- Lesson Details
In this lesson, instructor Steve Huston will begin with a lecture on how to simplify the concept of light hitting the figure, as well as how to render it on your drawing. After, Steve will teach you how to attach the shoulder girdle to the torso. You will learn how the torso reacts to shoulder and arm moving in various positions.
This lesson belongs to the course Art Anatomy for Beginners. In this 6-week course, renowned painter Steve Huston will provide you an introduction to human anatomy. You will study how he uses the perspective of aesthetics and mechanics of motion, to deconstruct the anatomy of a human figure. You will learn how to simplify the structures of the figure, in order to create compelling and effective drawings. Following the traditional approach of historic drafts persons like George Bridgman and Burne Hogarth, this course will provide you a concrete foundation of anatomy, tailored specifically for artists.
Throughout this course, you’ll have access to the NMA community for feedback and critiques to improve your work as you progress.
Transcription not available.
then that shoulder blade at some point soon, if not already,
is going to start to turn and eventually it's going to come
and have that shoulder shoulder blade unit that we talked about
yesterday. Like that. Now if you don't turn that, you destroyed
the structure because the body, the body doesn't have a
choice. If that arm goes up a certain length, to a certain
position, that shoulder blade had to follow and if you
don't follow that yeah, you've broken the arm, you've
dislocated that joint.
And so it's not going to work. So you've got - the fact is that
mechanically the only way the arm can articulate in
those wild positions is by that rotation of the shoulder blade.
If you don't show that shoulder shoulder blade unit, you're
doing something that's not going to ring true. Having said
that you can also,
rather than describing that structural truth, you can edit
So there's no reason you have to show that. It could just be
like that and again someone like Ingres would edit it out or
play it way way down. Ingres you don't even see collarbones, a
lot of high Renaissance painters, specially in women,
there wouldn't be any collarbone. No clavicle there.
The proportions would be crazy, there would be additional length
built in. If it's Michelangelo's extra muscles, we'll deal with
all that stuff or some of that stuff tomorrow.
Or there might be the barest hint of it.
So that might be the only thing you show the shoulder blade,
everything else you really want to get as down to the hips
say. So maybe we will play up the latissimus. We will play up
We'll play up some of the rib cage structures in there, but
the shoulder blade we'll leave out or play way down.
the shape and we're not in that in that sense worried about the
anatomy. So when we start working with this anatomical
stuff, I'm going to lay in the figure the same way. I would
always lay in the figure and then we'll apply our knowledge
to that and try and make that lay in more sophisticated, on the
targeted to that.
That's what we're trying to get.
So we start there and then we can build
all that construction, there's a skull cap, the
face, so I can make all that kind of stuff. As
always I want to get enough structure.
And what enough is is a very fluid concept. Enough for you
might be different than enough for me. And also depending on
audience, feel like they have to add a little bit more
one group more than
And so we build on out. out.
All right, so I'm going to go ahead and start right in on
some of the basic anatomy. Now I want to use anatomy to help
understand the structure. I think we'll leave the head out
Just work on the body. We're just not going to be able to do everything in these
three short days together.
So we start with that neck
where we have the wind pipe coming down in center, but
what I'm going to really focus on is is the sternocleidomastoid
muscles and they go from behind the ear
and pull right down to the pit of the neck.
Pit of the neck is a key landmark of the body because
it's where the head and neck ends and where the torso begins and is where the Torso begins and
it's how we connect the arms to the shoulders
under the Torso. So it is a nexus for all of our most
important upper body structures.
So that pit of the neck is actually where the clavicles, collarbone,
comes together and they get down and they sit right on the
Sternum looks a little bit like the [indistinct].
There's the trapezius, the shrugging muscles.
When they contract it brings the shoulder up
this way. Sternocleidomastoid. You can either draw the front
of it or the back of it or both for the construction. That's
right down here and it helps really to reinforce beautifully
that pit of the neck there.
So we have this tubular structure. Notice now this
is going to break inside
and move from the ear into the center line of the neck. Not the center line of the
face because the face is turning off.
It could be
and we see it again over here and so we have that
working across the
As opposed to going straight down, the axis. So always
pay attention when you choose a muscle to work on. Is it
going down the axis of the bigger structure or is it going
Make a big difference. Gonna have to go back to the erector
muscles of the head and the trapezius to get the full tube.
Now let's just come down here and this look a little bit at the
of the shoulder girdle. Shoulder girdle is defined by the
clavicle, starts at the pit of the neck, collar bone, clavical,
comes over, ends at the called the shoulder point.
That's also the end of the scapula, the shoulder blade in back.
The deltoid, the shoulder muscle, attaches to that.
Always draw the gesture and the structure first
and build the anatomy on it.
Deltoid attaches right here
off the end. It can be all the way into about a third -
outer third of that
collarbone. It comes over to the outside of the arm.
Deltoid comes to the outside of the arm. It's a
delta shape in theory. And so that's where the name comes
from. But often it's just easier to do an egg shape. Front
view I often times do this kind of wandering teardrop and
what that does - anytime you have an s-curve, s-curve just so
valuable because they're very fluid so they suggest that gestural
that living life-like idea. They can lay over a
three-dimensional structure very nicely.
They can track that three-dimensional idea.
And they can take us from one structure to the other through
the gestural idea. So we're on the deltoid and then the
deltoid is being affected by and flowing over the bicep.
Bicep's down here. We'll leave that for another
drawing. And it actually splits the bicep from the tricep
as we'll find. I'll give a little more tricep there so you
can see it. It splits it
in half and attaches way down much farther than visually
seeing, the bicep tricep build up on it, but actually catch attaches
about halfway down the humerus, the upper arm bone.
The bones in here.
In verses in here.
In the head, we have a little connection this way, similar to
the greater trochanter. When I get up there I'll show you a
little bit of comparative anatomy between legs and arms,
very close structurally excellent, fits in there. Deltoid
goes over then attaches down here.
The chest has a little gap somewhere in here, wherever you wanna
end the deltoid. The chest attaches here. There's a gap
And then that comes over and attaches all the way over here.
Like so. Attaches here, attaches here, attaches here, and then
we have a secondary structure coming this way.
We have time I'll show you how that affects and what it
articulates. The nipple would be here if it's a female, of
course, the fatty tissue of the breast would lay
over the top and it's a - depending on how full the
breast form is, it can move the nipple
because of the volume of that form, can move. So the female
has of course the same musculature, the same muscle as
the male. Proportions can be different and we collect fat
deposits differently between the sexes too so we have that
fatty deposit and glands and such for the breast.
But all of this is going over the arm,
over the bicep and under the deltoid. Deltoid on top, chest on
top, and the upper
packets on top of the lower. So these are each underneath. This
is on top of that. This is on top of that. This is some type
of that that's on top of that.
Breast goes over the whole thing. All of this attaches out
here. This comes over the top, attaches down there.
When we attach the other side you can see how that clavicle or
that sternum gets -
and you can actually see sometimes the attachment bumps
like this. We saw that yesterday with our terrific model
yesterday, see how the packets of fibers, tons of
fibers in here doing this. When they can contract they pull that
arm into a hugging position.
So the deltoid basically stabilizes the arm, puts it in
the position needs to do do the work but has very little
strength on its own. You can pick up 20, 30 pounds with that
unless you really work at it and you can get a little bit
more but you can't pick up much. It's a small muscle it's way
on a long lever we call the arm. The
effort is way back here. So to move any kind of load way out
there, we have very little distance here.
And so that ruins our leverage. Ideally we want the leverage to
outside over here, pushing this down the fulcrum here and then
this part to be really long and then that allows us to move
great weight with little effort.
Shoulder, there's a
lateral muscle it's mainly on the side.
Puts the arm into position, lifts it up and then the
shoulder makes it hug or lifts it up and the latissimus make
it yawn or makes it pull the kitty out of the tree.
And there's our rib cage underneath and again notice how
the beautiful structure of the neck with all those
fibers, cable muscles basically supporting that head
move beautifully into the rib cage and we can feel through
and so what I like to do is think of the
collarbone, the deltoid shoulders, the pectoralis
with or without the pit of the neck. I think of that is a that, I think of that is a
football player shoulder pads and then in back the trapezius
and we'll see the rest of it, the shoulder blades and that the shoulder blades and
all that stuff. That's all shoulder girdle and think of
that as a football player shoulder pads and the neck, the
coke bottle of the neck and the rib cage,
fits under that and this can move
completely independently of the rib cage. You can articulate all
sorts of things.
And the rib cage doesn't have to move at all.
And so we want to feel that this whole structure is a unit
that works together. Although this site can work
independently of that side, but the whole structure is on top
of and separate from in that sense, from the rib cage and
works independently of the rib cage. So you need to draw that
as a unique structure, that shoulder girdle as a unique
structure that affixes and articulates the arms in these
wonderful ways and then it's supported by the rib cage but
is not dependent in terms of motion at all on the rib
So if we come over here, now notice if I draw the breast
the axis of that egg is going up and in and that's what we
want our construction lines to do. We want the construction
lines in this case
and then the constructed detail in this case to be higher at or
near the center and lower at or near the sides. dornier the sides.
So by laying the egg of the breast this way, the axis of it
is supporting that proposition.
Here, we'll leave the
Here's the fibers here coming up, now this lifts up, collarbone lifts
tricep binds up.
The deltoid, as we found yesterday,
moved around behind and what I think of that is hanging
on the wall, and if you hang your towel over it, you can
take a shower at the gym or something.
Then it hangs over that, it drapes over that.
And right here.
And there it is. There's the deltoid raking over that. So
wherever in this case it's the
deltoid goes behind, wherever the deltoid goes
the chest follows.
Now look at my wobbles here. Comes down. This is afixed to
the rib cage. It's not going anywhere. But this is going
And we'll see a little bump. This is grouping those upper
fibers. That's on top of that, that's on top of that, that's on top
of that. And this is the pectoralis major and minor. The
nipple can get dragged up higher.
So instead of being right on the construction line, a highly
articulated arm might drag that nipple up hight, it may or may not
There goes out of that.
There's that arm there.
Now see that wobble there? That suggests the separation of the
pectoralis major group more or less accurately, a little bit less accurately but
gets the idea, but also look at what it does. Rather than just
going up and looping over like just the towel rack.
And let's do this a little more carefully. So it looks a little
more accurate, by wobbling we're settling down coming off the
clavicle, rising up going on to the bulging deltoid. We're
going from bone more or less with flesh against over bone,
the muscle. Notice when I wobble it can be a little visual clue
to the audience that something has ended, something else has
begun and the wobble can be any way you want it to be, a little
hook. Can actually be a little glued on mark, a little darker
accent, but that tells us something stopped visually and
something new has begun and you may or may not see it described
by me as the artist but the audience understands that. The
incarnation of that maybe is the armpit. We've got the arm
coming up and you might have a just a little wobble there.
Where it meets the chest or pinches against the armpit, just
that wobble off the bicep tells us the tube of the arm is ended
and that shoulder girdle stuff has begun. I may or may not
have time or interest in articulating. So here I've got
a wobble down here and that shows me the separations of
pectoralis major to minor, but also we're coming off the tube
tube of the arm and going back onto the fan shape
of the chest. So those wobbles are valuable, but it really
does make you look smarter than you really are.
After all be honest, we're artists, how smart can
So when we wobble we're saying the world is very
full of complexity and look at all this other stuff
that's there and frankly I don't have the talent to show
you. I'm joking on that.
What we're really saying is that I'm editing out, let's put a good
face on it. I'm such an aesthetic powerhouse that I'm
leaving out these little details so that you understand the
importance of this big detail or frankly they didn't pay me enough
money to put that little stuff in so I'm not giving it to you.
So any one of those reasons.
And then the latissimus also attaches but on the back side,
so we will see a little bit of latissimus dorsi side over
here let's say and when you do the latissimus,
you always make it blue.
And there might be a little better latissimus showing over
there. Or if it's the Incredible Hulk there might be a lot of
latissimus over there. But we feel that behind this now keep
in mind one of the fundamental truths of life
is you can't have it all.
And specifically for us that means when you look at any
particular structure the best you're going to see is half of
it. You might see the back but then you won't see the front,
you might see the top but then you won't see the bottom.
And if you have something blocking it,
then you're not even going to see half of it. So how do you get
the idea across to your audience that even though
they're seeing a partial view, there's a complete full form.
The first way you do it is these construction lines.
A construction line is telling you that okay, you only see
this much of the rib cage, but dot dot dot dot dot through
you can feel the other side. The line ends here,
the line ends here
but it -
there's a visual momentum, there's a concept that continues on that
we haven't seen because it's blocked or we feel. So that's
one of those more valuable tools of the functions
of our construction lines is they show not only the orientation
of the perspective form and the character of that form, but
they show the completion of the form, the implied completion of
the form that we cannot see.
We can also feel that through overlaps. We can't see very
much of the latissimus, but by picking up a little bit over
here we get the sense - or not the sense - we see that it's
interrupted by the chest and the rib cage and that the
implication is and our knowledge, which is quite
extensive for any viewer, they know a lot more than they
realize because they've been looking at bodies all their
lives too, they just haven't been drawing them. There's a lot more too beyond
that and they can visualize that and they can visualize
that especially if you show it popping out one side and the
other. Notice I showed a little bit on this other side and I
could have showed a lot on that other side and then they feel
that completion even if you don't make it blue, but like I
said, you have to make it blue.
So try not to make it blue and if we could see it in
this view, we actually wouldn't see it but let's pretend we could.
If you can see a little bit of the shoulder,
the deltoid dot dot dot, coming over here. That's a dot dot dot
and here that also would add to that illusion.
So in other words when we get this kind of constructed truth
I want to make sure the construction line or the
construction detail doesn't doesn't dead end into the side but
blends, curves, rolls into the side and that is what it that
is what creates that illusio. If it dead-ends in the side if it dead-ends in the side.
it's like stepping on the roll of toilet paper.
Pinches it. We want to feel it wrap around fully with the
volume there. And likewise if we get an interruption in some
way, it's lovely to see that continue on in some manner or
On the other side we can't always do it.
Let's look at the back view.
arms and the shoulder girdle structure can work
from each other and of course independently
from the rib cage
So we've got the spine coming down here.
Got that lovely concavity between the spine in the center and the
erector muscle group.
The spine it's like two cables.
And that holds up - helps to hold up the torso in
here. So we'll often times see them structured out with a
little bit of tonal change or dhadow shapes even pulling
down there, but we want to work up here. But at the moment now
this arm is down. There's the shoulder line, there's the shrugging
muscle, the trapezius dropping down here and this is its
simplest incarnation. This is the sagging triangle that sits on
top of the shoulder line. That's just a
of a constructed idea rather than the actual anatomical
truth, it the hints at that.
This arm comes back and blocks our full view of that rib cage.
We'll draw a little bit later.
If I wobble or bend or accent some way that tells me that the
tube of the arm has ended and the shoulder girdle has begun,
even if I end up not doing any more detail at the shoulder
girdle, but let's go ahead and do something. Here's the
Shoulder blade - the shoulder blade comes down more or less
parallel to the spine. This arm is coming back towards us and
coming in a little bit. And so it's binding up the stuff that's
getting squished together. We're getting that compression
there. So we're going to get the zigzag information because these
little forms, teres major and minor all that kind of stuff will
show a little bit of that stuff on the other side,
they're fighting for their own identity.
And so they're separating away.
Let's just draw what we see here. Then I'll explain it.
Okay, that's more or less what we see here is the shoulder
blade here and notice it drops down. The spine of the shoulder
blade drops down this way,
Ccomes up and helps to create the shoulder point. We'll see
some little bump or wobble in one manner or another and
that's where the deltoid, the shoulder, attaches is the rear
deltoid in here.
It's shown by that slightly darker half tone in this
case, comes down here and attaches way down here. his way down here.
We'll only see usually about this much of it.
The shoulder blade sits here and it's got this bottom to the
blade and it comes up here. It's a triangle. It's very similar to
the lay in I use for a profile of the head. That's a simple
construction of it.
We often times
or we don't better put it, we don't often see that bottom but
it can pop out as we saw when our
model scratched his back yesterday, but generally that
disappears under the press of material, latissimus and other
stuff there, but
again the spine flies out this way. We've got a flies out this way. We've got a
little blade that sticks up here that gets that disappears.
attaches here and fills in that whole shelf,
spills over the shelf
and comes on down in a
diamond shape, in this case we'll do half a diamond. you have the diamond?
Comes right there and we see that right here, that little tone
that we saw here. Then this pulls on down, attaches in here.
This disappeared because of the shoulder blade fighting against
the erector group. That's underneath that trapezius.
Trapezius thins out quite a bit
on most models. Sometimes it will get well built with a
bodybuilder, athletic type and it'll pop out. In general it
disappears, comes off this.
And then we have the teres major that fills in here, comes
over, and attaches and helps to hold that
upper arm bone, the humerus, into its little shallow ball and
socket joint and then as we found yesterday this whole
structure articulates in a wonderful way, rotates so that
we can move that arm way up in those tree swinging positions.
So it fits in there.
Fibers go this way but this is again a classic teardrop
shape, but it builds up fatter or thicker. too thicker.
We have other little muscles in there, teres minor, infraspinatus,
and that's what's creating this little lump grouping here. Teres
major and then take it over there. Although it's binding up,
getting lost in the pinch there. I'll make this stronger.
Fix in there.
Notice when I start making each equally important
then it starts - the anatomy starts to overwhelm the
So we're going to want to work on that carefully tomorrow, but
one or two anatomical ideas.
Maybe I'm just going to pick up this much of the trapezius and
then let it fade away and disappear.
Comes off the spine, maybe I'l do a little little S curve. Comes off the
spine into the meat of the muscle and then it's going to
go down attach way down the middle of the back, but it's
going to fade out and be that much.
These forms because of this we have - notice what we have
competing interests here is often times it's the case. We
have all these various shapes making their attachments,
helping with the articulation, and then we have the flesh
acting in a stretching in a beanbag fashion, a stretching
and pinching dynamic.
And they're often times competing. The muscles are going
one way, but the binding up of those groups are going another.
teres major is going this way off axis from the low blade to the
highest shoulder and arm bone, but the
binding of that information, because of that arm,
moving back into, intruding into the rib cage
as it swings this way binds in and we're going to get
bulk of that stuff binding up, again like our spare tire - or
our spare tire or garden hose idea.
Make it really simple.
If you're going to have structure versus gesture
and something has to suffer, let the structures suffer and play
up the gesture.
If you're going to have something suffer, structure or
gesture or structure and gesture or anatomy, muscle
connections, insertions, and origins,
let the anatomy suffer.
So when in doubt get rid of that stuff.
So we don't have to have the anatomy. What we can do is we
can take the muscle or the bone and find hints of it.
And that's going to give an understanding of why the shape
is the way it is.
Or as we'll see here, it's going to help the connection to
For example here
I knew enough of that teres major
to allow that to be a bigger deal than it was on the model
and now we feel the volume of that attaching muscle.
And structurally and gesturally it gives that upper arm a much gives that upper arm a much
better connection than I would have had without it. If I just
observed and dealt with structure and gesture alone I
would have done that maybe a wobble but here I can play that
up and show that that teres major is coming over the top of
and fit it in there. And if I knew something of the tricep
I'd know that that little core shadow should wobble.
Should wobble a little bit and that contour
should wobble a little bit to show the three heads of the - or
two of the invisible hands of the tricep.
So it gives credence to, gives excuses for, and gives
possibilities around our great two ideas. So it's going to
support our structure and gesture only do it right. So
now by picking out that teres major, separating it from the
infraspinatus and the
trapezius and having that then played down,
down across the latissimus. I've got a really powerful
pinching them connection between arm, back structures,
shoulder girdle structures, and rig rib cage underneath.
And look at the wonder of that zigzag. Isn't that a fun way zero zigzag in that a fun way
to get over to that spine. Zigzags give you a really fun
or dynamic or aggressive ride to the next thing. It's a great
pathway, really energetic. It's good drama in terms of
storytelling. Whereas the S curve is more graceful, but
it's kind of lazy too and it can be kind of a little boring. So
if you want to juice it up, get an action set piece, zigzags
We can play those out and notice it acts
that arm articulates
in all sorts of different positions
that would then move,
articulates beautifully off that shoulder girdle. So notice
this whole shoulder, shoulder blade unit is on top of the
particulate and this independently of the rib cage. And
notice too with all of the stuff we did to it, it's still
primarily a triangle.
That's its characteristic shape. We might lose one plane
of - one side of the triangle but there's still a triangle there.
And you can just use a shoulder point as the general connection
I know let me - let's just draw the contour here and draw some
So notice when I'm
working in the shoulder girdle area, it's probably - it's not
every time but most the time - it's probably going to be a
mistake if I can't take half of the shoulder line and the
armpit area and make a triangle out of it. That should always
end up - not always but almost always - end up in some kind of
triangular design despite the lumps and the bumps and the
overlaps and then we have if we come up here,
this is the trapezius again binding up a little bit because
it's shrugging a little bit because that arm's swinging up. We
get a little bit of bind so it bulges, it's working hard and
that means it separates, it's fighting against those other
forms. So we're just seeing that much of it. And it blends
off this way and then separates down again
and now we're seeing a little bit more of it.
And then it poops out.
So there is it binding up there, the meat of that is along the
spine, that's where it's showing its feistiest character.
Here's the deltoid. Now if I add a bump here that's telling me
that the deltoid has ended and the tricep begins. That bump
may be part of an overlap or an interlock, but those wobbles
are wonderful things. They are going to suggest all that anatom,y all
that gesture infrastructure, all the complexity or some of the
complexity of life
with very little work on our part.
So there we have it there. This is the latissimus dorsi
that we haven't studied carefully yet.
Here's a little bit of the blade of the shoulder blade, the
bottom corner that we oftentimes don't get to see
because that arm's going back, not going back and in, its going
back and starting to separate a little bit the way it did when
our fellow scratched his back yesterday. So there's the
shoulder blade here.
The blade will make it do that. So we have a thickness there.
Gets squished in foreshortened perspective and it's coming
through and hinting at all those others, infraspinatus
and teres majors over here.
The rest of this
all in here
this is a great here. All of this is deltoid.
So now I can let this wobble knowing that I'm showing the
muscle structure on that shoulder
blade. And I can let this wobble knowing I'm getting this
relaxed, sagging, getting into gravity.
This some what collapsed latissimus and then the erector
muscles of the spine that are working hard to keep her in
that lovely posture, that upright posture, this way.
Gravity wants to pull her over this way. She's fighting
against it that way. So now that's working hard and that's
pulling this way. So notice if I want a muscle form
to feel like it's relaxed,
it's going to sag, I want to sagging line.
If I want to show something as working,
it may wobble too, but the line needs to feel tension. that needs to feel 10 tension.
So when I draw this, it's a little bit of method acting, I want to feel
that stretch there, I want to feel that this is glued on and this
is getting pulled.
The rubber band is stretching and so any wobble in that is
going to be a fairly taught, tight wobble and will be
diminished. And I might even use
the line quality to show that, those tension points as it
This sagging line I might well make softer, make it kind of a
fuzzy line. It's not as distinct, the rubberband thins
as it expands.
let these characters happen. So if you know what's working and
relaxing, what muscles are working, that arm is not being pulled
down, it's being pulled up by the shoulder. And so the
yawning muscle that pulls down in back is relaxing.
The shoulder blade is a triangle. And so this whole
area here, despite all the details, still has to be quite
triangular in character.
And is it a lot of stuff isn't it?
So we can do it in stages.
One of the things you want to do is you want to practice things in
stages. Do a drawing where you're really focusing on
gesture. Do a drawing or drawings where you're really
focusing on structure. Do drawings where you're trying to
make them both work together.
Work it out step by step and then group a couple steps.
Get a really nicely structured drawing then lay some tracing
paper over it or put it in the computer on your iPad or
whatever and put a layer over it and draw. Oops screwed that up,
get rid of that layer put another layer, screwed that up
take that tracing paper off put more tracing paper. And
see if over that part I throat boy that one part. I
really did well, let's see if we can feel the shoulder blade
in there. Where's that traingular design? Where's that - triangular design. Whereas the
get out your anatomy book, have a few anatomy books to look to,
look for that teres major. Look for that trapezius.
Look for how those forms pinch into simple architectural
ideas, like the garden hose
or the sailboat sail idea. Have kind of - I like to have catchy
names for them so that we - so they're easier to remember.
And you can impose these things on there and you can say, oh that
was the shoulder blade and this was essentially pinching back
in and relaxing down, they bound up a little bit, garden hose style.
But also they sag down here until we got to this one.
Shoot I didn't make that tight enough. I made it too wobbly
and loose, the rubber band lost its tension here. Here I made it too
tight because I was thinking of this tension going across,
I didn't allow it to
sag out and wobble when it settled down.
There I can correct that. Notice how let's put this here,0 let's
say the shoulder blade here just for the heck of it.
this whole structure, can you take that whole area that you
focused on and conceive of it as an even bigger architectural
truth? That wine flask or not wine cask, wine keg idea. Only plasma Wine Keg idea
Notice the -
look at this. This is over here. Maybe we'll turn it that
way to pick up that idea.
This is stuff, here's the spine here. Let's say there is the spine
here. There's the trapezius.
Maybe that's the
shoulder blade that way.
So conceiving of it. Notice that all the way along we're taking
the information and we're
imposing an idea on it. It's a garden hose. It's a wine cask.
It's a sailboat shape. It's a teardrop shape. It's a rubber
band idea. It's sagging like a loose shirt falling out over -
spilling out over the belt.
We're imposing metaphors on it. Because it's relaxed it's going
to be a soft line. There's no truth to that. But it feels
like it could be a nice way of describing that. The form is
soft maybe the line is softening. The form is working
you clench your teeth hard, you draw the line hard. Or bone
comes to the surface. I make the bone sharper line, darker
accented, make the muscle a little softer. So it's it's all
about the ideas and then once that happens there's certain ideas
that will tend to ring true from our experience and our
connections. But also there's plenty of opportunities to
impose new ideas, new metaphors on top of that.
making it a glass-like surface, like say of the mirror would do
a Vermeer would do, anything that's in light that is visually closer to us I'm
going to make super thick paint. That was Rembrandt's
Or not total invention, but he exploited it like no other.
All right, so that's that.
Now let's look at the torso.
Okay, so notice how this whole - I'll do a
real quick one here -
but notice as I'm building this out and I might end up building
it of course
incredibly sophisticated and that just is a metaphor for
Incredibly sophisticated guy, who's a pig farmer.
But it's really just a bean bag.
And then we could think of that hip into that thigh in effect
as another little beanbag idea.
We'll stick a tube or a box out of it. So notice how we can
reduce the complexity of nature, all that muscle structure, bone
structure, laws of light, color theory,
depth of field, it's just a bean bag. And by reducing that
down you lose a tremendous amount of information possibly
but what you gain is clarity. And when you have clarity then
you've got the chance to commentate on that in a way
that quickly gets the idea across. It's a bean bag because
sometimes life works together and sometimes things in life
fight and break apart or
whatever. So and then the zigzags, the zigzag if we're
going to follow the formal, realistic theories of such, the
zigzags are both gestural and structural. So they're going to
show us how
two or more forms come together so we might get this flesh
And we might get the shadow shape or the tonal landscape
following that pinch and the more pinches I show off, the
more flamboyant, more zigzagging they are with all the possible
variations of that. Even the technique can be a zigzag. You
notice a hatch or a cross hatch or what's called in LA circles a
thunderbolt core shadow.
Those are all zigzagging techniques to talk about a zig
zagging structure and gestural truth. And so now my technique
reinforces that but you might be hanging around an area where
everybody does that. So you might want to go a different
way. You're going to reduce it down as, for example, Ingres did.
Quiet those pinching ideas as much as possible. So if the
whole - even though we're getting pinches and stretches, it's all
totally fluid, totally watery.
And simplify all the little forms that simplified so they
don't so interrupt or damage that fluid
great series of forms, the major parts. So there's all sorts of
possibilities there. So the zigzag notice,
that zig zag needs to track
more or less truthfully and better be more truthful than less - my
mother told me that -
prospective position of that form and over the character of
that form. So yeah, if you're going to use a zig zags,
you can't make them anything you want unless you're going to
break those realistic rules. They need to track over
that structure. But for example pen and ink artists or conte
chalk artists, the high Renaissance, they would build
up tones by hatches and each hatch would be a contour, a
simplified contour over that rounded usually structure.
Since the Renaissance they loved eggs for religious reasons.
Always rounded forms.
But if you go into American illustration and others, but
they're the most famous,
most obvious to me let's say I'm not sure if over in Europe they're
most famous, but we take some of those artists, say
Charles Dana Gibson.
Charles Dana Gibson, he would just hatch
and even though it was a round form he would just
hatch in that area and then he might hatch this way and this
way, to get kind of a
staccato or structured, faceted build. So he would not follow
the contour, he would just create the shadow shape through
hatches and get someone like Joseph Clement Cole and he'd go
crazy with that stuff and
all the sudden throw some little hatch in here for no reason
other than it looked cool and it did look cool, but it had
nothing to do with the form. So all things are possible there.
Just depends on your intentions.
light and shadow patterns on a gesture and structure? So I've
laid something in,
presumably the whole figure or whatever you're interested in
drawing. Let's say I've laid in the torso, that's going to be my
Okay, so there's my complete and careful lay in let's say.
And in theory, I could actually go ahead and render out the
contour if I wanted to.
The process, the order doesn't matter. I stress an order for
learning reasons. So it hopefully makes a little more
sense to you and we start to see the whys of things
but the audience doesn't know how you
got to where you got. When they look at that finished
drawing or that lovely sketch they just see the great looking
lines and if the tones, the great-looking tones, they
don't know what went first at all so they couldn't care less but
now I've got my basic construction or I've got my
beautiful linear finish and now I'm going to impose tones on
them. So I'll just come back now structure by structure and
I'll feel this rib cage and I can even draw back through and
add some information to help me clarify and understand what's
going on and there's an egg in there let's say.
If I need to I'll pull it out here. Michelangelo would do
that. And then the light source is coming this way.
So this would be the shadow shape on an egg,
if it was just an egg. So that should be pretty close to the
shadow shape on my torso. If I can see that as - that ribcage
as an egg and that is simple yet characteristic to the truth
of that rib cage then the shadow shape that I see on the
object in nature,
in real space and time should be very close to my conception
of the simple egg structured out by getting two sides of the
form shape of the shadow on the form.
So I go ahead and draw that and there I have it. Now I have another
little egg on top and this is why I only draw two sides and
not the whole leg and not the ends because the sides, notice
most of the body is made up of sides. There's very few ends
here and as we talked about yesterday, they don't do much
if anything to describe the structure. That's a shadow on
the wall, but when I get the sides, when I move across and
specifically when I move over the form now, I'm going to
start feel the feeling the volume of things and that's why
I have a process that works side-to-side structurally. I
get the beginning of the form, the end of the form, shape of
the shadow over the form. Now I've taught the audience how to
move over that form in space. My process
reinforces my conception. That's a good thing. Here's a
little egg with maybe even a littler egg on it. I'm just
going to make a little bump for that littler egg let's say.
And then that littler egg is casting a shadow across the
Notice these eggs are pretty proud structures and they
separate strongly to show their own character. And so since
they're fighting to show their own character. we have a
zigzag here with the shadow. Zigzag. They form, separate,
So I move across the form and then I move
down the form or up the form. I went up farther, built a
little structure on the big structure, now I'm going to go down
farther. I'm going to add maybe a two or come back and feel the
tube that I've already constructed and I'm going to
shadow to that, whatever that was doing. And maybe that tube
bumps and bounces down a longer maybe wedge, little wedge shape
of the abdomen.
And I'm going to take my shadow down farther. I'm gonna draw the
shadow first and I'm going to come back and feel this side
and this side it gets hidden behind the hips.
Now the hips intrude as an egg, or maybe it's a boxier
form at top, whatever my conception is as long as simple
yet characteristic and this egg really a drumstick idea.
Kind of that interlocking idea
breaks in front of and separates strongly from the
torso. And so now we have another zigzag there.
Moves on along and now I go on down two sides of the form. In this
case I didn't draw the other side because it gets lost as
the leg let's say intrudes into it. So I'll do the side, I'll
switch over here and make this a side or I'll drop three sides
because it doesn't morph into anything.
And so I move on. Okay, so I hope that helps.
Transcription not available.
the process and quickly explain the whys of that process. When
we look at a particular object say flesh or whatever, an
apple. Alright, our life experience tells us that if I
see skin tone here that structure, that object, if it
faces one way will tend to have a certain value and if it faces
another it will have a different value. In other words
more simply stated, when somebody looks at an object or
the illusion, the idea of an object, if they see that that
has a different value. It has different values, it's different
planes. Different value, different plane. So when we see
light and shadow, the easiest incarnation of this is using a
direct light source
from one direction, not multiple directions.
We're just doing that because it's easier to
understand. It's not that it's some reason you can't do that
it's that's just much harder. So a directional light, if we have a
direct light source,
whatever that object is,
the character of that object is going to turn towards the light
source and then other times turn away from the light source. So
if we make this even simpler
what we're going to see is
part of the objects will be in light, part of the objects will be in
shadow. When the audience sees that, the paper that's flat that
has no form gives the suggestion, the idea, and if it's
carefully done even the illusion of form. So different
value, different plane. If you can take that rule, I'll
show you how to do it here in a second, and do it consistently
you're going to feel structure. You're going to feel
chiaroscuro. You're going to feel that form coming out or
going into the paper. You'll feel great depth in your work
and it's actually fairly easy to do but you've got to be
consistent with it. So
different value, different plane. Now if you screw it up
and you don't do that, if you make them the same values gonna
be the same plane. Same value same plane going to
So if I want to show you how the front of the cheek is
structurally different than the side of the cheek, I'm going to
use a light source because that's the easiest way to do it, to give
the front of the cheek a different value than the side.
And then we're going to get that box logic.
Different value, different plane
This is the first rule.
Different groups. Well, we'll say different plane, you say different plane
different value. Works both ways.
And then same value
equals the same plane
So to make it even simpler, what I want to do is find out
where the form is and then find the shadow on the form. So I'm
just going to use this simple process. I'm going to draw the
form and specifically I'm going to draw two sides of the form.
I'll tell you why only two sides in a second. I'm going to
draw two sides of the form.
I'm going to draw the shape of the shadow on the form and I'm
going to give the shadow a nice value.
Shadows are going to become a dark idea, light side is going
to become a light idea. So now we have
the light side and the shadow side and that's what the
audience feels because that's their experience in life. If you
get a multicolored object, that's something different.
We're not going to worry about that complexity for now, but
here we're just going to deal with skin tone because that's
what we're drawing. Different value, different plane. Now, how
dark should that be? All you have to do is use a squint test.
Squint at it and does the shadow separate from
the light? Now this is a ball like shape. So there's actually
more than one value on the lights. I mean more than one
plane on the light side. There's more than one plane
on the shadow side, but all I'm interested in is breaking it
into two value, two plane system. I'm going to take all of the
dark shadowy values and just make it just choose one value.
I'm going to take everything in the light. There might be all
sorts of little planes in light. I'm going to make it all one
light value. I mean make it a two value system because that's
easier and then if I want to add more complexity to that I
can build as much complexity, as much realism as I
want, as much details I want and then all that will happen is my
two value system
will become two value ranges. I'll have 46 little planes and
in the shadow side maybe and I'll have a 102
planes and details in the light side.
But this will still be overall light and this will still be
overall dark. I'll just have a range of light values. So here's
my white value, here's my black value, and all the shadows
will be up in here someplace, all of the light side will are all of the light side will
be up in here someplace. All of these will be up in here and
all of these planes will be down in here and when I squint,
all 46 Shadow details will separate nicely by squinting from
my 102 light details. So no matter how
complicated the subject is we're going to break it into
that two value system. That is by far the easiest way to do
it. It is not the only way to do it, but it's the easiest way to
do it and you get the best results quickest that way and
then you can add complexity on top of that.
Now that for you painters, we can take that same rule,
different value different plane, same value same plane, different
value different planes, same values same plane. If you
want to be a picture maker where you have a foreground
background relationship, we're not worrying about that here,
we're just worrying about the light to shadow relationship.
But if you want to create a whole environment, figure-ground
relationship instead of doing different value, different
plane, you'll do different value, different plane. Things
behind me if I'm Rembrandt will be darker. The things closer
will be lighter or the figure will be full value range. From
whiter almost white to black or almost black and maybe the
will be a full range of values and the background will be a
very limited mid range of values. So you can play
games with this, there's all sorts of variations. But all I have to
do is make sure that the background has a different
value or set of values then the foreground. If I do that you'll
feel the separation, you'll feel that depth this way as opposed
to the depth this way. Different value, different plane turns the
form, different value different plane also separates the space,
creates a depth of field. And you can create the levels of
space. Typically in animation and movies they'll deal with
three levels of space now the foreground, middle ground,
background, and then the filmmaker or the animators
will choose one level of space to have the action. They'll
have a creepy forest vegetation in front. They'll have Mowgli
going down the path and they'll have Shere Khan hiding in
And so or whatever it is will have three levels of space and
then the one level becomes the action, that's called rack focus
in movie making and they'll often times they actually put
out a focus, they do that that now with the computer quite a
bit in animation, they put out a focus the less important levels
of space, but you can create that range. And so it becomes
like a little cut out
picture card set. You might have the
and the farmer here. You might have the - and this is
black or white - you might have the
cows in the grass
that's all middle value.
And then let's make this actually really dark, we'll make
here, we'll make this middle value, this middle
range of space here and we'll make the cloudscape in the
foggy sky up here. Three levels of space, three value ranges, and
they don't compete with each other. So we use a
squint test. Different value, different plane. So
when we render then
it's actually a very simple process.
it's simple. We're only going to use two values and then we want
to render those two values become two ranges. We have a
light value range
and we have a dark value range.
That's all we have to do. So I'm going to then take whatever
materials I've chosen to work with.
And the process is going to be fundamentally the same no
matter what materials I use. I'm going to find the beginning
of the form
and the end of the form.
And then I'm going to find the shadow shape on the form. As
soon as I find that shadow shape
I'm going to give the shadow a value. It doesn't have to be
black to white but it has to be distinctly different and I'll
know if it's distinctly different by using the squint
test. When I squint at it do I see this separating from that?
So we'll figure out how to complicate the process first,
but right now if we just take a form in isolation this
is a process and when we add like chest on rib cage and ribs
on rib cage and serratus on the ribs, we'll do the same thing,
but they'll be a step-by-step that complicates.
It will be exactly the same thing.
Okay, so there's my three-step process. Find the
limits of the form, find the shadow shape on the form, give
it a value, squint at it, make sure it's working. Now if I
want to do any kind of rendering on what we've done
now as we've said that I'm going to find the form.
I'm going to find the shadow on the form.
And when we find the beginning of that shadow.
That's going to be the corner of the form.
And notice yesterday we talked about structure
and we said structures finally are just corners.
And in line, I showed you how we could go from a ball to a
box and have ever more corners. So we have ever more structured,
meaning form in a certain position in space. Now we're
going to do the same thing using corners, but we're using
tone, the rendering as opposed to line, the sketching. So if the
idea is true, if you have a true idea about nature, it doesn't
matter whether you're looking at it from one
way or another. Whether we're dealing with line or toner even
color. That truth should will out. It should come through.
It's a philosophy in effect. What we're saying is this is
the way the world is and no matter how much time you spend
with that world, rendering it observing it or what tools you
do to explain that world. The theory of what it is is always
the same. So that's the mark of a good process. Does it
work to help you get the very beginning of your drawing in
this case and does it help you to finish off at the very end
of that carefully rendered, detailed, worked out drawing? And
does it help you going from drawing to painting or drawing
to sculpture? They should work all the same. If
you've got a clear visual philosophy of what life is, it
should follow right through logically, and that's what I
had found wasn't true in my education and in most
educations you went to your drawing, your sketch class, and
you do gesture, squiggly lines, then you went to your
careful drawing class and they had you render in graphite
with a stump and then you went to the painting class and you
worked on color theory and you marked out all the colors and
then you went to composition class and everything was like
going to history class in high school has nothing to do with
home ec, that has nothing to do with math or gym class. They're
completely disconnected. It's a terrible way to learn. We learn
by relationship. We learn by understanding weren't learn by understanding
something and relating it to the next and seeing how that
relates to something. Everything's interconnected.
That's how we understand things best. That's how we retain the
memory of those details best if we can connect it to something
else. What's your name? Oh, you look like Bill Clinton. So I
remember your name is Bill or Fred or whatever it is. If you
can make some connection there then it locks in the neurons
fire, you get it.
So we want our process to work throughout. A simple isolated
tone and then a complete figure with form on form on
It's going to be the same simple process.
Okay, so two sides of the form, shape of the shadow on the form,
give it a value. Now, whatever medium you're working with if
you use the zig-zag technique, you can create gradations. If
you're going to control any medium you have to be able to
make hard edges, cut out edges. I'm going to paint this blue
in oil paint. I'm going to plant this orange in oil paint
and I'm gonna make blue and orange come right together and be hard edge.
Can you create hard edges, hard contained shapes with that
medium? And then can you make gradations, softer lost edges
with that medium gradation is usually the hardest part of any
In any - not in - in most mediums
what I'm going to do is use the zig zag technique and here's
what I'm going to do.
I'm going to come along the border between the two values
or colors, between the two shapes. I'm going to load up
the paper with the pigment. Oops.
Or I'll load up the brush or whatever my tool is, the stump,
with my pigment and then I'm going to move along the border.
I'm going to slowly
push through a zigzag, one into the other.
And the more carefully, the tighter I make that zigzag,
the slower I move from one to the other the less painterly it
So for example, I could take that zigzag
and do it in pen and ink, patch it over, and what I would
do is it could be a zigzag or a broken zigzag, I could open up
those lines and create a gradation that way. Same idea. Or
aninoil paint or acrylic or watercolor.
Watercolor I can lay down the brown, come in with a brush with
a little bit of water and draw it off or put the water down
here. Take the brown, draw it in.
Each will have a slight variation but they all work
basically the same manner. The pastel a drawing medium notice
how I keep zigzagging
and the more aggressively and more carefully more I push down
into it, the tighter make the moves. I can go back and forth
to correct any little grabs of pigment that during my - I almost
said my vacation - my variation there I can get it to work and
very quickly and get a pretty rendered result.
You can do it two ways. You can do a couple ways.
Yeah, she's asking if I follow the form -
yeah if it's a curved form, so I'm basically laying in the
beginning of the shadow, which is the corner and if we accent
because of reflected line all the things we won't get into
here, laws of light stuff, that becomes what's called the core
shadow. If you know anything about lighting that's going to
be the border now. I'm going to come to that core shadow.
And if it's a curved core shadow, I'm going to track that
Now notice it might be very curved
for whatever reason
and that might be kind of awkward to get around that
corner there. So I can do it in sections. I can in
effect chisel it out.
So I'll go here
And blend it over and then I'll go here and blend it over and
then I'll go here and blend it over and then I might have to
do a little bit of work to get them to work go together
But again, I get it pretty quick.
So when I'm doing my paintings, renders, I can work quite quick
whether it's a head this big and cheekbone
that's this big going over that corner. I can in paint or
whatever go very very quickly and knock that out. This
process works beautifully for that.
And you spend a little extra time and you work it out
beautifully or you keep it -
you load it up with extra oil paint, your a little sloppier a
little bit more flamboyant and it becomes a painterly technique.
So practice it, try it out with your favorite medium or mediums
and you'll find pretty quickly you get a basic result and then
with a little bit more work you can get an excellent result.
Now the only problem in doing that
is that we end up often times with a half tone that's the same
value as the body of the shadow. Now the core is different because I
came back over but sometimes even that disappears.
And if we lose the core we lose that corner.
And it starts to look kind of mushy or soft. We want to keep
that two value system and two value ranges for the most part. There
can be a little bit of dark halftone here and a little bit
of lighter shadow there but in general I want to squint and I
don't want now the shadow to be here. I want it to be here. So
this is a different idea than this. So squint after you've
rendered and come back
and add pigment if you need to, knock that shadow down darker
or be a little less aggressive in pulling out so much pigment
dark in the half tone and light tone to make sure you keep it to
that, that squint test holds true. The shadows and body or
substantially darker than the light side.
The worst thing you can do is
come in and say okay now I'm going to add reflected light.
And then that also is a gradation that you can do. I'll
do it with the actual chalk this time.
Gradaton there. Oftentimes when you add reflected light squint at
it, and that's the same values as that and they start
competing it either looks like it's a chrome cheekbone or if
it really blasts out you can start to lose the shadow
completely and then you've lost all that nice structure. And
notice what you did, you broke your idea. You had a process
that was against your idea. Your idea was that these
shadows were dark. So if I'm going to spend more and more
time on the shadows, for the most part I should be making
them darker and darker. If my idea is that this world has
shadows that are dark, if I have more time to work on shadows, I
should be making them darker in theory to reinforce that idea.
If I'm going to say my idea is that the world is broken into
two values and the light side is light and shadow side is dark
but if I work on it more and more they're all kind of middle
value. That's a completely different idea isn't it? And so that's
what happens to us often times, we were taught a process or We were Audit process or we
intuitive process where we keep adding more stuff to make it
more real. So I see a little bit more light and there's some
detailed reflected light over here and all this some darker
half tone over here. And what started out as a pretty good
separation instead of becoming two value ranges becomes one
value that goes from light and dark or middle, the middle dark.
Go look at the illustrations and illustration manuals.
They'll be beautifully rendered in oil paint or computer and
everything, the jungle background, the Tarzan swinging
through fighting the gorilla, everything's beautifully
rendered but it almost mushes out because it's all light to
dark, light to dark, or middle range. What we want to do is
create separation. And so I don't want to process where I
add lighter and lighter values to a dark shadowy idea.
What I want to do is if I want this reflected light,
I want an area that's lighter in the shadows.
I'll lay in a two value system where it separates nicely.
And then I'll come back and say well there is reflect light.
There's laws of light reason, I'm getting bouncing
light and this is getting lighter. So if I want to make
that lighter, I'm not going to make it lighter.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to make everything around
And I'll do a gradation this way from the core. Now what
have I done? And if I've got an environment the
background will go darker against it. So now I've created
the reflected light by pushing the shadows
that aren't so reflective darker around it. Now I've
taken my two value system, made it separate even more, keep it even
better than it was when I started because this got darker
and I've given a sense of reflected light that's
substantially different than this over here and likewise
with the background. And same way on the light side. We could
rather than coming in and doing a nice dark half tone,
we could start out with the whole light side a little
by toning the paper, by mixing in a half tone in oil paint.
Start out there and soften a little bit the edge so it gets
right there it gets darker, but it's now blending nicely into
that. And then come back over here
and lighten up the lighter half tones. Tums.
So now as I add more information to the shadow or to
the light side, it gets lighter and lighter and lighter. As I
add more information to the shadows darker and darker and
darker. And so that reinforces my concept of how the world
works. I have a process that is intuitively, correct. I've got
a better chance for success. Can you still screw up? Sure can
but at least your process is supporting your thinking. That's
what we want. And so when I do - my thinking is this structure
and gesture, every mark I make should be structural and
potentially gestural. So now if this form has a long axis
and starts flowing into a more complex series of ideas,
then when I do my shadow on that it's a little more
sophisticated shadow shape, but the process would be the same,
the zigzagging idea would be the same. And notice now that
the core shadow
is not only a corner
and it just becomes a rounded corner when I add half
What half-tone does structurally is it rounds our
It makes it more sophisticated, more complex.
And it can be a very round, fully round corner. Still
think of it as a corner. Half tone gets refined, that
relationship between the two.
Now when we create that core shadow corner and create that
structure at the same time if there's any long axis character
to the form, notice how that core formed notice how that course
shadow is also a gesture. It's the movement between the forms.
It's showing the long excess fluid curve. So every core
shadow you draw, every beginning of shadow you draw it as a
structural idea and a gestural idea all at the same time.
That's supporting - now you have a process that supports your
concept completely. That's what you want. Doesn't have to be
this process. But you want a process that supports your process that supports your
idea. Now if your idea is life sucks you need a process that
supports that from the very beginning to the very end in
some manner, some way. And if we add our lighter half tones and
then of course our highlight,
the highlight is also notice a gesture.
It's showing the long axis. So go look at a Sargent portrait.
You got a boxy nose, over here the light side of the nose
meets a shadow side of the nose. That core shadow becomes a
corner to give us that boxy wedge to that nose. Over here
we've got the front plane meeting the side plane over
here, but these are two planes in light. Now we have a
highlight going down that corner. Highlights always sit on
corners when they're most useful and now that separates the
front plane and the side plane and that creates a structure.
Highlights are structural and because that highlight is going
down the long axis between those two planes, just like the
core shadow is, highlights are also gestural.
So when I add a core shadow, it is both structural and gestural,
our two great ideas. And when I add a highlight they also are
both structural and gestural.
And we want them to work that way and that works with any form,
any series of forms where it's stretching, where they're moving
smoothly from one to the other in substantially the same
direction. What about when they're pinching?
And we have that rib cage
in light and as we get over to that corner where the -
say where the
we've got that rib cage going into shadow.
Now because this rib cage is not stretching as in the neck
case, we had these two forms, whatever they were
stretching against each other and now pinching against each
other. We've got in effect a
bean bag idea.
And a bean bag stretches on one side, pinches on the other. We
won't get into all the gestural implications of that. But what
we do see is when things pinch that's also the movement
between the forms. I focus and call the gesture the stretch
side because it's easier. Notice on the stretch side all the
forms blend into one long beautifully graceful fluid
living curve. And so it's very efficient. I can cover a lot of
distance and it speaks of how these beautifully go
together, which is our lifeline idea. That's our visual
metaphors for something to being alive rather than
But if you've got a stretch you're always going to have a
And notice when I draw the pinch
when I do it in line or tone what happens with the pinch
weld each individual form starts to separate from the
last. So each little part starts to show its character by
separating from the next part. Here all those parts blend here all those parts glue blend
together and we really don't know how many parts there are
possibly but here we know
not only how each part separates but its character
and notice when we pinch one part away from another we have
movement over the form. Remember what that is, that's structural. So
I think of the pinch side is actually a structural idea because it
moves us over the form in just the way we want it to.
And so now we're going to have
this form moving across and going to do it and you can do
it in all sorts of
And there can be all sorts of
form separating, showing off their curious characters.
And so now the shadow is
still a corner, still structural, and is still gestural, is
the form and it's moving across the form.
And we're moving between the forms. We're just moving
between the forms now in this dynamic way. Think of it as
a garden hose.
See how they zigzag?
That's movement between the forms too, it's just forms that are
fighting against each other. So the zigzag is a visual more
metaphor for life in conflict, life separating the parts want
to be their own thing and they're fighting against the
other thing and so I use zigzags a lot in my boxes for
obvious reasons. It becomes a visual metaphor that I can
build into my picture making, my subject matter.
Forms that get along, that are relaxed, that submit to the
whole or beaten down and subsumed by the whole, defeated,
they start to give in with gravity and they start to sag
and melt and collapse in either a good way or a bad way.
the watery curve, the curve, the s-curve, the compound curve is a
metaphor for life in relaxation, submission, defeat, any of those
things giving in, settling in.
So notice any forms that tend to - and I'll show you this stuff
on demos on all the various forms notice as we want to
separate any particular structure
when we use that two value system we're going to tend to
get a zigzag. And the more fully that form separates away from
it might even lift off and break away from the hole,
the greater the zigzag will be. If it just barely separates
from the hole
then it might just separate in a little wobble.
But if it's a great separation, it will break away
in tone or in line. Notice how that rib cage is separating
strongly from the oblique. And so we're getting a overlapping
or an interlocking line
that separates there. And if we turn that into tone we go back
and forth into our zigzag. Okay. So I want the ribcage to
really separate and show its lovely character from the
stomach and I want the stomach the show its dynamic character
from the oblique and I want the oblique to separate from the
hip and I want the hip to separate from the thigh.
Look at how active now
that line and tone sequence is.
And notice as I add more information on the pinch side
it gets to be more and more pinching.
It reinforces my idea. Pinching is things fighting away,
fighting to show their own character. The more I render and
add detail into the pinch side the more pinching it becomes.
See how beautifully that dovetails with your intention.
Now that process is supporting and the more you work the
better your work gets in that sense. We might still get
something out of whack. There's other problems. But now we have
a process that supports. That's what we on every level, whether
it's dealing with the problem of blending, making line marks,
containing the form, making the form flow into the next form or
break away from that next form, making it coming out of the
surface or going into the surface I have a process that
If I make sure that all that lovely detail and thinking
tends to fall down as it goes towards the center and all that
lovely detail tends to rise up as it gets at or near the
sides it will tell me that I'm on top of it. Everything
in support of. Now is this really easy to do because
we made it simpler? No, it's not, it's still hard. But now
it's manageable and you have a criteria afterward. You can say
okay I forgot the shadows are corners first and I did such a
great job blending I'm really proud of the gradation I made
but I lost that corner. So I've lost some form, lost some
structure. And because I lost that corner I don't feel the
movement down to the next form as beautifully as I could, darn
it, but at least you know, how why you screwed up and next
time you can do it absolutely perfectly. I'm sure you will or
at least 20 years later
kind of almost perfect.
So the highlight, let's say we have a highlight coming down
here where the front of the chest meets the side of the
And then it bumps and maybe even it fades out, zigzag
because this chest is fighting away to show its character,
fighting away from the rib cage. It's on now. We're going
to have that separate and maybe we have several ribs that are
fighting to separate and show their characters.
And then fades out and then it picks up on the stomach and the
obliques and the pinching at the hip and the leg. So you
might have a highlight that comes all the way down and it
might be a lost and found kind of a we see it here, we don't
see it. We see it here. We don't see it. And that's that
closure isn't it?
I can do this and you'll connect the dots for me or do a
little dash here, here, here and you'll fill in for me. You'll
do a lot of work for me but notice now how that highlight
with all its complexity
is creating a corner
not just for the little stair steps of a rib say but more
importantly for the whole ribcage always the biggest
possible form. I'll show you that again in our demos. So
we've got this lovely corner created and then it varies all
the way down. Let's say that I see that highlight zigzag. I
don't know what the heck is going on wit that stuff. When in
doubt simplify, don't put a highlight in at all or make a
highlight that is simplified to represent the biggest
possible structure. Notice how the highlight shadows in some
the character of the form
just like the shadow shape mirrors a character of the form.
And now those are all working together in some manner of
other even though I've highly simplified it. When in doubt
simplify big and simple to small and complex, work on the
big and simple, but if you can't figure it out, you don't have
time, you're not interested in the small and complex, leave it
out, edit it out. What happens when you do that? You've got
the big simple things down so the idea is established well.
The little stuff would have reinforced the idea and made it
more complex, more interesting, more this or that but we don't
have to have it. So we always have a process that wherever we have
to stop it's good enough. We got the idea down right away.
And that's how you build a house. You get the big
structures that frame that out, you decorate it later. You can
decorate it a lot, you can decorate a little, you don't
have to decorate it at all. But as long as you got that big
structure you're set. So when in doubt simplify. And what you're
going to find eventually is that you've got to simplify
because you don't understand that small complex stuff.
So you're just stuck with the big simple stuff. That could
easily become your style. You're known for leaving out
everything but just the most important things. Or you always
put the little stuff in, kind of quirky and it kind of twists
off a little bit but in kind fun way and that becomes your
style. So notice that you can do this stuff and it doesn't have to
be perfect and it all doesn't have to be there and that can
be the pathway to how you see the world. I mean Picasso took
symmetry and screwed it up. A lot of the modern artists took
gesture and took it out or kept it all gesture and took out
Took out all the tone and to stay with line and you'd say
well that's wrong. That's not the way the world works. But if
you do that consistently and with purpose, that's a new way
to see the world and that's what we're looking for from our
artists. How do you see the world? What is your bias? You're
not going to look at everything equally, you're going to pick only a
few things that are important to you and work on it and maybe
because you're incredibly insecure and limited in your
skill set, that can still end up in museums around the world. You
look at the impressionists, technically most of those
folks weren't great and some of them were downright bad
technically when you compare it to traditional art, classical
art, the academy art, but they're often times more famous
than those other correct artists. So we want to get a
sense of what our idea is. It doesn't have to be this idea.
This is a realist idea. It's a kind of the Western
science idea. This is kind of the way the world works. It's
either the laws of physics, actual physics these laws of
light or it's the way our psychology tends to see the
world. What we tend to pick up as human animals.
I'm going to use some toned paper so we can use highlights
into the mix. Notice that
if I put a tone here, you can actually see the texture. There is
a smoother side and that's going to be a little easier, has
less texture, little easier but this isn't a real strong
texture. This particular brand is Strathmore illustration.
It's a toned paper obviously and you can get Ingres,
looks like Ingres paper actually like a little better
even or you can get Canson, there's some other ones too, those this and other ones to those
are the three bigger one. Canson's tough, from a tougher saens tough from a tougher
texture, a little more brittle, harder. This is a little more
soft pillowy, same with Ingres..
Get something that's in kind of the earth range. Nothing
brighter than this, more kind of the mid-range. Want it to be a
mid-range so you can get your dark shadows and your darker
half tones, and then you can get your lighter half tones and
your highlights if you want to. Give you room to work. Now the
advantage to work on toned paper, obviously if you bring in those
lighter tones half tons and it's very equivalent
analogous to painting. Especially if you paint like a
Brown School painter, like I do Brown School traditional, you
don't have to but traditionally you tint the
canvas so you don't have white and again, you have that
mid-range until you come in sketch out whatever you're
drawing, the wonderful peach you're going to render or
whatever and then you lay in the shadow shape on the object
and how it relates to the environment and then you plot
out your values that are darker,
shadows, dark, local colors. And then you come in and you get
your light tablecloth and highlight on the peach or
whatever it is. But notice even before I get in my
highlights and lighter half-tones
just by laying in the shadow I've got this nice environment
where the shadows pop off. They really show that two value
system right away. And then when I put the highlights, lighter
half-tones those pop off that ground as well and then we get
the greater pop of contrast that lighter tone we'll get or
more nuanced tracking of the forms of those gradations
offer. So it quickly gives us realistic or dramatic
results and it makes for a nice transition if you're interested
in, as most figurative artists are, figurative draftsman, of
moving from eventually drawing to painting.
All right, so
as I'm drawing here, let's look at a profile that was up
there when I first sit down.
We've got a rib cage.
We got a shoulder.
And notice that from the profile the most important
thing about this shoulder is it's a corner.
If the arm comes forward we can come off the top of the deltoid,
top of the shoulder blade. I'll delineate those in a second. And
swing right down the front of the arm. Now, the front of the
arm is actually the pinched side, but it's a very lazy pinch. The
back of the arm with the tricep as we've said before is the
stretch side, but I chose to use the lazy pinch side because
it was a better connection.
And who cares? Audience doesn't care which way I start. And
then I add that back side, which is real gesture in
terms of theory, but we're not interested in that. Interested
in getting a good drawing that's well-connected. Well
conceived. This comes back and then we have the shoulder,
shoulder blade unit. Notice with the armpit
that gives us that closure, we feel that triangular idea. But
all I'm doing is just kind of upside down L.
Now anatomically here's what happens.
We've got the deltoid.
I'll make these things separate more than they were.
Deltoid, the rear deltoid. I'll play that up a little bit more
than you can see it from this position. Wraps around the
bones of the spine of the shoulder blade and the end,
of the -
of the clavicle. A process just means a bone, basically.
Swings off that deltoid comes on down this way and attaches.
We might see a real strong separation or the subtlest
nuance separation or no separation at all.
Pulls down here, that deltoid separates the tricep.
We'll look at a little bit later from the bicep.
We might well see this pulling off here. We could see stuff
going off here. We can see stuff in here. This is the teres
It covers the bottom ridge of that shoulder blade, the blade.
Fits right here, swings out, and attaches onto the arm bone to
help hold that arm in.
And we could see these things articulated in all sorts of
lovely wild and crazy ways. Sometimes they'll kind of just
be little pockets, depressions in there for the infraspinatus.
Sometimes they'll be radiating lines through this,
show off kind of like the pectoralis does, they can do all
sorts of crazy things.
We want to feel to some degree
if we want that shoulder, shoulder blade unit to really
sing out as its own powerful structure. We want it to separate
from the spine of the rib cage that it's on and in this case it
does both. It's sitting on top of the rib cage, all its musculature
it's sitting on top of the spine, back of the rib cage over
And it's not a bad little exercise to track - pretend
you're an ant on the surface and crawl over that surface. If we
crawl over that surface here we'll see the deltoid on the side
dropping off and kind of petering out
as it moves towards the back. Here's the back
Here's the side. And so maybe that then becomes the corner
between becomes where the highlight is.
I can plot that highlight nicely on the corner.
I can actually make the technique
reinforce the striations, the fiber - fiber.
fibrous movement of the
muscle from its origin to its insertion.
The origin is basically the fixed point
that then the insertion
articulates against. So by the contraction it's articulating
against that joint. So that's the origin, the place where
we've got the root of the tree and this is a tree that
articulates so that's the analogy. allows you know,
By attaching down the arm and articulating arm. And notice
that in terms of leverage
those muscles have their limits, their
proportion and size based on what they're going to do and
where they're going to do it from.
And that does the work of course, so it has to attach
at the origin, attach at the insertion. And if we're going to
the farther we get away from that joint, the fulcrum,
with our muscle put on top here, I guess,
the more leverage we have. So we'll get the muscles thinning
out and then the tendinous connection often times will be
a string of tendon, it's not one here, but it will take us
down farther and extend the length of that form and it's
going to be much easier to move the load this way then to move
it from back here. So it gives us more leverage by extending.
So that fits like that. Now the latissimus, we haven't seen it
in much, we've seen it, we haven't talked about it much.
Fits right in here. It attaches here onto the inside of the arm
where we can't see it
and the fibers do this, very much like the pectoralis or the
upper trapezius going from the arm back of the spine and it
pulls that arm down and back, this way. So if the arm was
reaching up here for our kitty cat it's going to pull us not
only down but back out and around the body. And then it
can't go very far because of the inside connection
and then the meat of it ends in here. And when it's
visual, when it's visible,
visible somewhere in here.
Now the shoulder shoulder blade is on top of the rib cage. So
is the latissimus, but it's under the
It slips out in this case. It can cross just over the top of
it but when this articulates and works this dominates on top
and this slips out, we have this hierarchy here. We have these
stair-stepping forms. And notice my different value, different
plane. In my world every time a form turns down
or to the right it gets darker and then if it turns up and
towards the left it gets lighter.
Each of these areas are going down towards to the light
and we're feeling that stair step
consistently. Look at Velasquez.
He's the one Sargent looked to for that really.
Van Dyke's another great one. And you'll see absolute
to that different value different plane
idea. Every time we turn down and to the right we get darker.
These are all down and to the right plane. So they are all
the same plane in relationship to each other. So they all take
on the same or similar value.
Okay, so that's that.
Now that arm is articulating forward a little bit but not
out much at all. And so
it's not changing much
or at all from being parallel to the spine. It's almost perfect
parallel. Again, as is often the case we lose the bottom
And notice how we get this - since she's arching back so
much. Let's do that for a second although it's not quite
true because we're underneath her, just make this a simpler to just make this a simpler
That's arching back, this arm's swinging forward. So we're
getting a lot of this top plane here, join that thickness. So
here's a lovely example how the blade - or the spine I should say
of the shoulder blade can show us
that top thickness to the torso. And then it sits over here.
Now this is the - wrapping around that, that's the deltoid.
That pulls that way
on top of -
this is wrapping right here a little bit of the
I'm sorry the latissimus.
there's a shoulder blade through the armpit. There's that
If we come down here, let's go ahead and shade this.
So you can see where we're at.
Simplify this, although it's a little hard to see
because it's somewhat diffused lighting, we'll do that. Here's
and latissimus kind of wadding up there. It's relaxing. So there's
a sagging starting to melt and hang. Think of a
Called diaper fold.
Let those hang in the center. It's happening here. Same
laws of folds apply to the skin. It's just
tight drapery. This is some of the ribs, ribcage here. And then
we have the erector muscles the spine separated out. So
simplify that shadow here.
Some of the ribs separated out here, the cable muscle
coming up here, shoulder blade in here. I won't get into what's
up there. And all this
So again, no matter what we did here we're getting the sense
that triangular idea
with this in there.
We can expand on that structure or just delineate that
where the highlights - and of course those highlights can
help us feel the gesture as well.
Either the fluid movement from one idea to the other or the
binding up and fighting separation of several ideas
against each other. So either way.
The arm blocks the torso from receiving. Notice how I can have
absolutely no detail in the shadows and just focus on the
light and that works just fine. We tend to - it's a cliche in
children's stories, we go to the light. We're attracted to that
because that's where we can see stuff.
So if we put the detail, the rendering, the technique, the
pigments in the light side more so or an exclusion of the
shadow that feels natural to us.
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1. Learning Recommendation24sNow playing...
1. Articulations of the Shoulder2m 24sNow playing...
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2. Upper Torso22m 32s
3. Compression of the Upper Back13m 35s
4. Placing the Scapulae on the Ribcage10m 24s
5. Zigzags Across the Torso6m 7s
6. Using Solids to Simplify Anatomy5m 43s
7. Learning Recommendation24s
8. Lighting Anatomical Structures9m 35s
9. Binary Lighting Approach19m 1s
10. Simplify Your Lighting13m 40s
11. Applying Lighting to Anatomy12m 16s
12. Rendering the Upper Back4m 46s