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I started my studying by exclusively using Loomis' Figure Drawing book. I learned a ton about proportions and such, but I wasnt really feeling confident in my drawing of figures. I noticed many people stressed the fact that all things are made up of simple shapes, Loomis really doesnt get into this.. He starts by drawing this "manequin" to show gesture, but doing this made my drawings EXTREMELY stiff. Everytime i created my own gesture from my mind, it looked like a stiff skeleton. Only until I came across bridgman and vilppu did I start seeing shapes. Im currently looking through the first chapters of the Vilppu manual and its amazing how much life he gives to those simple bean shaped things After my life drawing class I noticed that when I see the model, I dont see this mannequin like loomis shows, but I see curves, angles, shapes, etc. Bridgman and Vilppu explain everything as basic cubes, spheres, etc. Constructive anatomy by Bridgman shows every single body part as native forms at first before gettiing into detail. I initially praised the Loomis books, but now Im wondering exactly how much theyve helped me. I mean theres no doubt his art is amazing, but for me, when I started thinking about shapes, forms, rhythm, etc, everything kinda clicked. Anyone have an opinion on this? Am I crazy to think the Loomis approach isnt perfect? Just opinion maybe?
It's all one. There are many paths to the same destination, many ways of describing the same basic principles. Loomis is coming out of the same tradition (he was a student of Bridgeman's at the Art Students' League). You just have to find what clicks for you at the particular stage in your development.
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wow i didnt know he was taught by bridgman.. its not really apparent. Thanks Elwell. Right now Villpu and Bridgman are really working. Theyre illustrations arent at all like Loomis, but im not to worried about copying their art.. Im looking for a solid approach. I guess Loomis can always fill in gaps later on.It's all one. There are many paths to the same destination, many ways of describing the same basic principles. Loomis is coming out of the same tradition (he was a student of Bridgeman's at the Art Students' League). You just have to find what clicks for you at the particular stage in your development.
Either Elwell is gods messenger.. Or he's just really good at putting the obvious into simple words.. Either way.. Thanks
The way Vilppu presents forms/etc eventually creates a generic human manikin with ideal proportions in your head, that you can use to draw figures from your imagination, or as a starting point for drawing the model. Interestingly enough, Glenn studied under Harry Carmean and Lorser Feitelson, Harry studied with Feitelson...and well, Feitelson studied with Bridgman. If you want to take it further, Bridgman studied with Jean Leon Gerome, providing a common "ancestor" for the constructive tradition and the current academic ateliers. Elwell's right on the money, it's all the same deal.
Additionally, the manikin, similar to Glenn's simple volume stage, can stiffen up your drawing. However, once you study more anatomy, you'll discover the basic rhythms of the body, which will reinforce the gesture and add to the flow of your drawing
I'm glad you're finding the constructive approach useful, it's my preferred method too
Thanks a lot pancho.. Yep its just clicking better for me. What I like about the approach is that I see it helping me draw just about anyything. While loomis' version is very figure drawing oriented, the basic spheres and blocks are the building blocks of all objects. So I feel that by mastering them I'm helping myself to see the native forms all around me and not just in the figure.
About a year ago i started looking at Loomis' books for direction. He draws good still figures, and at first i wasn't understanding his method. But there isn't any ultimate form to learn to figure draw. I combine different methods such as line of action and some other methods. But you right he doesn't explain things very clearly, but looking at his books now i can see what he is trying to convey. It's okay to use different methods o not prefer an artist everybody learns a different way. Good luck in your figure drawing! ~K
Thanks buddy.. Combining methods has been working well for me.. My life srawing is improving so somethings working.. I'm not sure what's best but the combo of loomis vilppu and bridgman are workin for now
Hey biggjoee I had the same experience you had in the beginning. I started with loomis but it wasn't until I came across vilppu's stuff that everything clicked for me. When I went back to other sources I realized that they're all talking about the same thing. I think that every artist emphasizes one aspect over the other ones, so pick what you like from each artist, combine them and let them evolve into your own method. I would like to see some samples of your work.
Amen to thatHey biggjoee I had the same experience you had in the beginning. I started with loomis but it wasn't until I came across vilppu's stuff that everything clicked for me. When I went back to other sources I realized that they're all talking about the same thing. I think that every artist emphasizes one aspect over the other ones, so pick what you like from each artist, combine them and let them evolve into your own method.
thanks guys.. It took me a while to realize this but now that I have I feel much better. I was always stressing over which books to use but now I realize that as long as Im using the "good" books (loomis, bridgman, vilppu, etc) I really cant go wrong. Its just a matter of putting it all together and making sense of it.
I think in the end you can't really follow someone else's method. Loomis and Bridgman and all those guys are doing us a favor by showing us their methods in detail, and the extent to which they've developed them. We can gain a lot by picking and choosing parts from each of them that make sense to us, but really you end up having to follow their example and taking your own system as far as they took theirs. It will probably end up looking at least somewhat different from theirs, just as Loomis does not look like like Bridgman (whom he studied under). You might not have it quite so explicitly organized and so eloquently stated, but I think you need to approach their depth.
There's a dude named Sheldon Borenstein who has some videos on YouTube.
He was a Vilppu student and I remember subbed for Glenn on occasion.
Warning! He's a bit of a ham...
Hope this helps.
Last edited by Silvertone; July 3rd, 2008 at 03:49 AM.
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My favored drawing approach..well Im really into reinassance stuff..So im trying to learn all that these guys knew..and try to do what they did ..it is tough..so yeah im studying all the fundamentals..so i draw in a combination of tonal,linear,construction,anatomical,imagination. I study all of it hehe..but i think most of these academies..either the ones in florence or in california ..should emphasize more the study of the masters as well as the antique...These is the kind of language it needs to be absorbed..to really be at the Reinassance level that they praised so much they pocess , also the study of perspective is not taken seriously and constructive geometry (based on the lessons of euclid) is not taught. Remember these masters were architects or at least they knew that. There are other pieces of the puzzle, such as the way, colors were used, not too mention the gestures,expressions, the philosophy behind it. A constant visit to a museum helps too.. we are still far behind, Dont get me wrong all of the above are great teachers...but if we ever want to reach such a high level that the reinassance had..we better go back ,look and study them deeply with respect , not just prettend we are at their level.
ahh yes Ive aeen sheldons videos, its very obvious he was a Vilppu student. He makes the vilppu method very clear. Thanks for sharing the link