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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Drawing from stick figure

    I really am a complete begginner, as is obvious by my previous thread. But something ive never been able to get to grips with (mainly due to lack of effort) was drawing models from stick men. Ive seen sooo many tutorials where people start with a stick figure and then apply the basic structure then muscles and clothes ect.

    I can obviously draw the stick figure but when i add everything else to it im either left with a badly proportioned looking model or a complete mess of lines in which i find impossible to work with.

    Also when drawing from a reference of a person or a live model, would you draw like a stick figure first? because i always just draw it as i see it =/

    So if i could be guided in the way of some help heree it would be muchly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Thanked 701 Times in 294 Posts
    You're probably missing the perspective & foreshortening when you start with a stick figure, which is the fundamental problem of drawing realistically. It can be done, but since lines don't convey volume it's very easy to lose track of it.

    Instead of lines and circles, try spheres and cubes. And learn your perspective...

    Loomis is great to check out on this.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Thanked 16,683 Times in 5,021 Posts
    From a thread a few weeks ago:
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    You need to work on both gesture (the rhythms of the body) and construction. A deep understanding of both of these is necessary in order to convincingly invent a figure. Check these out:
    Kevin Chen's figure and class demos thread
    Ron Lemen's figure drawing tutorials
    E.M. Gist's figure drawing tutorial

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

    "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

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    The point of the stick figure is that it's a quick and easily amended way of creating the background structure (pose and proportions) of your figure. Do lots of stick figures until you get one you're satisfied with. They only take a few minutes each after all. Remember, shoulders wider than hips in the horizontal, maybe 4 (legs) 3 (torso) 1 (head) vertical dimensions, and don't forget your line of action.

    I use cylinders (limbs) and spheres (joints) when adding volume, except the 2 parts of the torso which are wedge/cube shapes. You've got to think in 3D when doing this part; there will be forshortening and perspective of the shapes. I do NOT draw head, hand or feet details here. I try to keep it loose at this stage. If you're a beginner you should be spending a lot of time doing the adding-volume step, doing more than one and amending a lot. To tell you the truth I enjoy this stage the most because you can quickly get something that looks real, and it's very easy to imagine the details are already on just looking at a nicely proportioned roughed in figure.

    Once I've got something I want to take into the detail stage I will transfer it onto a fresh sheet of paper via tracing the silhouette or via the photocopier. Here's where I add facial expressions and hand gestures (which are linked), and clothes etc.

    Don't expect to be able to produce something that's perfect quickly if you're a beginner because you will fail and lose motivation. Beginners need to break down the tasks into stages and meticulously tackle each one. As you do more these stages start to blend into each other and each stage will take less time.

    And bloody well get a book on the subject because they REALLY help! I use Hogarth - Dynamic Figure Drawing and a comic book orientated figure drawing guide Andy Smith - Drawing Dynamic Comics (you may not want to draw comics but I found them a good place to start because they simplify the subject somewhat). Loomis is good also.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Thanks alot for the help guys =] i appreciate it. Ill definitely look into some more books and work on those stages. Thanks.

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