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  1. #1
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    Real Big Bad Drawing Problem

    I'm having a problem with drawing, and it's really bad. Right now I'm at art school and the exercise we do is as follows:

    we get a small sketch of a figure drawing (nothing elaborate, just like a gesture drawing) and are to copy it on a sheet of paper, in a bigger size. we use knitting needles to measure proportions.

    now, my problem is, I dont understand a single word of what our instructor is saying (being deaf has its disadvantages). And thus, I don't understand anything of what he explained in an 1 hour sermon of explaining the method to us. I know I can ask him anytime to explain it to me again, and I did so, but he really speaks too fast and I'm too deaf, so... I need a written explanation really bad.

    For example, I understand how to do measuring in a bargue drawing, it's fairly simple because both drawing and copy are the same size. but here, the copy is a different size than the drawing. I have NO idea how to find a point by measuring, and I seem to be the only one in my class having zero idea. I'm trying to figure out everything by myself, but its so discouraging when everyone knows it all but me. :<

    Anyone has done this exercise and could explain the method to me?

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  3. #2
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    I assume you're talking about the figure drawings by Bargue? Are you using th methid when you begin by dividing the paper in four parts? Here's how we do it at my school, although it may vary between schools:

    1. First we mark the upper and lower points on our paper. These will be the uppermost and lowermost parts of your figure. You choose the size. Then we divide that distance into two, using the knitting needle to make sure the mark is roughly in the middle. Then we divide those two parts into two, so that we have four equal parts, and a total of five dashes. They should all be directly beneath each other.

    2. We then try to find landmarks on the figure roughly at those points. Typically, the middle point might be around the crotch area, the point beneath that around the knees, and the point above the middle point should be around the nipples. But depending on pose, body type and foreshortening, this things may vary. Use your knitting needle to find these landmarks, and draw them roughly at their respective mark on your paper. These point are typically not in the plumb line of gravity ( which typically goes through the center of the neck and the center of the ankle on the lag that has the weight on it), so when you roughly draw these landmarks, pay attention to their relation horizontally relative to the center plumb line.

    3. Working from these landmarks, work out a rough drawing of the whole pose, using mostly straight lines and absolutely not going into details. Use your eye most, but use your needle to measure relationships as well. Because your drawing will not be the same size, you can't transfer measurements directly to it, but you have to compare different measurements in the original (for example: how does the width of the shoulders compare to the length from heel to knee, how does the length of the arm compare to the length of the leg, etc), then do these comparisons on your drawing, are the relationships the same? The original landmarks that you first put on your paper will likely have to move around to get it right, be prepared to do so.

    4. When the basic proportions are right (in a very simplified drawing), you can go on to adding details, refining and paying attention to line weight, etc, always keeping an eye on the different relationships.

    If you recognize this method as the one your school uses, I could make a short step by step tutorial tomorrow (now I've got to go sleep - figure drawing tomorrow! )

    Good luck!

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  5. #3
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    I have a step that fits in between Serpian's 1 and 2 where I find the center point of the figure, not just from top to bottom, but right to left. This gives me a an idea of how wide the drawing will be as well as how tall. I use that center point to make a cross and divide that into a grid of quadrants. From there I can determine where the landmarks fit in relation to the grid. Be careful not to get lost in the "trees" and lose sight of the whole "forest," so to speak.

    Here's a quick sketch of what I'm talking about:

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    Last edited by dbclemons; October 2nd, 2008 at 08:18 PM.
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  7. #4
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    Serpian, thanks so much for the explanation! It's not the bargue figure drawings we use but I guess that doesn't make a difference. the method you described makes a lot of sense. I assumed that most measuring was not done by eye, but using the needle, and thus I really never knew where to start, even though I find drawing easy without the needle, measuring only using my eyes.

    dbclemons, that sounds like a great idea! Thank you. Definitely something I need to try.

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    I had a hard time knowing where to start as well, but I started doing the initial block in more by eye, and all of the sudden I had a drawing that was crap, but that I could now fix! Here are some quick steps:

    1. The five points.
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    2. I hope you forgive that I use one of my own Bargue figure drawings as an example, I don't have an original here. Here I have highlighted the kind of landmarks you want to look for. These might not exactly be right, I did this really quickly..
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    3. Here I've tried to put these landmarks at the right place horizontally, but you should expect to get this a bit wrong. Of course you should keep a light, erasable touch, I've done this with heavy line so the camera could pick it up..
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    4. This is the quick and dirty block in I did. Yours should maybe be a bit more precise, I did this in a minute. Anyway, once you have this down, you can start correcting and refining until you have a satisfactory result! Good luck..
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  9. #6
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    Whoaa. That's a wonderful explanation, Serpian. Thanks so much!

    I've been drawing more figures since I made this thread, and it is easier now indeed.

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    possibly solution to getting clearer instructions in lectures

    Quote Originally Posted by Maidith View Post
    Whoaa. That's a wonderful explanation, Serpian. Thanks so much!

    I've been drawing more figures since I made this thread, and it is easier now indeed.
    hey i wanted to suggest a solution that can help you in future classes and getting instructions.

    Your school may have a resource center for people with disabilities and I know the university I attended had a special type of paper free to students with a disability. The paper was called non graphite or something to that effect and basically if you wrote on it the pencil marked the sheet on the top and one placed underneath it (the same stuff that is used in alot of paper work to make copies quickly) If you can get your hands on some of that you can ask someone who is taking notes if they could do it on your paper so you can both get a copy.

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  11. #8
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    Carbon copy paper? Well that's one idea, but I think that if the teacher knows you're deaf, maybe he could show you slowly, and write down some notes to you, instead of trying to tell you again. I think it's the teacher's responsibility to be able to teach VISUAL ART to people with hearing disabilities.

    What school are you studying at?

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