working vertically as opposed to horizontally

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  1. #1
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    working vertically as opposed to horizontally

    I was wondering if one's accuracy in drawing can be improved further just by working vertically on an easel as opposed to on a slanted almost horizontal drafting table. All these years I was working almost horizontally and maybe I should set up my drafting board more vertically to make judging proportions and accuracy easier.

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    The plane of the piece you're working on should be as close to parallel to your plane of vision as possible- this reduces distortion due to perspective. The most straightforward way to do this is standing up with the piece vertical. However, if you're working sitting down the piece may be closer to horizontal, although it should still be oriented to be parallel to your plane of vision. The closer it is to horizontal, the more you have to bend over to keep the planes parallel. This gives me terrible back pain and eventually a headache, so I prefer working standing up when possible. YMMV.

    But standing up is impractical in some situations, like when using watercolors, or heavy lightbox use. Find what works for you, but always keep the piece parallel to your plane of vision...

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    If you can train yourself to stand up, work at an easel or whatever, your back will thank you for it in the long run. I'm used to sitting down and working horizontally and probably to stuborn now to break the habit, but it definitely messes with my posture. Sometimes, after like 4 or 5 hours, my left arm will start to numb out on me and I get pretty uncomfortable.

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  6. #4
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    Another nice thing about working standing up is that it's more conducive to stepping back from the work.

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    Standing is also going to help you loosen up and draw with your whole arm. It's a bit tricky to do (at least for me) sitting at a table, but feels pretty natural standing up. I try to do as much work as I can standing, but sadly I don't have an easel right now... gotta work on that.

    So yes: stand up. Or sit down. Or stand on your head.

    So long as you're drawing.

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  10. #6
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    Thanks guys. I try standing more often. Yeah, my posture is also a little screwed from working at the drafting board alot.

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