Art: Live life drawing versus corespondance life drawing

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  1. #1
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    Live life drawing versus corespondance life drawing

    Life drawing is essential, I know, I know. Unfortunately, I live in the back hills of West Virginia, with limited access to life drawing classes... more like.. no access. The local college does not offer life drawing classes, and there are no local life drawing groups that I have found... there aren't even any nearby parks/zoos. Eventually I'll have to relocate, but what can I do for now? Glen Vilppu has a corespondance course available, where you draw photos of models from a CD, and then he critiques them. How would that compare to a "real" life drawing class, in terms of what I would get out of it? I could order some plaster casts.... draw my dog... maybe some cows... what do I do?

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  3. #2
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    I'm probably not the best qualified to answer this question, but I will comment from my own experience. Actual life drawing is a good deal more challenging (for me at least) than drawing from photos. I've drawn from a lot of photos, but my recent life drawing classes are a whole different ball game. Learning to overcome what you think you see and draw what you really see is a big part of drawing from life, and it's just not the same when done from a photo.

    I think you can lean a lot drawing from photos, and I wouldn't necessarily vote against it. Any little bit helps, and if nothing else it might at least keep motivating you to draw continually. But I don't think it's any substitute for a life drawing class.

    Hopefully some more experienced artists will chime in with their reccommendations on what you can do.

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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  4. #3
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    Drawing from photograph will teach you that you must draw what you see. However, unlike life drawing, it will not teach you HOW to see. Furthermore, photographs that used flash do not contain light sources. Often times, you can easily distinguish a drawing that has been done from photograph and another done from life just from the results.

    "During youth, the desire for self-expression is so overpowering that most people end up by losing all grasp on their real selves." - Akira Kurosawa
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    Another thing, drawing from still-life (inanimate objects) is not same as drawing from life. "Live" models have the ability to move during their pose, thus it is the artist's job to intuitively adjust his drawing accordingly. Artists have to think on their feet as well. Poses only last for certain number of minutes, but with still life, you have all the time in the world. That's why is important the draw the essentials first, then put in the details later.

    "During youth, the desire for self-expression is so overpowering that most people end up by losing all grasp on their real selves." - Akira Kurosawa
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    Hi

    I`m not a pro but hope my little experience will help

    I second what feels wrote and add;
    when you draw from photographs they are already made into 2d thus taking away the work of intepretting real life into a 2d drawing and making it look real. You still gain a lot when it comes to anatomy cause you learn a great deal about that which later helps you when you start with lifedrawings.

    None of the tips that follow are like a life drawing-session, but you still learn a lot

    • go to the mall or to some café or the library etc and draw people there.
    • Get a mirror and start doing selfportraits
    • Ask a friend or someone from your family to pose for you (no need to force them into getting naked:eek: , you still going to learn a lot)

    To put it short don´t worry about you not getting any acces to do lifedrawings at the moment.

    My sketchbook flawed to the max page 5
    Ps:Hope you understand my English.
    Remember my advices taste best with a grain of salt.
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    Buy a head cast and a few toys (superhero toys are good) to draw from. For the toys practice drawing through the shapes like vilppu teaches, using cylinders/cubes as the basic shapes and draw the toy from a bunch of different angles. For the head cast you can practice your measuring, using eye widths or whatever and getting accurate measurements like you would in a life drawing class. Keep drawing a bunch of different stuff from every angle, it doesn't have to be a human model (study anatomy and buy a wooden mannikin and draw the muscles over the mannikin, that should keep you pretty busy as well). I found that my first semester or 2 of life drawing was wasted because I didn't know all the proportions/basic shapes/anatomy/perspective. Learning those will keep you busy for a long time (study loomis' mannikin frame as well), gl.

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    Thanks for the great ideas everyone! I've got some McFarlane toys I'll start using, and I'll order a head cast.

    By the way Lev_0..... I've been meaning to ask you... I've been admiring your cube exercises on sijun... you can't recommend a book on perspective can you?

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    Drawing from Vilppu's correspondence program is a decent compromise for now. If Vilppu didn't think it was a viable option, he wouldn't have offered it and Disney artists use this method to critique younger artists. It's not so different from training from copying Bargue drawings. Give it a try until you get better options. You may not progress as quickly in understanding form as quickly as you normally would, but you would still be building up your accuracy. You can supplement that by doing studies from Vanderpoel or Bridgeman's books.

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    Hey madsamoan where'd you go to school? Your stuff is rela nice.

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  11. #10
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    Thanks Lev,

    I've been going to the California Art Institute in Westlake Village (not Calarts) for about two years and I went to Watts Atelier for a year before that. I only have the time and money for two courses per semester, so my progress rate is limited, but I do what I can.

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    idiot- Sorry didn't see your post, the perspective book by John Montague is a good one. Fredflickstone recommended it, it has all you need to know.

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm going to order it right away. Also, I'll give Vilppu's class a whirl, if for no other purpose than to say "I've been a student of Glen Vilppu".

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