- Lesson details
We are pleased to share with you a 10-week long class brought to you by Art Mentors! In this class, legendary illustrator Mark Westermoe teaches figure drawing using the Reilly Method. Students will learn how to lay-in the figure, how to simplify and design the anatomy, and how to use light, shadow, and edge control to create 3-dimensional form in their drawings. In this third lesson, Mark finishes up the final stages of his figure drawing. He will introduce half-tones, and will show you how to soften your edges using a paper stump. Mark will also show examples of completed drawings from his portfolio, as well as give a lecture on proportions of the body.
- Smooth Newsprint Paper
- General’s Charcoal Pencil
- Conté Charcoal Pencil
- Kneaded Eraser
- Blending Stump
- Scrap Paper
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In this class, legendary illustrator Mark Westermoe teaches figure drawing
using the Reilly Method.
In this third lesson, Mark finishes up the final stages of his figure drawing.
He will introduce half-tones, and he will show you how to soften your edges
using a paper stump.
Mark will also show examples of completed drawings from his portfolio as well as give
a lecture on proportions of the body.
we’ll particularly develop the torso.
As you know, we’ve done two weeks.
One, we got the spacing and placing and some of the refining and designing.
In the second one, we put in some of our darkest darks, and we did more refining and designing,
as well as simplifying our shadow values and shapes.
We’ll be paying particular attention to edges, as always, and any half-tones that
we introduce in this lesson are going to be quite lighter than anything within the shadows.
So, be watching for that too.
With that, let’s go ahead and get started as we move through a long figure study
Alright, so I’m just using white 8 x 11 sheet of printer or photocopy paper.
I use it as a slip sheet so that as I go over this, being right-handed, the right side of
my drawing does not smear.
You can do this right off of your monitor, or you can print it out
and then work from a hard copy.
Some people prefer one over the other.
In my case, I’ve always used hard copies so I’m just really comfortable with that.
Therefore, you’ll see I keep a photograph to my left.
I can just look at it whenever I need, which will be constantly.
Once again, you’re not absolutely married to the photograph.
If you want to push the direction of the pose a little bit or characterize or idealize the
figure itself, these are things that you not only can do but that you are kind of expected to do.
The slip sheet, it keeps the charcoal from smudging where I don’t want it to.
It also keeps any oil that’s on your fingers and hand from getting onto the newsprint or
any other paper surface that you’re working with.
That’s important because if that happens and you get oil on your paper, it will resist
the charcoal strokes or any other pencil.
You won’t be able to achieve what you’re setting out to do.
You’re really sculpting the planes of the figure as you design them.
It’s a hard edge here because the shadow cast by his pectoral muscle
over his biceps.
To break this down, the torso has the mass of the pectorals and then it has the external
oblique and the serratus muscles on either side of the center of the figure.
And then in the center of the torso we have the abdominal column.
That’s broken down into four rows.
Here, here, here, and then the lower abdomen.
The degree to which we get a lot of shadowing and modeling depends on the lighting
and on the musculature.
Don’t let the silhouette be completely cut out with scissors.
It has to vary in its edges or everything will flatten out visually.
Pretty much I’ve already designed these muscle groups, these shapes,
these volumes, these forms.
Now I’m really in the act of painting with a pencil.
I think at the end of the day the biggest problem people have as they develop these
skills is control and design of values.
If you haven’t worked toward finished studies before, then it’s possible that you’ve only used
shorthand for values or sketchy strokes, which don’t really represent complete planes.
Nothing will work if your shapes are wrong, but if you can’t represent them in value
groupings between which you manipulate the edges, if you can’t do that then even your
shapes won’t by themselves lead to an acceptable finished study.
Values are a little bit overlooked sometimes in representational figure drawing classes.
That’s okay for sketches, but for studies it’s not going to get you there.
I’m still using one uniform value for all my darks.
A lot of the students concern center on how to express fields of value, whether to draw
across the form or along the form.
I’ll try to talk a little bit more about that as I develop this figure.
Here the bottom of my shadow shape has a hard edge because it overlaps
the next row of abdominal muscles.
The top edge is softer because the muscle is rolling over from light into shadow.
In this case, I can draw either way.
I can draw a long form, which is a transverse form from left to right and/or I can draw
into the form like that.
This is the rounded form anyway.
These shapes I’m designing, they should not break the figure up.
They should tend to unify the figure.
It’s fine if they are designed in such a way that they are spot-on.
On the other hand, they don’t have to be.
All it takes is an inhale or an exhale, and the shapes change anyway.
Don’t feel you have to be in a straightjacket by drawing everything with
precise negative shapes like this.
Here is the external oblique muscle resting on the ileum,
which is the topmost bone of the pelvis.
It’s very easy to overwork a three, five, ten, or a 15-hour drawing.
I didn’t know what to do after I had everything laid in and my light and dark pattern
pretty well established.
Where do I go from here?
I always wondered.
The answer is, don’t just keep adding more and more charcoal.
That’s the natural response that people tend towards.
That definitely is going to make the drawing or the study overworked.
It just becomes darker and darker.
It’s kind of pointless.
We want to instead make sure our light and dark patterns is exactly where we want it,
and then make sure the edges work well.
Find your darkest darks and your lightest lights and proceed from there.
A few half-tones, important ones can really enhance the finished drawing, but that is
not as important as getting the light and dark pattern, the design that you like,
and the edges.
Make sure that you don’t have more than four groups of values.
That would be dark gray, such as this; light gray for some of the half-tones here around
the nose; and black for the darkest accents; and then white,
that would be the planes that are most directly facing the light source
or the closest to the light source, either one or both.
Then we’ll want to get the so-called egg effect.
The planes here at the top of the figure are lighter than they are lower down.
That has to do with the angle of the light and/or the proximity to the light source.
There has to be rhythm, movement, between your shadow shapes and your musculature.
If not, everything gets isolated, separated, herky-jerky.
My teacher used to call such drawings a sequence of walnuts on top of each other,
but they don’t really form together a whole.
That’s where your rhythmical relationships will pull everything together.
You can get photographs of heads with single-source lighting.
If you do studies of those, taking them to a finish, it’s an efficient way of doing
homework and learning quickly.
It takes less time right off the top to do a study of the head that would feel full figure.
You’ll begin to get a better sense of consistently solving value issues then you will if you’re
doing exclusively figures.
You want to do some of both.
Obviously, figure drawing will involve a head.
Another thing I find frequently is that studies will develop pretty good proficiency in expressing
the figure for a long study, but then the drawing can be spoiled by a poorly drawn head.
Of course, that’s not completely acceptable.
You need to really learn to do well-drawn heads.
We’ll probably do one or two lessons just on head drawing, taking heads to a finish.
The pubic hair is part of our dark pattern.
Treat it the same as if it were a form in shadow.
With a narrow strip of shadow like this, I would always draw along the form,
not against the form.
That would just tend to break up the shape too much.
There is too little space to do that.
Rather than choking up on the pencil and doing this, it’s a little easier just because
of the position of the shadow shape to back up and draw from a distance like I’m doing.
The tendon here has a harder edge than the muscle above it.
Next, I’ll start to design the edges more completely and begin to introduce half-tones.
One thing I’m going to show you guys—you don’t have to use this tool, but it’s
good to know about it and be able to use it well when you do.
This is just a little paper stump.
It’s just some gray paper rolled over and over on itself.
It looks like that.
You can use this to simplify your tones, bodies of value.
It will have a little residual charcoal on it, which you can then use to draw some of
They come in different diameters.
This is a pretty convenient one for drawing on this scale, which is an 18 x 24 figure.
I don’t usually encourage my students to use the stump, at least in the beginning,
because they will almost invariably start to use it instead of the design with the pencil,
and that’s not going to be good.
It can be used in conjunction with, but not an alternative to, designing and drawing with
Here, if you’re drawing the edge of the shadow, you definitely want to draw along
That means you have to move your arm and your hand to achieve that.
It will tend to soften your edges.
If you need a firm edge or a hard edge, make sure you don’t just scrub it away and create
kind of a, just a soft shape.
It’s more than that.
In my study, we weren’t allowed to use a stump until we got the approval from the teacher.
That would only come when we had become very consistent and effective in our figure construction
and design and completion with edges that were intended to really work.
Even then, it was generally only to be done on our homework studies.
Those usually consisted of shooting our own reference photos or going to periodicals and
finding headshots that were done with form lighting and going from there.
It will not really darken what you’ve drawn, but I hope you can see that it can even it out.
Some of these issues, particularly in edges are found routinely in digital figure studies.
The tendency is to soften the edge too much.
I’m pulling away with my strokes, from the harder edge on the form in the direction toward
the softer edge.
The more legible your dark pattern is, the more clearly you can read the change of plane from
light to shadow or to half-tone, and you can do so without distracting tones within your
light or your shadow.
In a little bit, I’m going to show you some drawings that were done for movie posters,
where it was late in the development stage, so I was expected to do drawings that were
quite finished, almost photographic, but I didn’t use any stumps.
I just went straight for the pencil design with pencil strokes.
It’s really imperative that you get these shapes without incidentally changing them
just because of your drawing process.
It’s easy to do, and it’s something you’ve got to watch for.
Here we’re massing two shadows, the shadow on the deltoid with the shadow it casts over
its upper arm.
Alright, we’ll take a break now.
I’ll show you some examples on how you can apply this skill or the developed ability
to draw finished figures and heads.
There are some projects that you are likely to get and hopefully you can accept that require
nothing less than these particular skills.
If you haven’t done them so much, your work won’t be of the first order.
Naturally, everything you do professionally should be of the first order.
Let’s take a break from the drawing while I can pull out some of those examples
and show you.
This is a demonstration drawing from a live model, about 30 minutes.
As I separate the light and dark and I work my edges, I keep my shapes nice and clean.
S-curves, C-curves, and straights.
I’ll show you how to develop that toward a finished drawing.
This is a drawing where I drew along the form, where the light changes to shadow.
Then I drew across the form for the half tones.
You can see some of it across strokes.
Here most of it is in shadow.
You usually describe the form in the light and suggest it in the shadow.
Here you describe the form in the shadow, suggesting the lights.
Dark gray, light gray, black, and white are simply sketches.
This is for Terminator 2.
I think I had to do 31 of these in a day.
You don’t have time for anything but the essence.
But even then, notice that I make the separation between my light and my shadow, and then I
work the edges.
Here is one.
It’s done on gray paper, so you use dark charcoal or Conté
and then a white charcoal or Conté.
We’ll probably do something like that at some point during this term.
You’re working on gray paper, not white.
These for Apollo 13 are really just sketches, but they get the point across using four values,
and then we just put it on Photoshop and put color onto it.
There are all kinds of stylizations that you can do.
Let’s find a couple that are really tight.
Here, this is Frankenstein with Robert DeNiro and Kenneth Branagh.
It’s really, I had to do about eight of these in one day, but it’s a technique that
works very well.
You just put your drawing onto the photocopier and run it on vellum, which is like a heavyweight
Then you go back and pick a little bit of Prisma, smear it with a Kleenex that contains
turpentine or paint thinner.
Use your eraser to rub everything out.
It looks photorealistic, but it’s very fast.
Here are three more gray paper approaches.
This was for a class that I taught in movie poster illustration.
These were wax pencil, Prismacolor black and white.
These two are the same medium as the Kenneth Branagh Frankenstein that just showed you.
Keith Richards and Robert DeNiro.
Notice there is not a lot of detail.
You get the relationships correct, and the viewer’s eye will be prompted to see detail.
Here is an example of using finished techniques, but only using just graphite or wax pencil.
These are graphite Steven Segal movie posters, but if you zoom in you’ll see the head is
carried to a finish without the use of stumps or computers.
We should have a couple more up here.
This is sort of a finish.
This is just Prismacolor for Hot Shots Part Deux.
We have Charlie Sheen and Valeria Golino, but you only finish part of it.
The rest of it just kind of directs the eye.
Let’s see if I have any other good examples of that.
This is a 30-minute figure demonstration.
Again, half-tones are minimal, and the shapes swing into each other rhythmically.
That’s what I’m trying to get you all to do.
This one is about a 40-minute demonstration drawing.
Again, I finished parts of it, but then the rest of it is just at a completed level.
You shouldn’t expect to do, again, at one sitting a finished drawing.
You can really model the form very effectively.
It gives you a little bit of a cushion, you see, and that allows you to put more pressure
or less in places where it matters.
At this time, let’s focus back on the upper torso, and I’m going to use a charcoal pencil
with 2B General charcoal pencil.
I’m just using the weight of the pencil itself.
No pressure whatsoever.
You can even lift your paper and get so subtle it’s like drawing on air.
These rows of abdominal muscles are like steps, and so as we go to the top or uppermost rows,
or columns rather, we go down the figure.
We find that those columns become darker in the light that is.
In the shadow they are the same as everywhere else.
Remember, a plane with a few exceptions, but in the figure at least, a plane has one edge
that’s harder than the other, the opposite edge.
Unless it’s like a cube or a beam which we don’t find on figures, this will be the
case, always, whether it’s a half-tone or a shadow.
If it has the same soft edge on both sides, it looks more like a valley, or it can even
look like a bruise.
Not really a plane.
A good study, a good painting should have a variety of different edges,
at least among the four basic edges.
One edge starts to predominate or dominate all the other edges, then we know that we
have to introduce other edges contrary to that, which will break up the monotony of
a single dominant type of edge.
If all your shapes are very angular, then your figure might start to look a little mechanical
instead of organic.
We look for some variety of edges and shapes both.
So, you see, I’ve firmed up this edge so it’s not the same uniform edge all the way.
These are not little -things.
They’re major things.
We’re trying to take advantage of the human psychology of seeing.
If we just ignore that, something about the drawing will ring false, not true.
Finished studies such as this in my business, which is entertainment advertising, drawings
at this level are usually in the late stages of a movie poster campaign or the
design of a campaign.
Since hundreds of drawings can be done for a single motion picture poster, there is not
time and maybe even budget to do each one at this level.
They’re going to want—design studios for each of their production company clients,
they’re going to want to do 20 or more drawings and presentations a week.
Since they have other movies that they’re working on at the same time, there is not
time, again, to do drawings taken to this level.
Nor is there really a good reason for it because it doesn’t let the client exercise some
of her own imagination.
But, by the time we reach the end stages of such a campaign, and the design for such a
campaign, then they narrow down what it is they’re considering.
That’s where you get a week to do seven drawings.
It’s kind of fun that way.
You definitely need to know how to render figures like this.
Not every movie do they take it to this level at all, but for A motion pictures, they usually
do at the later stages.
Keep the pencil sharp.
Again, I’m using a 2B General charcoal pencil.
Again, you wear out pencils not because of how much pigment you’re using, but because
of how sharp you have to keep the pencils.
Whatever pencil you’re using on a project you need to have at least a few them,
not just one. It just won't get you there.
Notice I’ve taken the eraser and formed an edge or a lip out of it so I can draw with it.
Do not use spray fixative on it at this stage.
If you use spray fixative, you’ll probably want to use the workable spray fixative.
Even then, don’t use it at this stage.
Also, remember, fixative tends to darken the drawing, especially if it’s a pastel, but
also charcoal, Conté.
Stay away from it until you’re right there at the end of the drawing.
In the meantime, if you’re doing multiple sittings, just protect it.
That is your drawing.
Protect it by taping—with artist’s tape, tape a sheet of tracing paper over your drawing
so that nothing actually touches the drawing.
You’re taking a lot of pains to create a well-orchestrated drawing with light and dark
pattern with thoroughly designed edges and half-tones.
Really don’t want to expose it to a lot of possible damage.
Keep it away from the dog or the cat.
Best to keep it indoors where you have climate control unless you have
a completely insulated garage.
Don’t keep it in the car at all even for a short period of time because temperature
and humidity are going to influence the survival or your drawing.
Very typically, you’re going to get a lot of little creases.
Paper might ripple or bow.
Keep the drawing between sessions—very important—keep it on a rigid board, not touching the ground.
Rest it on a rigid board while it lies on the ground.
If you lay it on carpet, it’s going to cause a lot of crinkling.
Not something that you really wanted.
You can use line along the silhouette, but use it artistically, understanding that it’s
a graphic device.
One day I went to the Norton-Simon Museum, and it just wanted to look at the pastels
that Dega did of dancing girls.
Why did I want to do that?
Well, for its own right, yeah, but a lot of the time he uses a dark black outline on a
very impressionistic subject.
And so, I wanted to see how he chose the placement of such lines on the silhouette and why.
I just took in some of those, took a lot of photos and spent my day just on that issue.
I think when you go to a museum—and there is no substitute for it—no books can duplicate
the real, original paintings.
When you do, it’s helpful to go there with a thought in mind.
I’m going to look at just Sargent’s drapery.
That’s all I’m going to do today.
It’s always good with every painting and drawing to study the first read or focal point
that the artist has developed in doing the painting or the drawing.
Really learn a lot from that.
Regardless of whatever else you’re focusing on, always try to be sensitive to the so-called
first read, whatever it is the artist has chosen to create as a focal point.
Then try to ask the question, what is it that makes this the first read?
Why is that I’m seeing that before I really see anything else?
Those are some good things to think about when you see works of art at the museum.
There is the cast shadow over the index finger.
These are the finger and the ring finger and the pinky.
Avoid getting too dark when drawing fingers and hands.
Remember, these are small forms that are close to each other; therefore, they tend to reflect
a lot of light back into each other.
I’m talking about the shadows themselves.
You never want to have a really true black inside the hand or in the ear for that matter.
Any small forms, which, therefore, naturally steal the scene, grab the attention, don’t
help them out by making them too high in contrast.
That goes for the nose, the lips.
This cast shadow over his thigh, if you look at the photograph, is quite dark.
I would choose to make it a little bit lighter than it looks to be.
After all, it’s a shape that cuts the thigh in half.
I don’t want to overdo that.
I don’t even want to do it as strongly as the photograph has done.
I’ll probably hold back on that.
Again, these are probably the choices and decisions that you learn by doing longer studies.
If you want to be a good painter, doing simply sketches from life will not take you that far.
It’s doing long value studies that relates to doing sophisticated figure painting.
Some really good artists have told me why do any drawings longer than 10 minutes.
I don’t understand.
I don’t get it.
I guess I don’t understand why they were never exposed to doing it.
All previous generations going back to the Mannerists, the Renaissance artists, they
did long studies.
So, suddenly to hear in the late 20th century or today, well, ‘I’ve been studying my
whole life and I’m professional.
I don’t understand what the use for that is.’
I don’t understand what it is to not do it.
I show you in some of the drawings that I’ve done professionally that I nice sketch can
be a really beautiful thing, but don’t labor under the misconception that becoming excellent
at that is going to take you very much farther toward being a good painter.
It takes more than that.
Sometimes you need to lighten an area that you may have designed
as part of your dark pattern.
Oddly enough, here again, I encounter people who have been taught in their figure classes
never to use an eraser.
I don’t know where that comes from.
I guess it’s because it’s a counterweight to students who use the eraser too much.
It’s like telling somebody who has a habit of speeding to never use the accelerator at all.
You must learn how to use it.
The eraser—a good write edits his or her work.
Not just in the second draft but as they go, and then, of course, in the second draft.
But to say, no, leave it the way it is.
Get it published that way is an absurdity.
The eraser, the pencil, the paper all work together along with a pencil sharpener.
In some cases, the people use a stump.
Now, you’ll notice that these planes have fallen into half-tone.
This one is a little lighter, but it’s light areas surrounded by darks so it’ll tend
to jump out, pop out.
Put half-tone over it.
One stroke over the last with just the weight of the pencil.
Here is another area like that.
I think a lot of reason why people sometimes avoid doing long studies from light is that
it requires such patience.
It will always lead to good results, what I’m demonstrating.
People don’t know that if they’ve never done it, so it takes doing it to find that,
well, my teacher did promise me that if I put down a flat tone it would develop a drawing.
I guess I’ll trust him and try it.
Then you see that it does.
Then you feel free to start drawing from the onset, designing your drawing as though you
were going to go ahead and complete and finish the drawing.
Otherwise, people are not going to exhibit the patience to create tones like this, which
area could take as long as 10 or 20 minutes, and there are a lot of areas.
I think I know it was very important to me to see my teacher demonstrate how to do this.
It made all the difference really in my whole artistic career.
If somebody says, like those artists do to me sometimes, I see no use for anything longer
than a 10-minute drawing, just say, okay, all the best.
You should know better.
Does that mean I like long studies or anything less?
I like short poems and I like epic poems.
I’m not married to one or the other.
His extended arm is getting glancing light from the light source.
It’s darker than this which is getting pretty close to a right angle.
of next week when we start a new pose.
I want to also leave you today with an overview of figure proportions.
We see here a male figure from back, profile, and front view.
It’s perfectly symmetrical.
This diagram doesn’t just give us any of the modeling,
it also gives us rhythmical relationships.
It doesn’t just give us proportion.
It gives us some of those relationships that we need to rely on when we’re setting up
Not all figures have these standard proportions.
Some are taller.
Some or shorter.
Some are wider, leaner, whatever.
We don’t merely have anatomy and proportion.
We have spatial relationships and we have anatomical relationships.
We have, especially, rhythmical relationships, which is the emphasis of this figure abstraction.
Before I get into those rhythms which we see throughout, I’ll talk about the proportions.
If we take the head as the unit of measurement for the rest of the figure and all its parts,
we’ll see here in the male figure we have one head, and from the chin down to the nipple
we have another head, so that’s one, two.
Then from the nipple to the navel we have a third head.
From there to the bottom of the pubic triangle we have four heads.
Upper torso is two heads.
Lower torso is two heads from the crotch to the knee.
That’s two heads right there.
Halfway to the crotch to the knee, here is one head, so it’s a head here and a head here.
That makes six.
The leg from the knee to the floor is another seven heads halfway and eight heads to the
sole of the foot.
Some of the important widths: across the figure from deltoid to deltoid is three heads in
the male figure.
Here and here.
At the waist it’s just a little bit more than head and width.
The thigh is about one head in width.
Back to the length, the height.
The arm from just above the armpit to the tip of the little finger, that’s three heads.
The hand by itself is about one head in height.
In fact, from the base of the palm to the tip of the middle finger is the same height
as the chin to the line of the scalp.
Notice that the joint is not drawn at the knee like this, which is a pinched knee.
Not, it’s not.
You have an inside angle here of the tibia, the outside angle of the calf muscle.
Notice that the inside is lower than the outside just as the outside is lower at the angles
in the inside to the outside.
Let’s talk about the profile view.
Notice here that the farthest point in a standing figure is right here, the gluteus maximus
muscle, and the farthest part to the font is right here, just below the rib cage.
Here, let’s looks at a couple of rhythms.
These are the quadriceps muscles, the extensors of the leg located on the thigh.
Then they follow through and we pick up the calf muscle here.
This is one continuous rhythm.
Here we see again that the outside of the calf is higher than the inside.
The inside of the ankle is higher on the inside than on the outside.
Let’s talk a little bit about one or two more rhythmical relationships,
and then we’ll move on.
If you want to, especially in a woman’s case, if you want to describe the breasts
in a convincing way that is also rhythmical and elegant, it is a good idea to start here
at the pit of the neck.
Then follow a curved line to the outside of the breast, swing it back like this to the
deltoid so the movement is one entire sweep.
Then on the other side do the same so the right breast will conform to the left breast.
You get this shape happening.
This is what we’re talking about here.
By the way, the middle finger of the hand falls, not as far, but almost halfway from
the crotch to the knee.
Let’s have a look at a couple of diagrams that Walt Reed developed in the 70s or maybe
earlier, where he breaks down the parts, volumes, and the limbs of the figure into widths and
heights of heads.
Here we have the head, or let’s call it the torso from the chin to the navel.
It’s expressed as two heads in height.
As I discussed in the last diagram, the usefulness of this is that it also gives us an ideal
depth of curvature.
It’s one thing to know your proportions, but if you make a deltoid that’s too exaggerated,
well, it’s going to be corrected.
These things are, in their own right, as important as the underlying anatomy that creates them.
Think of S-curves, C-curves, and straights.
Usually flexor muscles are C-curves or S-curves, and the extensor muscles are more shallow,
not as full.
Also, the angle at which the shoulder joins the figure is expressed here.
It’s about a 30-degree angle.
We also see that the foot is the length of one head, and the hand, as I described, goes
from the base of the palm of the chin up to the hairline.
This is a little misleading because this head may be—I think you can see.
Let’s move on to the next one because it’s going to give us the hips and the legs.
In this diagram, which is the completion of the earlier diagram I just went over, we have
the figure from the waist down to the sole of the foot.
That’s four heads.
One from the navel to the crotch.
We should probably be here.
Then another one—like that.
Here and here and then another two from just below the knee here and then another one for
the lower leg.
It gives you the proper width you’d see at each joint.
Even if you draw well, your values are good, your light and dark pattern is dramatic.
If you don’t have the proper width of the various joints, it’s not going to look very good.
Be aware of that.
Here, in a woman’s figure the waist is one head.
The shoulders, in a woman’s case, are two and a half heads.
Okay, now, let’s have a look at applications.
This is from Howard Forsberg’s book on painting, but he’s using the same volumes and proportions
as we just saw from Walt Reed.
The pose here can be analyzed, and I suggest you all do this as homework
on your figure drawings.
We see, for instance, down into this leg.
We see an ellipse like that.
Here we’re seeing up into the thigh, so we see an ellipse like that.
Here we see down into the pelvis and here we don’t see up into the rib cage.
This shows us that the arm is coming forward by virtue of that ellipse.
This shows you that the neck overlaps the head in back view.
I would actually make this more of a curve here.
He’s kind of kept it very straight.
For my money I would make it curve a little more.
You can see the arm coming toward us, and you can see the upper arm
coming toward us as well.
It’s a simple analysis of this using ellipses when looking down into the foot.
It’s below eye level.
Whether you’re doing a sketch or long pose, understanding these ellipses and whether the
forms are coming toward or away from us and how to what degree is going to be central
to an effective figure drawing.
Okay, so that does it for this lesson.
Let me just briefly review and mention what we’ll be doing next week.
Our next lesson I’ll finish up the head and maybe a couple of other items.
Then I’ll proceed to a new pose.
The new pose will have a pose that’s got more attention to the head, so we really want
to focus on consistency and drawing of the head.
There is no such thing as a good, long study with slapdash head; that’s not really effective.
As for today, we touched on a couple of new things, like the use of a stump.
I’ll carry the head part of the torso to a finish next week.
That gives us still time to go over the master draftsman whose work I’ll show and also
the diagrams that give us the perfect proportions for the figure, and they’re very clear.