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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Body Breakdowns?

    Hi all! I have a question/request about breaking down the human body into simple shapes:

    Different artists have different methods for doing this. Some block out the rib cage and pelvis separately, and then take it from there, others use sort of an "arrow" approach in which a downward-pointing arrow-like shape can become the basis for the pelvis and torso, and then there are people who do it an entirely different way, like using two big circles for the mass of the ribcage and the pelvis.

    I've tried a bunch, and sometimes I find that they work in some situations but not others, like if there is a torque or twist or bend in the body or if the body is being viewed at different angles, and sometimes it gets confusing and it's hard for me to execute the drawing the way in which I want (especially if I haven't drawn in a while or am having artist's block, in which case it's a little hard to think around those problems). Ideally, I wouldn't want to use five different kinds of skeletal or geometric breakdown structures in one drawing, because then it becomes too much to keep track of and it gets really confusing.

    I was wondering what methods of breaking down the human body you would recommend to me that supposedly work almost unilaterally no matter what position they're in (in other words, are consistent no matter the orientation), and what shapes they consist of, etc. Ideally I would like it to account entirety of the figure's volume. If you have more than one, that's good, too, because I can try everything out and see what works in the end.

    Please do provide drawn examples if you can (front, profile, and back if you can). I tend to be a rather visual learner and diagrams really do help a great deal. Also, if you can, please show examples of the differences between the male and the female figure in these systems (right now I'm trying but struggling to work on my female figure drawings).

    I apologize in advance if it seems like I'm asking a lot, what with the diagrams and all. I thank anyone and everyone who can help me in this situation.

    Thank you.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Thanked 52 Times in 48 Posts
    I had similar problem i was getting too much detail in way to early, hell I was even figuring out which rib was which before i had the arms attached, lately i have been reading a bunch(mountains) of books which is helping me tons except for the fact that i find myself buying another book to read rather then drawing more often then not.

    Anyway what i recommend is keeping it simple as possible at the very begging going for the total with spheres and boxes and cylinders wedged into each other, i stood clear of this approach for a long time because i thought it was a childish way to draw but i was very wrong its great for getting the total.

    So first you get the action with gesture lines then the volume with spheres boxes etc... then there is a number options to do after that but thats another story. I recommend Villpu's life drawings manual and videos , i have read many books and this one has been the most helpful also The Force is another awesome book for gesture and showing form with the most basic lines.

    Good luck

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