Composition and Dynamic Poses
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Composition and Dynamic Poses

    Hello, there, CA!

    I literally just joined, and looking around this place, I feel so young and inferior compared to all the rest of you amazing people. I've heard (and seen) so many great things about this place, and I have no doubt this'll get me a lot farther in every way than DeviantArt ever could.

    Anyway.

    My main focus in art is drawing people-- my characters, specifically-- and I'm having trouble with composition. I've recently been a little stressed out that it seems that everything I draw (and really, 98.47% of the ideas for pictures that I come up with) are boring old front-views with the prominent character in a very inane pose such as standing there doing nothing, or simply holding something, etc.

    I've gotten the Rule of Thirds shoved down my throat by my art teacher, but that is just about the only thing I've gotten from her on composition and I'm feeling pretty clueless. A lot of my pictures are ideas that I think look pretty cool, but I rarely draw them because I've done so many plain front-views that it feels like I'm just drawing the exact same thing over and over and over again.

    I've also been thinking lately, What's wrong with front-views? Is it really a bad thing? I've thought about it, and it seems that most of the time, the most powerful way to get the character's attitude/the overall feel I want the picture to have across by having a straight-on front view.

    So my questions are: Does anyone have any general tips for better composition? Is there anything you specifically think looks rather nice in a picture? I am literally brand new to this site, and quite an amateur artist at best, so any ideas or information at all would be much appreciated!

    Thank you for reading,
    SlimmerCat

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fallingwater
    Posts
    5,060
    Thanks
    1,516
    Thanked 5,151 Times in 1,701 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Can you play Beethoven piece with only a middle C on the piano?

    Can you write a novel using only 3 words?

    Can you dance without bending your legs or your spine?

    If I were you, I would NEVER again draw a front pose.

    Get into a life drawing course so you can draw from the model. Get some wrestling, boxing, ultimate fighting, bodybuilding, wildlife, ballet, etc. magazines... and draw every figure in them into your notebooks. Do not draw the front poses.

    Get Bridgman's anatomy books and copy them line for line into your notebooks. You need to be able to think about the anatomy as volumes, not just flat surfaces.

    As far as ideas for compositions... feel the moment like it is really happening. Live in your imagination as if the moment you are about to depict is real. Smell the smells, see the light... See everything in terms of tension... tugging and pulling and attempting and struggling... this will give emotional force to your work.

    Anyway...

    kev

    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
    http://www.myspace.com/kevferrara
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kev ferrara For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    328
    Thanks
    113
    Thanked 104 Times in 38 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I agree with Kev. I personally love journalistic photography. There are masters such as James Nachtwy and Don McCullin, but trawling local and national press should give you a cheap and plentiful supply of reference and dramatic material for your characters.

    I love great photo journalism because it is real, no holds barred, story telling, not just an imagined scenario. With Don Mccullin for instance you'll find plenty of face front images but study what he is achieving with these portraits and try and get that essence into your own work. Decide which viewpoint most effectively tells the story.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Edmonton※Alberta※CANADA
    Posts
    1,398
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 174 Times in 55 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by SlimmerCat View Post
    I've also been thinking lately, What's wrong with front-views? Is it really a bad thing?
    Nothing necessarily wrong or bad. But...if you only draw front views because you can't draw from other angles (and you're neglecting to practice drawing these tougher angles) then you're limiting your means of communicating a lot.

    Note the secondary figures in some of these covers. Note how they add to the composition and how they motivate the pose of the heroes.

    .


    Attached Images Attached Images                
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to FlipMcgee For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,667 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by SlimmerCat View Post
    I've also been thinking lately, What's wrong with front-views? Is it really a bad thing?
    Context is everything. Could be good, could be bad.
    What's wrong with whipped cream? Is it really a bad thing?
    What's wrong with hot pink? Is it really a bad thing?
    What's wrong with Shakespearian English? Is it really a bad thing?
    What's wrong with the banjo? Is it really a bad thing?

    What is always bad is letting your (lack of) ability limit your expressiveness.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Philly PA
    Posts
    3,393
    Thanks
    108
    Thanked 1,475 Times in 469 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    If I were you, I would NEVER again draw a front pose.
    well now that's just a tiny bit extreme, don't you think?

    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

    New books and process DVD available NOW!

    www.dvpalumbo.com

    Quickie blog (nudity)
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. #7
    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fallingwater
    Posts
    5,060
    Thanks
    1,516
    Thanked 5,151 Times in 1,701 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo View Post
    well now that's just a tiny bit extreme, don't you think?
    Yeah it does sound extreme. But my point in writing it was, by the time he figured out how to draw all the other kinds of poses, he would know that he would be able to do excellent front poses too and would naturally discard this piece of beginner's advice having taken important steps forward.

    What I said was for his consumption at this early stage of development. I don't think an artist can draw a good "front-on" pose unless he is excellent at the other kinds of poses. Because to know subtlety I think we must first know the limits of the gestural expression of the body... the limits of the dramatic potential of the body. And this sense of the expressive possibilities of the figure is essential knowledge when composing an otherwise "static" pose in a way that is dynamic and dramatic.

    In Flip McGee's post there are all sorts of gestural subtleties to the poses that I think one cannot arrive at except by intense study of anatomical dynamism.

    Last edited by kev ferrara; February 28th, 2008 at 12:37 PM.
    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
    http://www.myspace.com/kevferrara
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Wow. I hadn't actually expected any replies this soon, but just... wow you guys! All of these posts are full of excellent advice, I can't thank you enough. I'll certainly take it all to heart. Thanks a ton!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •