Get in the habit of drawing transparently - this is to figure out the complete forms. Don't break the lines, just continue the lines behind other forms.
You'll be using a strong outline in order to seperate different forms in space.
Also remember that some strong lines can always be softened later on - be brave, subtlety comes with time!
16 and 16b Consider the symmetrical nature of the vertabrae - construct the twin forms on the same perspective lines.
Your own ribcage model may be crooked, then idealise if you can. This goes for all bone shapes.
The ideal of the renaissance was to be able to draw like this from imagination alone - no kidding! In order to be able to do that idealisation of form is necessary. Always simplify.
18 and 18b
The down plane of the vertabrae seen from below will have 0% light. This is not necessarily a 100% dark value, as other considerations must be taken - usually the 100% value is for the edges(line between two planes) and the outline.
At some places you will also be using reflected light.
The lack of rules makes this system very difficult to master! My own teacher just told us to experiment and if something works just do it!
You have to figure out the foreshortening of some planes - this is why transparent drawing is useful - then you can see the planes in 3 dimensions, figure out the complete 3d forms.
The planar vertabra can ALWAYS be rendered smooth later on. This is a matter of having time at hand! The same goes for all other sharp edges in the drawing.
Nothing is ever totally sharp, not even the edge of a table! If the edge of a table was a perfect 90 degree angle, then you would start bleeding if you layed your hand on it!
Considering the light - you could also have a 100% light on the edges of the simplified box - aka on a tilted plane, it is just much much more difficult to draw!
The reason for the difficulty is that you would have to draw the construction lines and then later erase them completely.
With the use of a white pencil on dark paper it could be easier. But for the sake of convenience I just choose to make the top plane 100% light - that is, the light is comming directly from above.
There's no sufficient way to say thanks for posting all this, man. It's been extremely helpful and I can't wait to try a proper construction on my own (the one-hour mess in my sketchbook doesn't count ). Cheers to you, and hope you post more like this .
Thanks for doing this head, quite informative. The instructions seem pretty clear although sometimes I have a hard time seeing what each perspective line is refering to, perhaps an outline on the item in question like you did in the last picture would help.
We build 100% symmetrical forms, even though we do not see them like that on the model. This is a building system, an architectonic approach to figure drawing, well, later on figure drawing.
Simply consider that EVERY single point on a symmetrical object has a twin symmetry point, except the points on the midline.
Then when these symmetrical objects are turned in space, we can align their symmetry points by constructing a horizontal line as well as vanishing points. We build the perspective so to speak. It is not there to begin with - we build it! We build everything from scratch, like a computer system, using basic geometrical construction.
Green line = horizon line, eye-level.
Last edited by hummel1dane; February 1st, 2010 at 02:43 PM.
You show the beauty of anatomy pretty well! A ribcage and a spine is so beautyful. It looks like a machine but it´s in the body of everyone.
When I used to work as a lab technician I made (the translator tells me taxidermy with rat bones. It was so interesting but all the bones were so small. So the only part that I kept for longer was the skull.
There was this one scientist that had a lot of monkey skulls in all sizes - set up like an ancestral gallery. And he had frog and snake skulls. Perfect references for us artists.
Bjoern, thank you. Yes bones are very beautiful.
Unfortunately also too detailed to ever get a 100% understanding of the minor variations in the form, so we have to just figure out their simplification.
I would really want to get a collection of animal bones to study in the future. So far I only got the small cat you can see in the photo of the skeleton model.
Hope this ecorche model tutorial will be usefull.
The way of work is not different from drawing a life model, just easier to see the anatomical structure and it doesn't move.
If you have your own plastercast then you can mark the planes with a piece of charcoal - in that way you wouldn't have to get up from your seat in order to figure out the turning of the form.
The two most recommendable books are -
"Die Gestalt des Menchen" by Gottfried Bammes, and "Drawing lessons from the great masters" by Robert Beverly Hale.
Also recommended are the anatomy video tutorials by Glenn Vilppu.
You also DO need your own set of bones, a life-size plastic skeleton is just fine, just be sure to get the more detailed ones. The overly simplificated models are not very useful.
If drawing bones, also consider that the female hip bone is especially different from the male. You can buy life-size plastic female hip-bones.