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I didn't get much of a response in the Fine Art section so I thought this might be more educational related:
I've got some spare cash sitting around for the holidays and was hoping to improve my figure drawing/painting. I feel like I'm in a rut lately and would like to explore some different approaches.
So while there are a lot of books and tutorials out there, I was looking dvds, especially in the area of anatomy or tone/shading.
Thus far I've found dvd's by Vilppu, Sheldon (Vilppu's student) and Mentler. I'm also interested in the Reilly approach but have not found any dvds for that method.
Are there any other dvds out there dealing with drawing or painting the figure from life what anyone would recommend? Or any subsets (eg. anatomy set, etc) of the artists I've named above?
Right now Sheldon's downloadable videos look pretty appealing (www.sheldonartacademy.com), and also happen to be the lowest priced as well.
Thanks for any tips!
Vilppu is more about analyzing the model to be able to draw it from memory.
I would go for vilppu as I think you will find the most information in his dvds. But you cant go wrong with sheldon too because it's basicly the same.
Mentler is a bit different then the previous two, check his stuff out on this forum to see if you like his approach. I never saw his dvds so I cant tell how good they are, but I bet they are full of usefull information.
mentler released his dvds?
Where can you go to see price and listing?
Looking for mentor
I'd advise Villpu's drawing manual, it costs 40$ or so. It is well worth it.
His DVDs are not worth the plastic they're stamped on. It is Villpu endlessly copying master drawings, time and time again. It is nice to see him in action for maybe an hour, after that it just gets very tedious.
Maybe it's just me but there isn't anything that a DVD offers that a book doesn't, except in much greater detail.
For Life Drawing - you just have to do it a lot, AFTER you read through Villpu's and ask yourself "why does he say analyze, not copy?" ALL THE TIME?
Once you get that, you're well on your way. After that, it's looking for direct, diffused and reflected light. Especially the reflected people seem to oftentimes neglect.
There isn't much of a technique to it, other than draw a lot and it grows on you. So to summarize - get Villpu's drawing manual and study it, ask "why is he emphasizing the things he's emphasizing?" and attend life drawing classes.
Set up still life and draw it if you find the human body overbearing. Put 3 eggs in a small basket and draw, pay attention to reflected light. Repeat with simple drapery, fruits, vegetables and move your way up to more complex objects.
If you're at a more advanced level than I'm giving you credit for - then I'd suggest experimenting with different media and different time frames. You can learn a lot from doing a dozen 30 second gestures. You can also learn a lot from doing a couple 20 minute poses. Most are not good at both, the trick is to try and bridge that gap.
Try NuPastels, Vine/Willow charcoal, compressed charcoal. Use paper towel or your finger to smudge, they're a great deal of fun.
Great, thanks for the tips! Exploring other mediums is definitely something I should try, even if my drawings all look like crap ^_^
Gesture I'm pretty sick of these days =) So I'm sort of going in the more observational direction I guess. More atelier style. I've done cast drawings of head bits, busts, etc .. and am not that interested in doing the same with a model at this point in time.
So imagine my surprise when I was checking through my email and find that Jeff Watts is releasing a figure/portrait DVD. The Reilly/Watts style is what I've been particularly interested in lately but unable to find much information about their approach.
I think though I will also pick up Sheldon's videos and see how he teaches Vilppu's method. I've read on forums that Sheldon is a bit clearer and better at teaching the approach.
Mentler's dvds I haven't been able to find any reviews or opinions about, but his samples have some fancy camera work and editing going on - unfortunately makes it real hard to actually see the drawing!
While searching I also came across some DVD's by Zhaoming Wu which might be very interesting to watch. His portraits are so painterly.. which is a bit of the direction I'm leaning in these days.
But I so dislike charcoal.. they make my fingers feel so nasty.
Last edited by forsaken dreams; March 17th, 2010 at 11:01 PM.
I just finished watching the Jeff Watts drawing DVD this afternoon. I think it's fantastic. I took two quarters at Watts Atelier this year, and the video is more or less a four-hour crash course in their methods and philosophies. It's good for all levels, from beginners to advanced. I think it would be especially useful for those who are just starting out on their artistic journey and are looking for some direction and pointers on how to go about it.
In the DVD, Jeff goes over the typical materials used at his atelier and how to prime them for optimal use. He also introduces the concept of the abstraction (a.k.a. the Reilly method), giving various examples of how one would use it to solve the myriad of problems that pop up while drawing the head from life. During his three-hour demo, he stresses all the basics - shape, value, edge, gesture, form, etc. - as well as gives you ideas on what subjects you should study every day at home if you don't have access to a model. From time to time, he will philosophize on topics that aren't necessarily related to anything regarding technical skill, but are still equally important to the development of an artist nonetheless (e.g. cultivating patience, being humble, having a positive attitude, etc.). In his typical fashion, Jeff pretty much talks non-stop for the entire duration of the DVD, and that's good, because if you're like me, and you don't have the patience to watch someone on video draw or paint for hours on end, you can leave it running in the background and still pick up useful tidbits.
It seems like the kind of DVD that could potentially have a lot of replay value - one that you can return to again and again for further insights as you improve your drawing skills. I recommend it.
By the way, I also have the Zhaoming Wu DVD as well, and it's great too. Intermediate- and advanced-level students would probably get the most out of it as his particular technique requires refined observational skills and keen dexterity to pull off successfully. Vine charcoal is a really finicky beast.
Best of luck with your studies. Let me know if you have any more questions about either DVD and I'll be happy to answer them.
I'm curious if you have seen or have any thoughts about both their painting DVD's? They both seem to have one although they both seem to be in a studio setting. I saw the latest workshop offerings for Watt's and how I would love to take one of their plein air workshops!
Does somebody know the status on the Mentler DVD? I have seen the previews on Youtube but I haven't found any release info on the website (tsofa.com) associated with the DVD. Also, there has been no updates since 2008. Will this DVD ever be released?
First DVD on skull and muscles of the the face is ready to pre-order and the information will be on tsofa.com as soon I recover a little from recent hip replacement.
Sorry for the delay but we have and outstanding product
The bone doctor's first DVD on the muscles of the face is completed and shipping. Faces & Features Volume one covers the structure of the skull and muscles of the face and neck.
Purchase at: http://Tsofa.com/detail.lasso?-token.page=inventory
Great news! Will the DVD be sold as a digital download as well? I'm not interested in ordering a physical DVD from outside the EU. Well, it's a hassle and quite expensive as well because of the import duty fees...