Tutorials from the russian renaissance tradition(explicit nudity and bad language!)
I'm drawing in the tradition of Boris Kazakov, one of the greatest russian professors and teachers in the 20th century. I was taught these techniques at the drawing academy Viborg - http://www.animwork.dk/Default.asp?ID=655
This is a strict renaissance tradition - drawing from the inside out - creating light/shade from imagination, building planes.
A day at the drawing academy would pretty much be 3 hours bone drawing, 3 hours model study. Model study would usually be 3-15 hours, and one day with short poses.
I will be transforming the studies I have done into tutorials, by taking photos from start to finish and recording my thoughts along the way.
At some point I will be making specific tutorials about the theory of form, perspective in figure drawing, rendering, etc.
This is a very complex system, I still consider myself a beginner, especially since I follow the russian tradition of comparing ones own work to the best works ever created - the masterpieces of the renaissance.
And I'm not kidding - back at the drawing academy the instructor(a crazy russian btw) would put your shitty piece of shit next to a Michelangelo!!! Imagine how that would make you feel! (like shit!)
Last edited by Sepulverture; March 31st, 2010 at 11:25 AM.
Now this is perhaps the most complex of all the bone studies there is - but since it's the only tutorial I have prepared let's just start with that. Good news is that for a bone drawing it doesn't get much harder than this!
This is the model I will be using
And the beginning outlined sketch. You don't have to be 100% accurate, the point is to learn the structure, not to study proportion. You can leave more room at the sides of the paper if necessary.
Also get the inside spinal column - this is very important as all ribs are attached to this. You need to have it fixed in 3D space.
Build the major perspective lines - this is crucial as EVERYTHING you draw should be aligned with these. Consider the horizon line (straight red line) and build the top and bottom - then later you simply put all other perspective lines in between these.
Then consider the green perspective lines - 90 degree lines going the other way. Remember that all parallel lines goes to the same vanishing point. But also consider that you are no computer - perfect perspective is for a robot! Just do your best! And if it works, if it looks good - nobody really cares about "perfect" perspective.
The orange lines are the perspective lines of the breastbone - these goes to the same vanishing point as the red lines. You want to draw the breastbone NOW - because drawing it later will be more difficult! As you improve you find your own ways, but trust me on this one - easier to do it now!
I will be using the box form throughout - this is the best form suited for building a solid perspective. You can test this yourself - draw a box - and you know where it is in perspective, draw a sphere, and you know nothing at all!
Continue building with a light line - you don't have to use so much presure in the beginning.
As you go along you'll be using more and more tone - and in the end you can render something with 100% values. That is for later, now is the construction.
You should consider the bend of the breastbone - it is NOT straight! You can build it by drawing a long boxed bend at the middle - 5b
The red line is the midline of the box , sometimes it helps to draw the midline.
Now you want to start the construction of the actual ribcage - 11th and 12th ribs are not included in this major form!
I indicate the attachments of the 11th and 12th ribs on the spinal column, but just so that I can figure out the attachments of all the remaining ribs. You can always do this - just indicate without drawing it, or just draw it very loosely.
When building the ribcage consider the bottom of the two 10th ribs.
When drawing symmetrical forms we use twin or sister or symmetry points.
These points are mirror points that are always located on the same perspective line. It will take a while getting used to this perspective kind of thinking - but it's worth it!
You want to attach this major ribcage to the breastbone and spinalcolumn - breastbone is more important now because it will be difficult to draw this later.
I suggest you use the box form like myself. If that is too uncomfortable then go ahead and build tubes. But you could always round out the box when you get to the rendering.
I start by building the top and bottom ribs first, that way you can easier figure out where to put all the remaining ribs.
Using fixed 90 degree non-symmetry points. I look at the ribcage from the side and choose two points that are at eye level, remember where I saw these points on the ribcage and mark them off on the drawing - then I know that they are located on the same 90 degree perspective line.
Marking these fixed points. You can use strong perspective lines in the beginning - it is just a study!! You don't have to be able to erase them completely.
Marking the same points on the ribcage, and you can also mark all edges(plane changes). Otherwise you would have to get up from your seet to actually figure out all those impossible to see form changes.
Build the end of the vertabraes on a constructed line - this line is important as it is an absolute midline of the ribcage. If you see the ribcage directly from the back, then this line will be straight!!!
Viewing this line directly from the side and it will bend according to the individual vertabrae.
When you have builded the basic 3d forms you can start to render.
The render system is the most complex I can think of. There are no fixed rules as such, only guidelines.
The point is to COMMUNICATE FORM.
Also consider these as structural studies. A logical way of getting to know all bones and muscles etc. Artistical considerations should be put aside.
In the words of a russian master - "Don't draw a pretty drawing for your mama!!"
13 and 13b
You will be using the box shapes and construct the tone according to a very basic system of a few different values. As your rendering skills increase you can add many more values to this, and your possibilites will increase.
You can also rely on cross-hatch as a way of communicating form - I prefer rendering, but was taught to use cross-hatch myself.
In the beginning you can use light values, just to help you figure out the construction and where the values should go. I go dark very fast, because I know exactly where to put the values.
The basic value system makes use of a guiding cube. A simple cube with 6 planes. Then you render the top plane 100% light value, and the bottom 100% dark and the side 50%. As for the remaining planes - who knows! Just try and use different values to show that these are different planes seen in perspective. And it has to work visually.
Thats pretty much the theory!
You can also try and throw the light from the bottom and make the bottom plane 100% light - or the side plane 100% light. And you can deviate from this basic system as much as you see fit as there are no rules, only guidelines.
In this drawing however, the basic cube will be seen from many angles, so I have to use many tones. This is because of the perspective - the top vertabrae will be seen from underneath and the bottom vertabrae from the top. As well as the symmetrical design of the ribcage. I think that there are planes in all directions!
Interesting tutorial. Thanks for posting it, this system seems very intriguing. I wish I had a skeleton and time to spend drawing it three hours a day.
I was wondering how much importance you place on learning the forms of every single rib and vertebra. I personally never bothered learning each rib and vertebra, as to me it does not seem to have much of an effect on the figure in the end. I would stop around post #4 in this thread, once the overall mass of the rib cage has been simplified and understood, and the spine gestured in. I visualize each of the vertebrae as a cylinder. So I guess I am asking what advantages you find are gained by learning it more in depth. Is it worth my spending time learning all the little forms of the vertebrae?
"Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley
"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
Andrew Sonea - In the beginning it's of no importance, only the big structural egglike shape.
Robert Beverly Hale calls it a matter of refinement, I believe he's right!
You simply decide yourself how detalied you want to be - and if we are talking renaissance master kinda detailed then yes - every single rib is important!!
But there can be other reasons for drawing a rib in detail - it's difficult!
It will teach organisation of multiple minor forms in relation to major forms, strengthen your feeling of perspective, learning to work with a multitude of planes and tones etc.
Or if you want to pursue anatomical illustration.