glikster-No, there is no reason for starting with the head other than it is fairly consistent, as it is not affected by a persons build(if you workout your head doesn't get bigger, physically). I personally don't like starting with any of the masses. I look for the relationship between those masses (the gesture). My starting point however is marking the top, bottom and middle of my pose. Then I find what sits on the middle point, the crotch for instance. The main focus for me in the first sitting of a pose is getting the gesture and rough placement of landmarks (pit of the neck, tips of shoulders, crotch, etc.) once this is solid then I start to develope my masses based on this gesture. The reason for this is, proportional masses are easy to adjust just trim a little here add alittle there, but if the gesture is not correct
Last edited by Elwell; September 3rd, 2008 at 04:07 PM.
very nice of you to share these, thank you so much!
I just noticed that I'm reading this very differently now that I started art school and actually am drawing from the model every day. our approach at angel is similar, I'll quickly point out the differences for you erik and those interested:
-we also start with marking top-bottom-middle
-we draw a plumbline with these marks (top-bottom-middle) and choose a reasonable position of the plumbline on the model, actually using a plumb weight on a string (as opposed to using the pencil, both methods work well I guess. it seems we can decide pretty well if something is horizontal or vertical)
-once the plumbline is set, we then draw a little thumbnail sketch of our idea of the gesture to decide about questions like "am I going to use a c-curve on the leg, or will a s-curve be more powerful/accurate?" about 5 cm in height, not worrying about proportion too much but doing it as accurate as possible in a reasonable amount of time (5-10 minutes)
-the thumbnail sketch done, we start on the actual drawing. not with the head as you do, but with establishing the height of shoulders and hips.
-next is finding the width of shoulders, hips and head, and blocking in the feet
-then we proceed as you do, using as few and as long lines as possible, to keep it as simple and as powerful as possible while still being accurate
the next step would be "articulation" instead of "structure", which means defining the shapes a bit more, but still staying more "2D". there is no stage where we consciously switch to "3D-Thinking" as far as I know. We just learn to copy what we see, the shapes, the tones. But I will definitely try to draw contour lines once we pass the gestures-only stage!
hope that's of interest to anybody..!
btw. we also never draw from imagination, just pure copying. I'm doing it on my own as much as possible, though.
a question: I'm having trouble with getting small sizes right. like the height and width of the head.. I couldn't possibly start with the head, it would be too wrong. we measure stuff with a knitting needle, but I find it rather inacurate. half a centimeter difference makes a head look a LOT bigger/smaller.
do you have any tips on getting stuff like this right?
Good point about the mentolabial sulcus, EM. But what is analyzation? It sounds like it could be painful.
I thought dorian made a very thought-provoking contribution on the difference between the purely visual approach to drawing of the Angel school (and its numerous clones) and the classical, constructional approach that you are summarizing here. The debate goes back at least to Caravaggio vs. the Carracci, and has already come up a few times in my short time here. The visual approach prepares the student specifically for tonal painting from real subjects that are immobile and indefinitely available, and can be extended to more ephemeral or mobile subjects only by the use of photographs. To draw or paint the latter subjects from life, to draw with any sort of gestural directness, and of course to get down anything that exists only in the memory or imagination - for these things we need the classical kind of training, of which you are obviously an enthusiastic and thoughtful exponent.
The visual approach prepares the student specifically for tonal painting from real subjects that are immobile and indefinitely available, and can be extended to more ephemeral or mobile subjects only by the use of photographs.
Ironically, the people who are the most dogmatic about this approach also tend to be equally dogmatic about not using photos.
Probably just as well, since (I would argue) you need the depth of understanding of the classical approach in order to be able to work from photos convincingly. I'm quite certain that Loomis, for example, worked from photos to a huge extent, but he was able to do so because he knew how to draw.