- Lesson details
It’s time to address a vital element of preparation for the final project: quick-pose drawings. Iliya works with his model to draw 13 short poses from various angles. First, he works with simplified construction, then contour, line, and direct tone. Drawing shorter poses from your live model or from reference will train your mind and hand, giving you the strongest possible understanding of your subject.
Join Ukrainian-born artist Iliya Mirochnik as he passes on a 250-year-old academic method preserved at the Repin Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia and seldom taught outside of the Academy and never before on camera.
The Russian Academic drawing and painting approaches were uninterrupted by the modern art movements that transformed representational art in the West, and as a result, they provide a unique and clear lineage to the greater art traditions of the past. As a powerful approach that is both constructive and depictive, it combines the two methods that prevail in contemporary representational art.
In this course, we have set out to condense the entire program, spanning over eight years into a logical, step-by-step procedure. We have made improvements and added resources and exercises to explicitly drive home the concepts that are required to work in this approach.
We have also structured the course so that it is not only useful for professional and experienced artists but also artists with no drawing experience whatsoever.
The New Masters Academy Coaching Program directly supports this Course. If you enroll in the coaching program, you can request an artist trained in the Russian Academic Method including Iliya Mirochnik himself. Click here to enroll in the Coaching Program.
- Graphite pencils
- Kneaded and Hard Erasers
- Sanding Block
- Utility Knife
- Roll of Paper, Smooth Sketchbook paper
- Light source
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countless assignments and anatomical notes,
we are finally ready to tackle the complexity
and beauty of the human figure from life.
Join me to draw short poses of the figure and then finally
a long pose. Just like at the Repin Academy, we are going to
work large. Really large. This format allows
us the room we need to resolve the figure and get the most
from our training experience. I'm excited to be able to share with you this technique
for the first time online and outside of Russia. With that,
we've covered the anatomy of the body
and before we begin our fully rendered final project,
we need to explore the human body itself from life.
There's no better way to begin to put all of this knowledge to the
test than through quick pose drawings.
anatomy that we covered before we move on to the long pose, let's
do a few exercises that are poses that are about
five minutes long. And why don't we
simply focus on those main anatomical elements
as clear geometric, box-like
conceptions. So in the pose that I see
in front of me, here's what I'm
going to do. And focusing exclusively on
the ribcage and the pelvis. So
I can begin with
the general tilt, which I can see here and
keep it as box-like as possible.
But then the next thing I'm going to put is our center line to get
an orientation of the box and then
establish the -
there's a little bit of a tilt here that we can
once we establish the side plane so
that let's say will be the box of the ribcage.
Now let's move on to the box of the pelvis and
the weight is an important thing to think about here
but I don't want to start right there right away.
So there's not much of a twist between the pelvis and
the ribcage and I want you to make sure
to establish that there is a certain amount of distance between them as
we were able to perceive with the abdomen.
establish it right here. And the other
elements that we need to see once these are in
place is where we have our knee
that's supporting most of the
weight here. And also think of it as a
box. And so that's what we have over here.
And what's happening with the knee right here? So I'm kind of like
you could continue a line
into here and that
essentially the boxes
that we have and the ones that we need. And then
explore some exaggerations
as well. So - and keep in mind
what's happening with the obliques, imagine
them as bands that, if there is a
an angle here that becomes just slightly
more acute than the band of the oblique becomes
compressed while the other one becomes extended.
and then we can just sort of continue
of this into here and then establish where we have
the structures of the
feet. The structures of the feet
which I get a little bit more complicated but
if you want to cut them up they are essentially a box and
a wedge like that.
Okay, that's all we're going
to do. Why don't we move on to
a different pose.
Alright so here
we see those same structures
the back from behind. And so
let's see what's happening. So here I want to start with
the pelvis and
see what the particular
tilts of it are. Now here I didn't
tilt it as much as I could I
think this is still a good place to start. Now
I'll explain some of these things in a moment.
Now there is a tilt back and a little bit of a twist.
So we're going to see more
of the side plane here than
on the ribcage
than we do on the pelvis and so there is -
that's the only way really you can show the twist here. And then
we can see where the knee is.
Oh my god, okay.
You can see where the knee is right there
and also where it is here. So you're
also thinking of it along a particular plane.
So if I were to think of them on a plane
the knee up here is closer
and then we can continue that down a bit more
until we establish the boxes of the -
boxes of the feet as well. So see
I'm just using a line or two
in order to connect them but this is all
I'm trying to get across.
And that oblique is going to -
is going to
establish that twist. We could also
figure out what's happening with the box of the head
which we see in profile.
But I'm not as concerned with
the head here. Okay
why don't we try a few more
of these and you can observe as I explain.
A few more things.
Okay, so here things are getting a little more
complicated but it's all -
it's possible to do. So the key is you
have to try to see where the bottom of the ribcage
is to establish its angle. You don't wanna rely too heavily on the top because
the clavicles will alter that. Because if one arm is up and the other one isn't then
we of course are not going to have a parallel
a line that's parallel with our
with the bottom of the ribcage.
Here we're getting a little bit of a top plane also. And see I'm thinking of them as just a simple
box like construction. But I'm already seeing that there's an immense
amount of extension with the oblique here even though I don't
see the compression of the other oblique. So - and there's a little bit
of a twist as well. So
even if I don't see what's happening here, I am
going to see a bit
more over here on the
side plane of the pelvis and I'm going to kind of exaggerate that
as well. So we're going to get
a twist there as well even if we
can't perceive it. So and then
to just place where the knee is right here and we see the top plane
of it a tiny amount.
And see I'm already kind of beginning to introduce
a little bit extra. But at the same time I don't wanna move on
too much down here because what's really important
is the knee that's currently on the
since it's carrying the weight here
I need it sort of
planted on the ground. And then here, ignoring
I could establish what the foot
is doing right there and then
just sort of go along the plane and see where
the box here is.
And it's a hard angle
to show with just a few lines actually
because it's also going away from us. Now as you see, I'm ignoring the arms
I'm ignoring the arms because I
don't - I want to establish sort of the overall
curvatures and movements that I see here but
we could place the box of the head
actually being tilted a bit
and so approximately
that's what we have, even though I might actually move this - and see
it's all - you can keep sort of adjusting it and changing it and seeing
what's happening. Okay, so
I just -
I want to explain a few elements so
Mark if you can actually have a seat
on a chair.
In profile actually, yeah. So
I can see it, yeah.
there are a few things to talk about it's precisely to do with
the tilts of the pelvis. And so considering you're always thinking of
of the element of the ground,
you want to kind of imagine that box of
the pelvis as sort of
to a shoe box. Proportional to a
shoe box so it's rectangular
on top and then it's not
Now of course you can imagine that there are parts of it that are and sort of
stick out after we kind of add our
actual sort of pelvis into it.
All of that. But that's what you need
to be sort of imagining as the -
as the pelvis
and so the general box of
the ribcage is sort of like
So if you can just imagine a bit of that and here's
a strap to make it even more like a backpack
then I think that the
general proportions of the boxes are kind of easier to think about in this way.
And the one thing to keep in mind is a principle
in which when the figure is
and perhaps we can like - we can kind of elongate the
box here. In profile it's almost square.
is tilted forward and the ribcage
is tilted back. and then the -
and sort of held up and evened up by the
erector spinae and the rectus abdominis.
Now this of course is going
to change when we have
a figure seated on a chair.
And so if you imagine the plane of the chair,
it's actually almost easier to construct the box of the pelvis because
it just - you can imagine it just as a box on a chair.
But because of that - so we can
imagine the spine in there. So because of that
the spine in the area in between
the pelvis and the ribcage
straightens out a bit and even if there's -
and even if there's a movement like the one that you see
in front of you, which we'll get to in a moment, this is still
going to happen. But to explain it as a simple concept I have to simplify this a bit.
What happens is because this straightens out
the ribcage now tilts the other
way a bit and the muscles
here, the abdominals, become
compressed in this area because there just now isn't as much room. So that's the
basic principle. Why don't we try to apply it.
And here I'm going to work rather small but I
think it'll be clear enough. So
we do have a
lean, the pelvis is actually tilted probably even
that. So here is sort of the box of the pelvis.
And obviously it isn't
a box so it still can
be - it can still be on
a chair, not tip over because there are other elements
at play. But at the same time because it's on a chair,
this part of the spine is
still straightened out at least a certain amount. And so
we need to establish that even
if there is a tilt
and so it's not that kind of arch, even though it might appear
as that kind of arch. And so
what we've, for the most part,
would have here.
Okay so why don't we actually -
why don't we actually
take a look at a pose
where this movement is exaggerated.
So Mark could you just - yeah.
That's great. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
I think - and a little bit more in profile
so that I can...
Okay so let's give this
pose a shot, keeping all this in mind
then we'll move on.
So even though it might not be too obvious that that's happening,
it is. And of course there's some interesting angles here as well. So
we're going to try to construct
the box here and keep this in mind. So the
ribcage might appear to be straight.
concept here is that
the main tilts are happening in the pelvis.
See so there is kind of the movement if I
continue that line along.
And because of that the abdominals here are actually
And then we can add the obliques.
And then here
there's an overlap, which is nice but we get a placement of
actually going to tilt this
even more than that. And then we have the placement of the
other knee right here
the wedge but added
at an angle. So we're getting a little bit of that too.
And the arms can go
pretty much anywhere if you really think about it. So we could
continue along here
but we also could
alter that arm
and then we have the
arm right there as well. So - and
the box with the head. Okay
now let's take some of this that we practiced
and build on it. So I've already done that to some extent
and when you practice this you don't have to add all of this extra - all of this stuff
that's extra. You could, in essence,
there's actually just
a change in the pose slightly that I'm noticing that
I'm going to add and actually going to switch this
around and tilt - so see I'm actually adding
construction of a box on top of this. So
in your exercises you don't have to add all this extra stuff but you could simply
play around with the placement of
the boxes. You don't need all of them but keep in mind the ones that you absolutely
have to explore are the pelvis
and the ribcage. And then you could
experiment with some from imagination. And I mean this is
exaggerated and wouldn't ever happen but
it's - it could be
an interesting exercise and I think it'll be helpful
when we move on. So speaking of that
let's take what we learned here
and move on to -
to adding a little bit more specific anatomy, something a little more
constructive into the boxes that we have here.
So Mark can we have standing pose again.
So let's begin with the same concepts.
So why don't we start with the boxes.
So here we
have the tilt of the
ribcage. In general, when you do see
a pose in which the weight is
distributed on a
singe leg, when
the weight is distributed only on a single leg, then you
generally can tilt the pelvis
in the opposite sort of direction. So the angle
between the pelvis and the leg will be rather
acute. And so
we can establish where the box of the knee is here. Here however it's not
exactly that because the weight is also
placed on the leg that we see up here.
Be very particular with the tilts of the
pelvis based on the distribution of that
And to illustrate it I will explain in a moment
after I place what we have here. So we kinda have this overall
construction. We have the -
and the tilt of the head. We're still not working on arms that much
and so I will move off of this
in a moment. But so, to reiterate this idea, this pose,
a classic pose, a contrapposto
the weight is distributed from
the center of the pelvis
down to pretty much where the heel
is. You can think of it as the heel. It's slightly in front but it's there.
And then the wight would continue
and go up and be placed at the opening of rib number
one, that one that's so important.
And in a classic contrapposto, then
that leg is somewhere here, the arm here is on
the hip, this arm
is straight, and
the head is tilted away
from the leg that's carrying the weight. And that's a classic
contrapposto. But you're going to see a lot
happening where it's sort of partial.
And where the distribution here is as is but closer to
what we have here, we have the movement of the
ribcage, which of course changes the distribution
but then you have the arm to compensate
and then it'll flatten out the ribcage - the
pelvis a tiny amount and you will have the other
leg partaking in the distribution of the
weight. At that point which would probably be around here.
But start thinking about it as a classic,
a contrapposto, and then
explore off of
like then kind of improvise and
analyze off of that concept. So
here we are with the
box that we have here. So what we need to start to do is to think
of this a bit more int he actually more specific
structures that we have analyzed.
And so let's start to just place the ribcage
immediately thinking of where the planes are. And we already have
the concept of it
and we have a box for it to
enter. We can start thinking of the pelvis
here as an actual pelvis and always take it
across, always find your alignments,
and it's still a simplification.
even construct the entire skeleton into here.
But we're not going to worry too much about
that right now. Instead, what I would add
is to then begin to actually
establish some of these muscular
And so I don't
necessarily recommend this as a way to
sketch but this is a way to
just sort of integrate some of this anatomy that we've
covered. So you immediately begin to think of it as
a structure. It's still sort of simplified,
keep the knee a box-like element, follow along
the tibia. And see I'm even adding like specific
muscles to this area.
we can have the
sartorius, rectus femoris,
the gracilis right here
and here the
semitendinosus and semimembranosus and then we can add
the tibia, the gastrocnemius,
as well as the soleus right in there.
The tendon and the other
tendon as well and now
is the time to add the arms, but start, as always, with the
clavicle. See so I'm just sort of placing these things rather
into the particular - and this clavicle
will come up, we can see it, and then we can see
that opening of the structures
over there. And now it's sort of more
organic and involves sort of slightly
more work with line.
But you're thinking
structurally, right, you're still sort of trying to see this.
And you can keep adding on and adding on and adding on as much as you can.
we can get the cylindrical form of the
neck and in general I would keep a box
for the head. Now I tend to do this sometimes
I don't but you kind of begin to -
I need to place this and even though this is a chair
I'm not concerned with it, this is just a box for the leg to
to be on. So here we are. And see so we took these forms of the
box and began to construct some of our more
specific anatomy into it. And you can even continue with some of these
lines that I've worked with here
to give you the
form of these anatomical elements as if you were taking it across.
Okay so why don't we try - I'm going to sharpen my
pencil - why don't we try a different pose
in which we...
Could you use the stick actually, thank you.
I don't think we need that, I'll take this.
Yeah so - and see if we can use
these elements of construction to add a little bit of
tonality to at least be able to place where our shadows are.
Now the point of using the construction here
is so that we're able to
not simply copy
a line - say our terminator line -
but actually analyze what's happening.
Excellent so here
let's start it all the same way.
And after a while you'll see that placing these boxes will become easier
and easier. And keep in mind the box is not
the ribcage alone. It's also, if you think of it
as a box, you're adding on
you're adding on certain
of a few of the muscular
elements as well. So here we have a nice tilt
of the pelvis.
We can see where the distribution of the weight is.
And then begin -
we can place the box here of the
knee, the wedge of the
foot over here
let's place the other box
right here and this is going to be hard to do because
it's, there's an element of
foreshortening but we can solve that with some of the other lines.
Okay so here
is what we've established. See I'm not really focusing on the
proportions as much here. You're kind of getting accustomed to the
amount of room you have in between each of these elements. I'm not even always connecting them.
And we can begin to structure a little bit more of the ribcage. And try to get the
entirety of it. Right, you try to get the entirety of the ribcage.
Keep in mind it'll be smaller than the box you have but we need the
opening of the first rib
all the way
down to here. And we can sweep it up to the opening in the
back as well. And so
here we have the placement of the sternum out to rib
number two and there we have the box
of the ribcage, which we can even
immediately carve up into its front plane and side plane.
Awesome. So now
let's move on to the pelvis, which also try to
place in its entirety. And remember that tilt here,
try to place the pelvis in its entirety from ASIS,
see where that ASIS is, seems to align here,
find the other one,
the pubic symphasis
all the way to the trochanter. So make sure to establish
where the trochanter is.
without putting the rest of the skeleton in, let's just
establish some connections. So here we see the elongations
here, the compression is here. And I clearly have elongated the amount of
room between the
pelvis and the ribcage but I tend
to do that. That's sort of - I've mentioned this before, this is that proportional
bias I have. Could be a stylistic thing that I haven't
come to terms with and I should probably just embrace
but we need to establish
where these things are. So -
and then we can move
and find the rectus abdominis
and place it in there.
And then here begin with, as always,
the sartorius and the tensor,
who's going to give you that proper placement of where the front
of the leg in with the quadriceps and where the side is with the
Vastus lateralis, not bad.
And let's move on to here, the same thing. Start with the sartorius
and the tensor, adductors,
and the group of the
quadriceps. Now here
make sure to establish the proper - and you know, you can keep
placements as you go, as always.
There's a constant element of
change here and
why don't we move on. And here
start with the tibia.
make sure this is all clear
and we're going to have to move that a little bit. So
that's what we have so far, we can actually take -
if we see where the ischium is
we can make sure to establish
where the semitendinosus
is right there. Right behind - that'll be the contour of it. Now we can make
sure to establish our ASIS even clearer. That's our tensor
and that's the contour over there. And the proportions
are sort of exaggerated, everything is sort of
slightly strange here. Now - but that's not
the point. So then we can place
And the top of the
deltoid, take it down to the
olecranon. Here we have the hand
the box of the head. See like that's
something I place almost at the end. Okay so if we have
this kind of a construction, it's loose,
it's sort of approximate but let's see
how we can use it to establish
the - where the shadows are.
Now we can - before we do that we can have the general placement
of the pectoralis. But since we have some
idea - and in order to achieve this I'm going to use those lines that I tend to
use to give you an idea of what's happening along -
sort of across the form rather, not along the form, across the form.
And those are the ones that are really going to help us.
And if our light's coming from here
then we know that as -
that as this line begins
becomes perpendicular to
well as this line becomes parallel actually is the tangent to
our angle of the light source
that becomes the terminator.
If it were here then we're ahead of here.
And so why don't we go with that.
And just begin to work the general
Including some of the cast shadows. Use the cast shadows to describe
the form that it falls on.
And then here it's very, very clear we have this
plane beginning to sweep under. So that's also
a consideration of course. I do think a lot in working across the
the form but not so much in thinking along the form but that does play a role
but I think working across the form is more important. So
then we can establish the highest point
And then we can do a similar for
the deltoid. Don't worry about the particular anatomy,
just make sure you get the side plane of that.
Okay, so there we have it. Now
once you begin to
figure out and analyze
these structures based on your understanding
of them. And you can actually keep
obviously this is only a quick sketch, but you can keep
sort of carving in and being more and more specific with the anatomy, you can
establish for example the plane of the
pectoralis major right here. You can establish the plane of the other
pectoralis major right here
which would give you the core shadow, followed by the cast shadow as well
that would wrap around so we can take that as well. So see so it becomes
here, once again,
I don't tend to worry about the head as much, but find that
shadow as it wraps around here as well. And we don't really
care too much about what's going on there.
Okay so now
that we've kind of explored this attempt to sketching everything out,
not spending a long time on it but just simplifying everything that
we've covered. And perhaps if the question that you have is
is why did we begin with something so complex and spend so much time on it
as opposed to me simply offering you a simple, constructive understanding
of an element
it's because I'm not a fan of
anatomy or any education that's particularly scriptive.
I would rather you have
a sort of a more sort of intricate,
solid understanding of a thing based on your
observation and analysis that would then allow you to simplify it.
As opposed to me offering the way to simplify it before you've even
explored an element. So it's not
that I offer you an anatomical construction, the
whole point is that I'm helping you generate your own
anatomical constructions. So why don't we
move on to now leaving construction
behind and only working in line.
we thought of the boxes, we thought of incorporating
more structural understanding into them,
let's step aside from that
and talk about working in contours and
this is a much more
optical approach. And as you saw, you
still need the use of contours, even when you're constructing. So
it's very important to have a sharp eye in the ability
to find these contours because the only way you really are able to
establish a proper construction is within the confines of
an accurate contour. So now
one could of course start with a point and take the
contour as it is,
just follow along the contour and just sort of
move around from it. However, we're still gonna incorporate a
little bit of construction in the sense that you want to do
the contours of
both sides of an element before moving on
so why don't we start with the
ribcage. So - and this is a slow process
where you just
kind of move from one side
and then we take it across so see I am still
thinking in the box though the box is not on paper.
Okay. I'm not thinking of
of overlaps though. Not at all yet
I'm just thinking in contour. And keep in mind, your proportions might
go haywire a little bit. So here we are at the
obliques also, right away beginning to think
of the side of the obliques that's
elongated and the side that is compressed.
We're moving onto the pelvis so let's establish the ASIS
see so we're still - it's contour,
you're thinking in line, you're kind of following a line,
but not kind
At the same time,
we still want some orientation so we can begin to make
sure to place our center line
and our alignments.
And then I'm going to continue. So it's hard to
avoid the outline.
The sort of internal outline in some cases but that's fine, you can
place them if you need them. So then we're gonna move on to the leg right there and we're gonna do that
upper leg, take it all the way down to the knee, but we're
also going to work the other side of the leg
and maybe take it into the knee right
there, into here. So
the knee as well is
there's a structure in there.
I'm going to take just a little bit of this contour of the
external obliques and the inguinal ligament.
See so we're beginning to use little bit of the overlaps because you just can't avoid
them I think. If you're working in this way that I'm talking about you kind of can't
overlap because you are
working two sides of a form. Especially after you've
been constructing into the boxes, you've kind of been analyzing
these things and moving into the boxes there.
And the same with the other leg as well and you can start from the inside or the outside.
It doesn't really matter.
The element of the knee there and
we move on right here to the calf
and the -
and to the
malleoli and then we move down to here,
kinda need the overlap
here, place it, place it,
right here. See so a lot of overlap
does happen but I'm still primarily thinking in
contour. Now here, let's move on
and we'll just continue with the arm. And the same here.
You don't want to continue. Sometimes you can so
hell why don't we.
Continue - so I'm doing the upper arm and the lower arm at the same time.
Keep in mind you can correct as you go. And then I'm
going to start with the contour up here
the proportions go awry.
then here, even here thinking somewhat constructively, the contour
of the clavicles.
See I'm taking it slow, I'm taking it really slow.
And I'm working on an inner contour now of the pectoralis,
wrap it around, and
insert right there, and up again
so we have kinda some inner structures as well. We can even do some more
inner structures with the bottom of the ribcage right there
and find the other
side. Now proportionally we can make this
correction. We've gotten a little too wide - got away from me
so we can erase that
or keep it even, that's fine with me.
And now from - you want also
the contours of the cylinder of the neck
and then take the trapezius
And let's establish what's happening here. Arms in general I tend to
try to get the full contour because I want a larger movement.
And the head as well,
placing the head
ears and all four of the proper alignments.
Okay. So that's pretty much it.
So as you see, you still see certain
elements of the boxes inside. And what you can
do is work the other way here. You can construct the boxes into
what we have
placed as a contour. This is
bringing you one step closer to the way
that you will be,
the way that
we are going to be working
on the larger drawing.
Just one step closer. See so
ideally these constructions are kept in your head.
And even if working in
a contour, you're still feeling them.
I think that working on one side of a form and then the other
is a way to help control that. Though as an
assignment, just kind of as practice,
I do recommend just kind of going with a contour
as an exercise.
I know that this is sort of popular in contemporary art education,
only problem I see with it is usually it's no accompanied
by a more solid
understanding of anatomy underneath. So it's a lot of contour
which is nice and I'm a big fan
and you can take the leg all the way down to here.
See so and then actually wrap it around
and make the corrections as
you go along the contour. That is a nice exercise
but I would only attempt it after you've really
understood this idea of following one side of the form and then the other. And
hell, construct into it a little bit.
Why don't we move on to a different pose
and begin to introduce
more deliberate overlaps.
More deliberate overlaps
overlaps and a few tonal aspects as well.
Yeah, I guess we can do a pose from the back.
Yeah from the back, that'd be great.
Okay so let's
work here. And I kind of -
I'm going to switch to a charcoal
pencil and here you can work in any medium
you want. Ink is particularly good here because you can't
hope to correct so easily.
Okay so where
do we start? Honestly, almost anywhere. But we do want the ribcage
so these overlaps -
and you'll see what this becomes - are a little more
deliberate, a little more anatomical.
So that would be the ribcage,
the erector spinae,
the gluteus maximus.
See so it's - and I'm continuing with and I'm completing a side
of the - a side before moving on to the other side.
Mainly because these overlaps are actually what was going to help me
take this across.
So then I can see the
obliques there and I can see the ribcage.
And the erector spinae right here, I'm just taking them in.
And I'm following
the forms of
the ribcage as well as the latissimus
dorsi right here. Then I can take this up and
figure out where the spine is so that center line comes into play,
into the sacrum, down to the coccyx and into
the gluteus, right here.
And here we have the pelvis which we can isolate and be very clear about
and even have some of the muscles in the front.
here we can place
or scapulas if you would like. And I'm almost sort of figuring out
the contour internally. And
this is now a little it more anatomical because not everything is so
clearly seen. And just going along with it
and kind of aligning things as I tend to
to move across the form. The trapezius up here,
we can go with the form of the
We have the forms of the triceps. We have
the outline of the
olecranon and the hand
up here. Here we have our radius,
awesome stuff we've already covered really. So
just gonna move into the head a little bit, I
think we could allow ourselves that but follow the
form of the neck. So I'm still thinking in
this way but now there's a little more sort of internal structure
So to move on
we have our
alignment here but we have the gluteus here a little bit lower.
And then we're gonna move with the muscles of the hand
hamstrings right in there.
And remember to think of where the pelvis is in the front to properly place
And we have that group, we have the protrusion right
here belonging to the semitendinosus and
semimembranosus in front
we're going to have the vastus
lateralis and the knee in general. And here we have
the form of the back of the knee and I would just take it across
with the gastrocnemius, the calf.
See so these overlaps are leading me in. So I'm working
the contour but these overlaps are leading me into the
internal anatomy. All so far
with line. So you can see - and even I'm not really
exploring the amount of pressure
I place on the line.
It's all sort of even, kind of equal,
just making sure the overlaps
are there. Now I'm going to
still figure out where these things are just to be safe
we can see the - kind of the
gluteal insertion here a little bit,
it's nice to see it, and then the biceps
femoris, the overall long head,
and that tendon attaching to the
head of the fibula, which is the -
which is the short head of the biceps femoris
we didn't discuss that too much but that's what's there.
Then we have the knee, we have the -
we have the condyle of the femur, the patella, just in line.
See the head of the tibia,
the tibial tuberosity,
the tibialus anterior,
of the extensor digitorum
longus. And then inside, on this side, or the posterior
side we have the
gastrocnemius, which we see
right here but we also see the
peroneus and we can take all of this inwards and
take it all the way to the
into the calcaneous. See so I'm just explaining
into the calcaneous,
and there you have it. We
still need the arm. So from the
spine of the scapula we can take the
and here you see - you won't be able to see
this on every model but we can on Mark - you can
see the long head of triceps coming in from above the
teres major right there.
Take that inwards. We can take the
lateral head in as well followed by the medial head
A little bit longer than that I think. And then we have
the medial epicondyle
of the humerus, followed by the
the lateral epicondyle, and the group of
the group of extensors.
We can add the arm here.
And so see it's
outlined but considerably more
why don't we do another pose and add into here
some elements of the terminator, also understood
in some ways as a line.
Oh, that's perfect.
Oh, that's awesome. That's really good.
Some shadows - okay, okay. So let's try this again.
I'm going to
get a little bit of a sharper point. So here we can
do exactly the same thing. We're gonna think in overlap, we're gonna be a little more specific about
where exactly we apply the pressure of
the pencil. So, let's begin.
So with the ribcage you can start
where you need to, you know. You can
and you can make sure to apply a lot
of pressure in that area.
And then we can
see this tiny like group of overlaps. You can see
the abdominals and be slow.
And sort of like allow your pencil to move with your eye.
And then here we see the
group, of course, like this whole area, the
the external obliques.
And allow that to help you take this in. Now we don't
see the other ASIS but we can
imagine where it is. It's somewhere in there. So this is a very important overlap
and if we know that the origin of this form is inside
this overlap is very obviously one.
And then we can take the sartorius
in there and bring out the rectus
See so I'm working
one side here. So that whole principle of working on both sides of the
form is very important. But the idea is
that we need to
use those overlaps to take us across.
If you weren't using the overlaps to such an extent
then you need the -
to work both sides
of the form at the same time. So where we have
the ribcage and we can take the
obliques in there
and bring them out and hit the pelvis and you
see I'm just applying a little more pressure on the pencil,
where we do encounter a clearer
anatomical - skeletal rather - landmark. All of it's an anatomical
And overlaps everywhere right. So - and an overlap
is just simply the angle that you
are shooing one form laid on top of another.
Okay so we can even see
this right here. Let's take the sternum up and follow
the line and remember even if you don't see
the entirety of the clavicle, follow that line
all the way. That clavicle is going
to make or break the drawing.
And you can always tell
a good draftsman apart -
I like to think
if you're, like you can tell
them apart based on the clavicles. Now
of course if the clavicles are perfect and everything else is
incomprehensible then that's a major problem,
usually I think if the clavicles are
properly constructed and someone is thinking about them as a
skeletal element, then they're thinking
of everything else as a skeletal element as well. We are
moved into the deltoid here.
I got that one on that side. It can follow along with the
with the biceps right here and even
a little bit of the brachialis.
And again, you know, and here standing up is important because
you want to step away and take a look and see where you're off and so on. Here this
overlap is nice because you get the ribcage followed by the
the muscles of the back, the
latissimus dorsi and the teres major moving
upwards towards their attachments.
And here we're going with the bicep right here. The
brachialis right there, the lateral -
actually here would probably be the long head on the contour but the main
mass there is the lateral
head of the triceps.
And then I'm just going to lock this
in. See I'm doing this without - this is a little closer, so just go
into it - olecranon
right here, that contour is formed by the
anconeus on top, which you can even isolate,
and follow it into the flexor
digitorum profundus and the
flexor carpi ulnaris
on that side. And then here we have the
brachial radialis, we have the head of the
ulna, we can move up to the hand,
and so on. So just gonna keep this as is right now.
Okay so just gonna go up with this arm. And, you know, I'm going
against a lot of things that I said. I tend to contradict myself a lot but
I'm going against the fact that I kind of
keeps saying that arms are not as important but, you know,
at the same time
you do have to kind of go off of the pose that you see
in front of you.
And that's a weird hand.
But if we add a little bit more structure to it I think we're alright.
So, I like where we are right now.
We can introduce some internal structures too. So our center
line is right here, we have the form of the ribcage right
there, the form of the
ribcage, we have the obliques,
we can take it across to the abdominal
and take it into the pubic symphasis, which begins us on our pelvis.
And nice we see the tensor
we see the gluteus medius, we see the gluteus maximus,
we see the sartorius. Remember you
want to see the sartorius. So, you probably noticed that this approach
has kind of moved on to become
a combination of our structural approach
where you're working in the boxes and then -
and then placing the anatomy on top. Here it's essentially
that part with the boxes in your head.
Vastus medialis, patella,
nice, the vastus lateralis right here
and you add the biceps femoris
and their attachment - long head, short head, that's why
it's plural - into the
head of the fibula. And
then we move it further back,
we see where we are. See so this is taking a long time but
there's a lot that's already happening here. So this
is wonderful practice and this is mostly the way that I
draw, though I change up the approach. And you see that
we're not going to be using this kind of approach
when we work on the longer drawing.
Mainly because I do want to show you the way that
I worked in school,
the particular process used, which I
think really helped me to understand
these principles that I'm showing you right now. And so the way that I worked in school,
the way that you see in front
of me, the drawings that I did do in school, and
that is the - and the approach there is a little more painterly,
a little more organic but it sort of allows you to really
figure out these anatomical structures more
organically. So - though of course I practiced these things here.
But at the same time I kind of learned
and improved the things that I am
showing you here with the boxes and the contours and all that
essentially after I learned to draw the way that I did in school.
But I would like to show you this in advance.
So I've inverted the sort of
order of education here in a way, of my personal education,
because I think it's nice to be aware of
what it -
of what you sort of arrive at.
And the head I'm not too concerned but
we can get a little bit in there. Remember think of the skull.
And let's place that center line.
Okay but we do have the cane here which is
supporting the weight so we can't entirely avoid it so we need to show it.
So assuming you got up to here.
The same thing now you could approach like with the same
attitude, the same mindset, the terminator.
And you can see it right here and
the important thing is the softness and hardness because it's not all terminator,
in some case it's terminator, in some case it's cast shadow, so that softness and hardness of
edge but also particular overlap where you really do
overlap is usually that move from that softer edge of the terminator
into the harder edge of the cast shadow.
But those overlaps are going to give you a lot so
So here we have some of these terminator lines
and we're going to extend them even further into half tones.
And where we do - right here.
And here I'm breaking up the
approach a bit because clearly I'm working the shadows
before moving on to half tones and all that stuff. And here just
kind of follow that line. See so I'm taking the shape
of the shadow - at the same time I'm never forgetting why something is happening.
And the cast shadow onto the
neck which I'm going to move slightly to open it up a little bit more.
And then make sure to establish these contours
of the cast shadow that give you the form.
Alright so we're getting a little bit closer. And there's some proportional issues here
like this seems too long to me and so on but
we're gonna ignore them. They're not that bad.
Core shadow, cast shadow, just place it.
Little bit of something that may appear as a shadow.
A bit of that
core shadow. Core shadow right there.
Awesome. So now to move -
and I know this is sort of half tone but I'm going to
place it and then this
necessarily has to continue the general curvature of the
ribcage. And then some
the shadows here but we don't want them too
heavy because we don't want to emphasize that arm.
And let's continue down here where you can really see that form of the
gluteus medius, making that side plane before you hit the
trochanter back in there. So you might even want to place that mark
of the trochanter. And enter into there. So
we're down here, we're good. Cast shadow onto the calf
including core shadow on the lower leg.
And a little bit on the knee here.
And then the shadows
adductor group. And we're gonna take this all the way back and we're not going to make
that leg prominent really. Now
I do this again - and I mean this is me actually
being a hypocrite and I do always tell my students in class make sure you have the plane of the
the floor and what not but I don't and I put it in later.
So I'm sorry for that but -
and so now we have pretty much our placement of shadows
and we can actually work
to get some of these constructions inside. And once you get a little bit of them in,
start to sort of to see
what's happening in terms of the half tones that
are describing these forms. And like, you know,
go follow along the form and use
these half tones and some
sometimes even break these things up.
a plane that moves upwards and then we have that - so everything from this
point can actually begin to tone away a little bit. So
I'm working on small half tones in a lot of these places but
also large ones. So in some cases these half tones
are describing the
way the light hits smaller areas,
particulars. And other times like here, I'm just showing
the general fading of the light
And then, to make sure - and see
the amount of time that we have we can do
something that can really either
stand and be a beginning of a drawing or
stand alone as sort of a completed sketch. And honestly
there's sort of, there isn't much of a difference.
I don't subscribe to this idea
that you have to sketch in a different way that you draw in order to
speed things up when you don't have a lot of time
you don't have to speed anything up you just have to
build up speed with practice
and it'll happen. And so
I think that's okay. I think
we can now move on to approaches that deal with
the tone more directly and immediately.
take this one step further, put it all together
and see what we can do using
I'm - yeah.
I guess we can have a twist maybe of some sort, something.
Perfect. Okay so
let's put all this together
from a tonal perspective.
This will take - I'm using a soft piece of charcoal
here because it's just quicker. And I'm going to actually begin
with the terminator
but also introduce contour quite quickly. And
where I need the contour on the other side, I actually introduce a tone for the
background as well. See so it's sort of
a little more optical straight away but I'm still thinking in the
those structures that we spoke about. So here we can just
block in a tone and then make sure to
figure out where some of these forms are with the tones
of the background.
So you just kind of move around the contour, it's a little bit quicker, it's a little
more organic. And here
we're going to use our hands a little bit more. See so
I'm kind of working these areas
of the shadows but interestingly enough -
and the eraser comes in handy here too yes, so
we can use the eraser to carve and the tone.
And it's a little quicker and this is even closer to the way
that we're going to be working on the longer
See so you can put the charcoal on its side
but then don't forget, you do want to still figure out what those
internal structures are. So it's a combination of all
of this. We're just putting it all
together a bit.
And this is still a quicker pose
a short pose and you can almost begin
a lot of this with the terminator and then build the contours on top
And then you do in some places actually want to follow with the contour,
possibly some overlaps. It's a little bit
harder to figure out what the overlaps are when you're working with a softer medium. Right away rather.
You still need to.
And sometimes this tone does become
And then you can just take the background
into the -
into the shadows.
within the forms.
And then even working in this sort of
the purpose here is to create a little more atmosphere so
we have our nude on the page
but then you're working tonally
so then you immediately start to place
some of these half tones and
use the cast shadows here because the cast shadows are really going to create that bit of
feeling for where you have your main areas of light.
And then reintroduce your shadows as well.
In some places
so there are harder edges here and
the eraser, in this case, as a powerful tool
And there goes that contour again since we're trying to use it. So here
I'm going to place the form of the -
the particular structure of the
podium sooner because I need it there sooner
because I'm concerned more with atmosphere than anything else. So here
we're gonna go over that terminator again.
And that contour -
and find that contour. And everything can move a little bit quicker here
because you have more options as to how to
figure out and accentuate what's going on.
Here I am going to rely on a stronger contour, like a more clear
contour but yet not make it too accented.
And then I'm going to correct it because that was slightly off.
And sort of a
allow in this case your shadows to eat up
the figure, to swallow the contours up so that you don't really
see them anymore. And then here we do a similar
thing, we need that arm but it's
but the approach allows us to push the background
into a darker value. So
this is closer to the way that we will be
working on the long pose except that we're not
gonna be worried with the - we're not gonna really use the tone of the
background as much so I'm going
to demonstrate that after we
And then we can get into the specifics of the
anatomy. And for this
you might wanna switch to something like a charcoal pencil
assuming that you're using
because it gives you a little bit more control and allows you to sort of
to work a little bit more on some of these half tones and
smaller areas of shadow.
I actually have to enlarge the ribcage here so
we kind of established where our
main shadows are pretty
So now we can - if you have the
tie, if the pose is long enough and if you're quick enough
then you can take this to a different, sort of,
level of completion every time. And I assure you the more you
practice this the more time you'll have.
But so -
but I'd like to
show this approach utilizing these elements
background because I think it places this whole idea of tonality into a clearer -
into sort of a more proper perspective. And here I'm just going to correct
Because if you're thinking of the tone of
the background, you're also thinking,
you're kind of thinking in tone in general.
So this is kind of a step
to the approach we'll be
working in for the - our
And see here I'm beginning to get into the
tone of the front plane of the ribcage, pectoralis there,
tones of the abdomen
I'm gonna have to carve this in. So also this approach allows for
constant correction. And the idea here - and something
that we'll explore a lot - is
how you're always making
modifications as you go.
I'm going to reintroduce some of these shadows.
See and that shadow just swallowed up the leg there.
I try to
do a little bit more of that,
see so there's a little more atmosphere
because the background is sort of
an integral part of -
of this process.
And your accents are still
going to be where you need them. Now if you didn't have a background
you can show this with line or contrast. But because we do
we just use the background.
Sort of creating that side plane but then softening it with the eraser
and then reintroducing that
shadow and the half tone. So I'm doing them both sort of at the same time
because I'm following that shadow
into there so
just gonna add a little bit of the tone
down here, keeping it a little bit lighter so that we still see our
shadows as shadows.
And then I'm even hinting at the hand,
I also tend to crack,
if you haven't noticed, my vine charcoal when I use it.
Okay, so why don't we
move on and try
the same approach, thinking tonally, but without the use of a background.
Sort of bringing us closer -
bringing us closer
to our final project.
Okay. So let's bring this one step
closer to how we're going
to be working. So
now when it's smaller it's a little easier to kind of immediately
introduce the background.
So I'm using this piece of chalk kind of like
I use the
vine charcoal. So
do you see what's happening? I'm using - I'm working
in contours where I can
see them very clearly and where I would use -
and where I would use
the tone of the background to make them
more evident. See so
all that was done in contour. Now - and there's still a lot
of contours here but we can just get that half tone in right away.
That half tone of the arm there. Some of
the forms of the shadows there and to really get these
shadows as well as the shadows on the head and the
torso, introducing the contour on top
just like we did with the charcoal.
And so I do want
a little bit of placement on where he's
And we can move on and be a little more specific with some of
the tone here.
And here we're definitely using our hands.
And just laying in those
areas of shadow.
But also immediately getting into the half tones
based on your understanding of the construction of these areas.
And carving out the specifics
and the shapes of some of these shadows with the eraser.
But also, always try to see what's happening
with the -
the underlying anatomical forms.
carving out becomes one of our
our main tools that we can use.
And so clearly you see by now
there are many, many approaches that can combine
all of -
all of the ones that I have
And in certain places you work in line and in others you work
a little more tonally, but the most important aspect
of these things is that you kind of - you go
what's easiest. So if you can perceive
a specific element, you have to
figure what's the most sort of obvious
and easiest way to put it down on paper correctly.
Now, there's of course a caveat
and that in your sort of artistic
experiments in the future or even now
going to have to keep all of this in mind because chances are
you want to go against
what I just told you to do.
So the idea is that you are going to
purposefully work in a way that's counter
intuitive. Now in order for it to be counterintuitive
it has to be intuitive to begin with. So that's the part that we're practicing
right now because
those things that are counter intuitive, those
moments where you
where you are -
where you are kind of unclear
about how to move on. That's where
a lot of the art is. The aspect
all of this that I kind of consider the
the core of all of this
but that's just of course an idea of mine but I tend to think that as soon as you kind of have
an understanding of
a particular concept, it's time to move on
and I'm not saying that you ever really have a full understanding
of a concept but you have to find a way to build
on top of it. And so you can't ever be
with your achievements. That's all I'm
saying. That you're - that even once you've learned
all of this stuff that I'm talking about
you see that
that's when things are really
Often the hard part is not your education, the hard part
is what to do with it.
So see there is of course
like hints at a background here
but because there isn't a background, this
allows me to sort of change the tonal structure
of what we have here. And by that I mean you can see that I'm able to sort of
push the half tones inside a bit more
and things are gonna move
So I'm able to...
So if I were to introduce
a background here,
let's say in this area,
the hard part would be making it a dark enough
tone that I'm able to read this entire area as
an area that's not in shadow, that's -
and for that the background would have to become quite
heavy, as we saw. And
even at the point will end up
slightly with a tonal structure
in general that's slightly confused. And so we don't want that.
So instead, by not working the background
a lot, we're kind of
creating a tonal structure that focuses on the
figure. And this is quite
important because this allows us to work
the half tones kind of aggressively.
in order -
in order to -
to focus primarily on the anatomical structure
which is what we have been talking about this whole time
and this is why this is the particular approach
that we're going to be using to do the
the final project.
And also you can see
it's a little more - it's sort of got - you have a bunch of
room to make changes and
then and like think about your outlines and overlaps
and your structure as you go. So in essence it's a little easier.
Though it might look a little harder, mainly because it's not as
controlled. But you see that
you can really have an an understanding of the control
you need when you
spend some time with this particular approach.
So I just wanted to give you a
heads up here.
And let you practice this
a bit before we move on.
And see it allows me to really get into
the anatomical particulars, even in
a sketch like the one I have here
which is sort of loose and kind of half optical,
half constructed. There's a lot happening here but it's all
essentially this approach here, it's kind of a
combination of everything we've been talking about.
Which is why
this is the one to practice
before we get
started. Even though we are going to do
a slightly longer
in which we'll be able to
analyze the structures of the back
while at the
same time putting into practice all that we've covered
about the different ways
that you can use to sketch
the model from life.
And here we can get into those
internal overlaps to really understand what's happening. Sartorius,
adductor group, adductor longus, the gracilis.
The vastus medialus,
vastus lateralis and the wonderful overlap here of the
common tendon of the quadriceps. So those overlap
apply here. All these approaches, they're
are used at the same time.
we can also think tonally with the eraser
by just carving out large areas
Including our highlights. And then
we can go back in with our chalk.
To make those accents really read.
kind of have an interesting combination of contour
and flat areas
of tone as well as
sort of highlight developed half tones.
And then using
some of those cast shadows to describe the forms
all of this comes into play.
assignment, you're going to be doing a lot of sketching.
Using the provided photographs of Mark or the photographs
on the images area of the New Masters Academy website, you're going to
practice the things covered in this lesson. Remember
to pay particular attention to the goal of each
drawing. Begin by thinking in
box structures and start by doing 15 five-minute poses
working to establish the big box forms in space.
Then do ten ten-minute poses, working into the
big box forms and adding more specific anatomical elements,
and conclude by doing five 20-minute poses, adding
shadows into your anatomical constructions.
Afterwards, thinking exclusively in line,
start by doing 15 five-minute poses in contour
only, making sure though to treat every anatomical
element from both sides before moving on.
Then do ten ten-minute poses in
contour but paying particular attention to the overlaps
along that contour. Then conclude
this portion of your exercises by doing five
20-minute poses, adding a terminator line and shadows
to your drawings. And finally,
thinking tonally, draw five
twenty minute poses utilizing the tonal
approach covered in this lesson and conclude
by doing ten 20-minute poses of combined approaches
working in line, working in tone, constructing
into them, to end up with a more or less completed
sketch from a nude model.
Free to try
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
29s2. Introduction to Quick Pose Demonstrations
44m 23s3 - Quick Poses with Simplified Construction
37m 21s4 - Quick Poses with Focus on Contour & Line
15m 22s5 - Quick Poses with Focus on Direct Tone
16m 9s6 - Quick Poses Combining Contour & Tone
2m 8s7. Introduction to Quick Pose Demonstrations