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I have another post somewhere in this forum, but basically I wanna get into Calarts Character Animation program.
and my questions is: Should I focus more on figure drawing or portrait drawing? (if I were right, portrait is drawing people's faces) I know both are important, but you know...
Oh and, if I couldn't find nude models, would drawing random clothed people help?
I think the majority answer would be to take figure drawing classes. In the end, you can't go through your whole career drawing good faces but cruddy bodies. Plus, there still the head and face to draw during figure classes.
And while random clothed people will help to a certain extent, it's more accurate and you will progress faster drawing nudes.
Personally I'd take a figure class over a portrait class any day just for the access to drawing the model. Having a full figure to draw is a luxury whereas finding interesting faces just seems easier to me. Besides who's to say you couldn't work on some portraiture in the figure class??
And especially if you plan on doing animation, I'd study the mass and movement of the human form as much as possible. Learning those two things is a lifelong endeavor for many of us.
and Storyboard Dave, how should i study the mass and movement? any suggested books?
One way that worked for me regarding studying mass & movement is to look for the action of the spine in the human figure. Quickly stroke that line down and build upon that with like you would add clay to an armature. Visualize and build that "mass". Be aware of gravity and how light hits that form.
That's it in a very condensed simplified way.
I've always been a huge fan of the Loomis and Hogarth books. I'm sure there are plenty more out there too.
I'm surprised that you're asking. What is animation about? Look for classes that stress capturing movement and expression through body language. As far as "portrait" is concerned, understanding the structure of head and features with an emphasis on facial expression is more important than fully rendered portraits.