.
So what ends up happening is her dark hair kind of plays into that same shape.
Even here, it plays into the same shape.
So this is going to move your eye over.
And her upper lip is in light.
Lower lip is in shadow.
Under her lip is in light.
And then her chin appears to be a little bit in shadow in the
front and on the bottom in light.
Going to her neck.
So I'm looking for this shape on her neck
that's going to come down and help go along the length of this.
What can help is shadow here kind of going up, lengthening that a little bit.
And then pulling back this shape is going to counter that.
Let me finish that.
We need to finish one thing at a time.
That you don't jump around on this.
And then her shoulder, if you look at the shape of the shadow on her shoulder,
let's see how it can move our eye here.
So it's going to come around her shoulder, but then it goes into
shadow along a little more of a line moving us up this way.
So this can tend to start to go up like this and back of her shoulder,
go into a shadow like that.
So this all connects here making this simple matrix is simple pattern here.
And then this defines that edge here and in here and all of this
falls into this shadow shape.
And all I'm concerning myself with right now is the shape of these
shadows and how they describe the form.
And create rhythms with these.
I want to, I want to create rhythms with all of these shapes.
So I'm looking for the, for the, the movement along these shapes, you can
see at this, from the side of her breast, down to her rib cage here.
Getting the bottom of the rib cage and then going back to her hip,
playing out the inside of her hip in here to the outside of her leg,
following that rhythm down here to her knee and her knee is in dark.
So there's a little bit of a, a change.
See, it comes to this long lengthy rhythm that goes into here.
And then there's a little bit of a hitch right here and then
comes to the outside of that.
We see her ankle in there.
And it creates this longer or elegant rhythm that goes all the way down.
I like that.
So you get this long pattern now, as I'm going around.
I can, I want my, I, I want the viewers item move all the way across.
So if I have her elbow coming out here, okay, I'm going to see that this
is the - her leotard out this way, coming down here and I'm going to get a
little shadow here, which is then going to lead into the shadow of her leg.
And so all of this comes in here like that.
It's it's we find this rhythm in here.
This is bottom of her leotard right there.
And we get a little bit of a halftone so her muscle starts to turn away from the
light there, but more importantly, we get this strong shape going up down here,
strong shape, going over and wrapping around here, and that wraps around her
leg, but it also gets picked up by the bottom of her hand in her fingers here.
And then continues
down the length of her leg to her knee and then softly over the back of her calf.
I want to make sure that I get this,
get the top of her foot like this, and then the bridge of her foot.
And then down to her ankle.
And up here, these are important because these things also create like arrows
that will, where will this one go?
This one's, this one's the top of her ankle.
So the top of her ankle's like this going into this other, her leg, right?
So the top of her ankle here, ankle's at axis like this.
And then her foot is going to be the bridge of her foot.
And then her toes are going to be like this up to her ankle.
This is going to come down to her heel.
But if we look at this shape in here, okay.
As it comes down onto the inside or this shatter shape on the front
extend accentuating that the, the top of her foot where it goes into her leg.
You can see where this aims down and it'll pick up on the top of
her foot right, in her big toe.
So it stops and then it picks up again.
Now this kind of a gesture or rhythmic line is, is there's a gap in here,
but our eyes will close the gap.
We have this strong shape here, and then we have the beginning
of another dark down here and our eyes will actually close that gap.
So it will follow along.
I'll stop and then pick up.
So we want to look for these alignments.
I talked about like near alignments and then alignments like this, that
will actually help move your eye along.
All the way through here, we're going to be looking for these things.
So the shadow on her shoulder, if I go jump right back into this, the shadow on
her shoulder is going to come down here.
It's going to be soft here, but it's going to go right up into
her shoulder here like that.
And give a little bit of this plane, but it's going to give you
this directional movement, right
that comes because of the contour.
And then, because it goes soft into this area here on the front, this is
going to be what we'll call a passage and it moves you right into this area.
So if I go to the outside and then I go down the rib cage like that, this is
tucking in, this is a rib cage up here and dropping down in there, like that.
This passage up here
it's going to come down.
I need to find something like a subtle shadow here that again will repeat.
And then I can pick something up in here and you can see that this
is just falling over and over.
So it goes here, here, here, here.
And here we get a little bit of a passage underneath here that's a softening.
And then it picks up hard right here.
So that's how we're going to see how these little transitions in here, but the
transitions there, their general shape and how they move Mo move us across the
form is really the more important thing.
Down in here.
And then the shadow on her from her arm.
So in this case, what I'm looking for is the light and shadow pattern.
They get rid of some of these little construction lines, and I want
to look at the way that the, the, the shadow shape can also create.
And move your eye across, across the form.
I'll I'll try it a little diagram down here where
let's just say we get, we get a little bit of her rib cage in here.
Really comes down low here.
And above that, we get our clavicle in here reinforcing this, and this is
really long and lengthy down in here.
But here it starts to pinch.
We get a pinch in here and it goes along in here.
So again, we have this, this passive and very active side.
That we've seen before
now, moving the, moving a rhythm across here.
This is our main gesture.
And then we have something that's going to help tell the form a little bit.
Now this is running the shadow shape.
And that's what that shadow shape is going to be the important
aspect of this type of, of drawing.
So we get this, the contours of the shadow shape are going to be the thing that also
helps create more rhythm in our form.
at my gesture and creating rhythms, but I'm going to
acknowledge both the light and shadow and the local values
because the local values have something to do with the
image as well. So I'm going to just start with my main
axis as well.
Okay, and then I'm going to look at
And where we have her head is turned this way.
Right? Here's the back of her head. Here's the side of her
head front of her head is turned away. So her ear is
basically up in here.
This is the back of her head. I've turned this like a block
And then out of that
her back and then straight down here.
this comes straight down and then picking it up off the of
the side here is her buttocks down in here.
And I'm seeing that, just the gesture
of the overall shape going like this then across the top
there's a strong movement this way but to get a little bit
more discriminating about it comes up and then like this,
over like this,
up this way.
So this shoulder goes over.
Shoulder goes over and picks up to the elbow here. I'm looking
for these little things while I'm drawing my - and I'm while I'm drawing my and
then moves over this way and then back up here.
Here we go.
from this axis coming over here and down and then line here
over like this and then catching over here, I'm going
to build to the outside of this at this point where I can see
there's her back is curved over so I need to make sure that her
body is also at this same axis here right and then it will
And then out of that
this is a widest part down in here at her lower hip
down in here.
But you can see it's up this way. The angle is up this way a
little bit. So this is going to be
and then down.
Can you can see starting to build the rhythms out of here
This is more straight.
This is come on going to come off a little bit curved this
way. And then this has a nice curve to it this way. So I'm
going to find these little rhythms. You can see that
I'm looking for these things that illustrate her a little more
curved and kind of play off of one another is the back of
her heel and it can go up to the back of her Achilles and
here and then back out this way, right
up to the top of her calf, but then coming into this shape
behind her knee and you can see this going into shadow a little
bit is going to help that the description of where that goes.
And then on up here.
There we go.
Now since I have this I'm going to just kind of trim some
my little sloppy lines here as I kind of race through this.
I don't want to give the
implication that I'm just
suggesting. I want to be very literal about some of these
There we go.
So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to look for
the local values in here and I'm going to see that her
leotard is secondary, the contrast between her skin and
her leotard is secondary to the chiaroscuro, to the
form, right? So what I'm going to do is I'm going to make the
contrast between her skin and her leotard a little less
or less contrasting.
and then I'm going to come back with a stronger form
and you'll see how they go together.
I just, I want to be conscious of my local values.
Everything has a local value.
Your even your plaster casts, the plaster casts are, are white,
almost like her, her leotard.
So you don't get a lot of local value in there.
It's all white.
So I want to acknowledge that there is a local value here, but I'm
still gonna make the form dominant.
And anytime we're drawing or painting something, what we want to do is
we want to be conscious of both local value and the light and shadow
what's dominant, what's subordinate.
One's going to always overpower the other.
So as long as you're conscious of both at the same time, then
that's the important thing.
So I'm just giving you a local value, this isn't light.
It's not shadow.
It's the local value of her skin compared to her leotard and her hair.
On the other hand, her hair is much darker too.
So that's going to go into the, into the black, I'll use a black to
show the form and these darker areas
so her hair, I'm just gonna lay in a little value of her dark hair.
Cause this is the local value I've kind of designated this Brown is the local value.
So I'll go ahead and put that in.
And it's a darker, local value than her skin tone.
So I'm going to make that difference.
So I'm building off of these, these rhythms, but now what I'm going to do is
I've built my rhythms and my contours.
I started with my, my axis and then my, my gestural rhythm moving through
her body, coming over and down, and then catching over here and then moving
and then going into the contours down here, down, down her arm, I'm going
to look for like these directional.
Kind of clean these up just a little bit.
Look at these old directional forces and then back here too, I'm going
to get a little bit more of her form in there where it needs to be.
There we go.
Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go in and I'm going to use my shadow
shapes, and I'm going to try to build on the rhythms with these shadow shapes.
So I'll start here.
I can see it goes on under a back muscle here.
And then the inside of our shoulder here now, all of this goes into shadow.
So I'm going to go ahead and put the shadow shape on there.
And all of this goes into shadow.
Initially drew kind of her head like a box.
There's just a little tiny bit of her ear in light, which I'll leave in there.
And then I'm going to go in the shadow there.
There we go.
Again, shadow here.
Thumb in shadow.
And then her little finger in shadow up here like this.
The back of her hand, this is all giving some direction, this kind of splays
out, but it gives some direction into her, into her wrist here and then down.
For arm here.
Now this fold over here, it's going to be tight here.
You can see it's going to, it's going to create kind of an arrow, but that
arrow is going to be answered with this.
On the other side, this is the shadow shape on the other side,
the lower side of her elbow.
And that's going to turn our eye around.
And move it back the other way.
And then along here.
I'll just reinforce this line a little bit now.
Is it this angle.
And then I'm going to reinforce that over here, on, on her back or muscle here.
And even that's going to go down and it's going to connect on her leotard
because her leotard is stretching from her, the center of her back
over to our other muscle over here.
So it's stretching over there like that.
another - her shoulder goes into, into shadow or the back of her shoulder goes
into shadow at, or at her back right here.
And then there's a directional.
This shadow up here goes, goes over his shoulder or the back of her arm here.
That's from her shoulder muscle at right up in here.
And it's going to give a directional force and this
back of her tricep here, this is going to be a subtle reinforcement of that,
the drops down here.
So again, joining this shape and.
Connecting this longer shape in here like this.
Now from this center, her leotard pulls out, spans across the, the
low, small part of her back, where it stretched from form to form.
From this form here.
You can see it stretched across here.
That's why it's really soft and stuff.
It's stretched from there to there there's a cast shadow right along
the edge of her buttocks there.
And then here again, it's very soft.
The core is soft here of this shadow.
So we go from something that's real sharp to something soft.
This is all very soft.
And this soft shape here of her buttocks goes all the way under to here.
So this follows this form all the way across here.
And then comes down in here and there's another little, the back
of her muscle here on her, on her leg creates another line at the
back of her knee coming down here.
Her buttocks up here - here's one thing I'm going to, I want to show you
something about a core and a cast shadow.
The core right along here is the result of any light source.
If this is our light source coming down here, I'll draw it on, on a ball.
On a plane.
If the light source is coming down here, the light is coming down
depending on the type of light.
If it's a sunlight, it all goes parallel.
Oh, it goes parallel.
If it's a spotlight or something that's closer.
It might even be a conical or splay out just a little bit, but that
mostly it's fairly straight like this.
From your light source, let's say your light source is up
here and it's coming down here.
Your core is going to actually be the planes.
If this sphere is made up of all different planes.
It's the planes that become parallel to this light source, the point or the
plane that's most perpendicular, if this comes down, the most perpendicular
point is going to be the highlight.
The most perpendicular to the light source.
If this is the light source, that plane that's most perpendicular is to the light.
That's going to be the highlight.
It's most perpendicular to this then, and that's going to change
depending on where we are in relation to the object and the light source.
So it's kind of a triangulation, but you'll see that this highlight is going
to ride somewhere on the edge of a plane, or if it's a sphere it's a little tiny dot
it's going to be on the most perpendicular point on the ball to that light source.
Now our shadow or a core is going to be created by where
- where that form of that sphere becomes parallel to the light source.
So if the light source is coming here, and this is your circle at
this point, this becomes a shadow it's because the light comes in here.
And where the planes wherever they turn parallel, they fall into shadow.
So all the rest would become shadow.
And if this was this point going into shadow on this sphere, it
would come down and that would be the back part of the shadow shape.
Where this hits the ground here that would become the front of the shadow shape.
And you would get something like that.
It's actually the result of a parallel planes to the light source.
So that means our light source is up here.
And this is that point where the planes wrap around her buttocks and they
become parallel to this light source.
So when that form starts to turn around that plane, that turns
will start to get dark there.
And then it will cast its light or its shadow onto another form,
which is the back of her leg here.
This will go into shadow here.
So that's why you get this strong shape here.
It's a cast edge.
So it's going to be harder edge than this, then this subtle form.
But that's going to tell you, it's going to reinforce this one light
direction over here, like this.
And then it's going to come around.
The shape is going to come around the back of her leg here under calf.
And then follow along the bottom of her foot here, the bottom of her foot here,
tiny bit of her heel going back this way
and this way like this, now I am, I'm not going to get into reflected lights
and all those as quality of life.
What I really want to do here is just look at this
I'm making it dominant.
The shadow shape.
I'm making it more dominant than the difference between light
or excuse me, local values.
See the Brown being the local value.
I'm going to make the shadow shape more dominant.
It's always that balance where more contrast lies is the contrast
between light and shadow or contrast being local values.
In this case, in this case, this is a case where our shadow
shapes are photographed more dominantly.
I started going out the arm and I didn't finish.
That's a problem because you should always just finish the
thought and I jumped around.
That's not the right thing to do.
Complete your thought, complete the shape.
Don't jump to another shape if you haven't completed one.
That all starts to connect together.
Now you're the local values can help describe some of the form.
Like this subtly helps describe the curve on the back, the roundness of, you
know, of the arch on her back, you know, she's, she's wrapping around this way.
So this helps to tell that story even out to here and then pull back.
So values that change of local value
there can help also tell the story, but this is really predominantly about the
light versus shadow, I'm going to make the stronger, more dominant contrast
and the rhythms that we're, we're finding again, we're re we're using these shadow
shapes to help create these alignments.
For instance, this, this shape going up the shape, curving back, coming up.
And if I want to, if we start to get into the halftones and more subtle
situations, we can get very subtle.
From along her back underneath her rib back up in there.
That's a little too contrasty.
I want to avoid those right now because those are, those are little
subtleties that we're going to get in.
I want you to, just to first, what I want you to do is just, just aside and
just find the areas of light and the areas of shadow and how they wrap around.
Just to recap on this.
We started with our gesture lines throughout the, the figure and
built forms around those gestures.
Then we looked at the shadow shape and how the shadow shape can also create gestures.
Include some of those this way, I'll just draw this.
And then back up across here and aligning these things with like the back
of the arm and the nose and up here, we're aligning some of these things.
And then these strong shadows aligning this way.
Bring around here, picking you up here, bringing you back down to
here and then down here and here.
So also coming from around here is this comes wide.
We also pick up, we have this little arrow there that points you back
up towards rhythmic shape here.
And up, even from here, this being straight, going back up into this
neck area and it rounded on this side, bring us here, bring us here and then
down into here and bring us in there.
So all of these rhythms, we want to look for how these rhythms work.
In this case, in those shadow shapes.
And in this one, we want to, we got this one with the local values as well.
So I wanted to illustrate that, that even though we have these
dominant light and shadow areas, I can make the shadows darker
on earth figure.
And see if I do that just a little bit difference there in her figure than I do
this makes it a little bit, a little bit stronger to see the
difference in your local values and how they play in the big picture.
Here we go.
You're going to find rhythms you're from your basic axis.
You're going to find these rhythmic lines through the, the
axis of these volumes like this.
Then you're going to find also there's rhythms that you're gonna find along
the contours, finding passive to active side, moving back, and forth and building
the rhythms in those where one will come down or maybe one will, will follow a
contour and then come back up into here.
Now this might go back all the way and catch something up here.
And your eyeline as another line lining up with this contour liner edge of
the form here, that's a contour line.
So those are enhancing the direction.
They're forcing this back.
So we have those kinds of, of shapes from our lines to our contour
shapes, interiors to exteriors.
Then we find the rhythms in the forms and how the, the forms
in these volumes work in here.
And that's by drawing through and finding those rhythms.
To lock things together and move things in and out of space.
Just a little bit more.
Now you can see here, if we're just looking at the shadow shapes, we can
look at, you know, without anything else we can see that are these D these
shapes can also create rhythms in here.
And when we combine that with local values, we'll have some that are more
dominant, some that are more subordinate, but they can all make these long
linear gestures all the way through.
So these are a few different ways to view rhythms and from simple to complex.
And in all five cases, you can find rhythms in all these different areas.
So it's not just a general axis line that you want to look for.
All of these.
From your line to your contoured shapes that pushed directional forces to volumes
and forms that give directional forces as well, but in more of a dimensional
way, the edges of shadows, if you map those out, they'll also be an opportunity
to create more directional shapes.
Those will also follow these forms.
So these will work together.
As you can see in here, they all work together from the it's kind of a combining
of the forms and these shapes it'll all work together and something like that.
Transcription not available.
Reference Images (51)
Free to try
1. Learning Recommendation24sNow playing...
1. Gesture, Rhythm, and Axis Line15m 1sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Finding the Gesture, Rhythm and Axis of a Figure7m 38s
3. Finding the Directional Force and Contour of the Figure11m 47s
4. Looking for Rhythms Within the Forms of the Figure15m 26s
5. Applying Chiaroscuro to the Figure19m 36s
6. Drawing the Rhythm and Contours of the Figure6m 33s
7. Adding Local Color and Shadow to the Figure22m 44s