Drawing from imagination and proportion

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  1. #1
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    Drawing from imagination and proportion

    Hi everyone,
    I'm having trouble in drawing from imagination. The result of my drawing always far from my imagination. And that makes me feel disappointed. At other time I tried to draw using reference. But I always having trouble in proportion. Anyone can help me??

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  3. #2
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    Yeah -- lots of things can help.

    Draw from life constantly: nothing sharpens your understanding of how to draw what you see in your mind than learning to draw what you see.

    Study a few of the better books that delve into the process of drawing from your head: Bridgman, Loomis and Doug Higgins'book on Reilly's school (a thread on Reilly just started a few days ago in this folder). Get a good anatomy reference like Peck's Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist.

    Learn perspective. Learn it very well!

    The combination of drawing from life and learning how the body is shaped from the general to the specific will help you draw what doesn't exist as if it did.

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  4. #3
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    Accurate imagination drawing tutorial -

    It's a quick three step method.

    1. life drawing / observing
    2. remembering
    3. combining what you remember with imagination

    Good luck

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  6. #4
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    About drawing from imagination: improvement is painfully slow when you draw from your imagination exclusively. I met an artist who complained that she didn’t improve despite practicing for five years every day; and it turned out that she had drawn from imagination only.

    The artist can “know” only so much in their imagination. In order to be able to draw, they have to look at things. You need to draw that arm by looking at an actual figure in front of you. Or a photo. Or a good painting.

    I started “copying” when I was thirteen. I made tons and tons of drawings after old master paintings. I attended two figure drawing classes. I copied from my favorite mangaka. I copied tons and tons of photographs in fashion magazines. And suddenly, the improvement didn’t come every five years or so, but every year.

    Need I say more? Of course, constant life drawing and copying will add tons of new words to your artistic vocabulary, but the human imagination will always stay limited. Take Andrew Loomis and Burne Hogarth, for example. They have drawn so much from life, studied human anatomy for so long, and they are able to draw anatomically solid figures from their mind. Yet those figures look generic. They are built from the same vocabulary; one instantly thinks “Loomis” or “Hogarth” when they see them. That's why Loomis still used reference for his advertisement paintings and advised the use of it in his books.

    Harold Speed in his 1917 book “Drawing Techniques and Materials” expresses the phenomenon like this:

    “Try and draw some cumulus clouds from imagination, several groups of them across a sky, and you will find how often again you have repeated unconsciously the same forms. How tired one gets of the pet cloud or tree of a painter who does not often consult nature in his pictures. Nature is the great storehouse of variety; even a piece of coal will suggest more interesting rock-forms than you can invent.” (p. 186)

    That's the true reason to use reference, I think. Reference isn't a crutch, it's your source for variety. If you like to paint in a realistic style, you can give your paintings a touch of the same variety and uniqueness that nature has, if you reference from nature herself and/or reference photographs.

    And if your proportions are incorrect it just means that your eyes haven't had enough training yet, so move your ass and practice some more years.

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  8. #5
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    basically to draw from imagination you first need this information if your having trouble drawing from your imagination then something is missing, continue to use reference there is no shame in it.... preferable use photographs rather than drawings as getting someone elses interpretation of a pose dilutes the pose.

    SKETCHBOOK

    "There aren't any shortcuts. You've got to dig in – study and draw the world around you. This is the only way to hone your skill and develop a style that is your own". GREG CAPULLO
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    When drawing from imagination, there's ultimately no way to escape the problem of perspective and foreshortening if you want to draw "realistically". There are ways of minimizing the problem of perspective (orthographic/isometric views), but you can't escape the problem of foreshortening no matter what.

    Life drawing is critical, because it allows you to practice putting complex forms in foreshortening and perspective. But even when life drawing, there are ways to avoid the two critical problems- i.e. rote sight-size techniques such as measuring with the pencil or a string, or copying the contour without an understanding of the form causing the contour.

    Working from reference also helps solve the problem since the reference has already solved the problems of translating 3d to 2d, but unless you already have a certain working knowledge of foreshortening and perspective you will likely have trouble doing much past just copying the image rather than using it as a reference. This is particularly a problem if you are working from photo reference of figures pulled from magazines that have been airbrushed or photoshopped- usually by people with little to no artistic understanding of the human form. Also, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the exact viewpoint of the photo, which makes it difficult to understand what the forms are doing in three dimensions. Also also, photos flatten the picture in different ways depending on the focal length, which inherently causes distortion of varying degrees. Again, all of these can be compensated for if you already have a very good working knowledge of perspective.

    So, although I *do* recommend drawing from life as much as possible and using reference when it's useful, the critical thing is really to start understanding the human form as solid three-dimensional forms or volumes, and learning how those volumes look from any given angle. Start with the largest forms, and work with them until you understand how they are sitting in space and the proportions are right relative to each other. Then you can divide those down and add as much detail as you want.

    Last edited by dose; March 9th, 2008 at 11:02 AM.
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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maidith View Post
    Harold Speed in his 1917 book “Drawing Techniques and Materials” expresses the phenomenon like this:

    “Try and draw some cumulus clouds from imagination, several groups of them across a sky, and you will find how often again you have repeated unconsciously the same forms. How tired one gets of the pet cloud or tree of a painter who does not often consult nature in his pictures. Nature is the great storehouse of variety; even a piece of coal will suggest more interesting rock-forms than you can invent.” (p. 186)
    The longer I do this, the more I realize that almost everything I have to say has already been said, and said better, by Harold Speed.


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  12. #8
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    Thanks everyone. It reallly helps.

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    Proportions eh, I believe you need to do some self study on how the human body is proportioned. Like how head is the size of 5 eyes and so on and how the feet is the same size as your forearm, or how the body width is 2x the length of the head... it goes on and on.

    After that you practice it and somehow you will become sensitive to proportions.

    As for imagination, do a little thumbnail of your imagined image on a piece of paper, work out some of the wonkiness and see whats wrong with it, if you figured you can get refrences on that (I.e clothes and others) go for it. Work on the image until you finalised on the imagined idea.

    Do steps of it. Unless you reached leet imagination skills (usually those leet people do planning and steps too).

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