Art: Improving Life Drawing when not at Life Drawing :)

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  1. #1
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    Improving Life Drawing when not at Life Drawing :)

    Ive been greatly inspired by many of the figure life drawings ive been seeing.. especially EM Gists. Now I go to life drawing 2-3 times per week and I love it. But I want more.. I cant fit anymore days in.. so what can I do while home to help me out and improve. Now I know the term "Life Drawing" simply means drawing from life, including still lifes.. and I definetely know how to improve still lifes.. I just set up stuff.. point interesting light at it.. and draw But im talking about specifically figure life drawing. I obviously dont have a nude model at home. I do sketch people I see.. but there usually quick sketches.. longest ever would probably be 10 minutes.. and thats RARE. I study anatomy at home.. which will surely help with my modeling the surface and the structure of my figures. But what else would you suggest to help my figure drawings when Im not in the class? I know the way to draw better is to draw.. but im short on subject matter

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  3. #2
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    Don't forget master studies, Brague copies, or even cast drawings (if you feel like investing in a cast). There's always something to draw.

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    Thanks.. I actually do all those 3 thing you mentioned. I just didn't know they would help my figure drawing. Maybe my post wasn't too clear. I'm looking for ways to practice figure drawing when I'm at home. I know various ways to improve general drawing skills.. But I'm trying to improve my figures from life in particular at the moment

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    when i'm feeling industrious yet lazy (yes I know, contradiction of terms) I'll sometimes do quick gestural drawings based on what i'm seeing of figures on TV. While not technically 'from life' the quickness of the passing of the image forces you to build that gestural pose fast as it would in quick poses in a studio. At the barest minimum you would be improving your ability to recognize gesture and the important points of shoulder/waist/center of gravity etc in a pose. If you live near much of a pedestrian area, just sitting outside the door and sketching passersby is also a good way of doing that. Improving life drawing isn't necessarily always about doing detailed studies. Save that for when you can in fact have a model sit for 30-60min sessions.

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    master copies and anatomy, LOTS of anatomy, bones first, then insertions and origin of muscles....on and perspective for sure

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    get a big mirror, get naked, draw yourself.

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    Another idea is to get some plastiline and make little models, then draw them. You can also draw action figures or artists' mannequins, but actually doing the sculpture and then drawing it is better. Even if the sculpts are very rough, the decision making you use to create them is very helpful, and the knowledge of those decisions can help you make a better drawing.

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    thanks alot guys. I have been doing copies from my Dover Master Life Drawings book. Raphael and Michelangelos figures are very beautiful.. there anatomy is superb. Rubens are also very beautiful. Thanks again for all of the suggestions Ill do as much as I can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burtzum View Post
    get a big mirror, get naked, draw yourself.
    This is a great solution. Don't necessarily have to have a big mirror or get naked. One big enough for self portraits is good enough.

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    I've been meaning to post what Burtzum and that fat kid have already recommended. I would add to that fat kid's advice that studying your hand keeps you sensitive to the "give" of flesh, which sensitivity you quickly lose as you miss time drawing from the nude figure.
    For gesture drawing twist paper bags into interesting shapes to draw. the point of the gesture drawing is to capture the basic design, the arrangement of geometric shapes which comprise the pose, and as there is a basic design underlying all forms, you can do gesture drawings of anything when you can't necessarily draw from the figure.
    Then there's getting 3 eggs, composing and lighting them creatively, then drawing them. As eggs are continuously curving forms, like the human figure, drawing eggs under these conditions keeps you sensitive to the play of light and shadow on actual flesh. Over the last 3 years I've been mentored by Jon Onye Lockard he's required me to draw LOTS of eggs. A couple examples are posted below.
    I've done them with the understanding that the ovoid form readily analogizes for the head; also, I felt the creative challenge Professor Lockard was setting me was to continually find something interesting in such a seemingly boring, static subject.
    But one day after my 7th or 8th egg drawing, which are admittedly looking ever less inspired, I was watching my A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM dvd, and had a revelation when this shot of Rupert Everett as Oberon came on the screen. The egg isn't just for the head. Note the deltoid, the biceps, the fore-arm, the breast, the knee, the inner thigh; all eggs! The way light plays on the egg also gives you cues for lighting the ribcage below the shadow lining the lower edge of the breast, a detail flattened out and easily lost in photo ref like this.
    One more thing; the egg drawings are conte, but before he assigned eggs Professor Lockard had me do copies of Watteau drawings to learn how to handle the medium.

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    "Three's so little room for error."--Elwell
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  12. #11
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    that fat kid - Thanks for the advice man, hands do kill me so that makes sense.

    Cory Hinman - Wow I was so caught up thinking I should get some sort of geometric plaster casts like spheres and boxes and stuff.. I completely forgot about eggs lol. There white which is perfect. I cant believe I never thought of that. Nice drawings by the way. Im DEFINITELY doing some of those studies asap.

    "We are the music makers... and we are the dreamers of dreams."


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