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Thread: Figure Drawing Design and Invention by Michael Hampton

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by afro78 View Post
    That's my point exactly. I don't feel my work is A level at all. That's why I'm busting my ass so I can produce what I consider is A quality work
    Good, always think that way, because as soon as you're satisfied there's no point going further.

    In my opinion on this matter I agree with the mixing it up method, you need to read about and copy what people have done before if you're learning to just 'get it' and then try it yourself and you'll see your style coming through, then it's time to just practice, practice and practice some more, then when you're sick of drawing, go back to reading the masters for some more inspiration (that's my pattern anyhoo)

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    Now your work is AAA quality! Are those Photoshop pics vector?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vapsman88 View Post
    I am also studying Michael Mattesi's book in tandem.
    Mattesi is a deluded individual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Mattesi is a deluded individual.
    Let's not start on that tip?

    His book is useful, no matter your feelings. You got beef, contact him directly, he has a user account.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    His book's are misleading. This is not based on my feelings or opinion, but on principles. His theory can easily be taken apart in a sentence: lines have no mass. I originally was mislead for a month or two but thanks to the simple fact that knowledge is proven in action I quickly realized that his theory didn't work, and after some more research can give the reasons why it doesn't work and can tell you what does work. Drawings with swirly suiggly lines are fun to look at as decorations but as for generating force and mass and looking realistic... no.

    What he says here is that the figure falls in the direction of the apex of the curve. If you need me to explain how this image is really working, then I pity you. I would appreciate an explanation with diagram by Arshes Nei. Also this drawing doesn't show pull even though he says it shows pull.
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    Throughout the book he's coaching you to see things that aren't there.
    Look at this picture here... bunch of shapes. Now read the title and look again, this time with your mind coached into seeing something that isn't there.
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    The picture must speak for itself.

    It's a lot like a stick that's half submerged in water, it appears as though it's bent. So when you look at Mattesi's drawings there's enough of a sliver of truth so that it seems as though there is squiggly force when in fact it's a misinterpretation, it's an opinion. Opinions refer to themselves, knowledge and principles refer to reality.
    If you are interested in animation stick with Williams, Stanchfield and Graham.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    His book's are misleading. This is not based on my feelings or opinion, but on principles. His theory can easily be taken apart in a sentence: lines have no mass. I originally was mislead for a month or two but thanks to the simple fact that knowledge is proven in action I quickly realized that his theory didn't work, and after some more research can give the reasons why it doesn't work and can tell you what does work. Drawings with swirly suiggly lines are fun to look at as decorations but as for generating force and mass and looking realistic... no.

    What he says here is that the figure falls in the direction of the apex of the curve. If you need me to explain how this image is really working, then I pity you. I would appreciate an explanation with diagram by Arshes Nei. Also this drawing doesn't show pull even though he says it shows pull.
    Name:  force crap.jpg
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    Throughout the book he's coaching you to see things that aren't there.
    Look at this picture here... bunch of shapes. Now read the title and look again, this time with your mind coached into seeing something that isn't there.
    Name:  Drowned witch.jpg
Views: 1871
Size:  6.6 KB
    The picture must speak for itself.

    It's a lot like a stick that's half submerged in water, it appears as though it's bent. So when you look at Mattesi's drawings there's enough of a sliver of truth so that it seems as though there is squiggly force when in fact it's a misinterpretation, it's an opinion. Opinions refer to themselves, knowledge and principles refer to reality.
    If you are interested in animation stick with Williams, Stanchfield and Graham.
    Then confront the man himself and not railroad someone else's thread when they're looking for help.

    As stated, you got beef, contact him directly. Don't hinder someone else because of your opinion. Valid or not valid as it may or may not be, this is just not the thrad to argue it.

    You can Necro the thread that was already derailed for just that purpose and further your discussion.

    Just not here, hm?

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    Let's think critically: Someone advertised Mattesi in a thread that has nothing to do with him, which I countered. Who was off topic? "Derailing" how about "I'd say buy the book dinner first before you decide to use it!" ... call that a useful post? There was a whole series of posts with that kind of sarcatic humor. "Don't hinder someone else because of your opinion.", as opposed to vapsman88's real opinion, or everyone else's real opinion? The guy has 11 posts in 1 year and no posted artwork, who do you think is the serious student him or me? A serious student wants real information not bullshit from a charlatan. This is the art discussion forum, it's made for criticism, if shit don't work then people should know. Also you may have noticed I recommended three important guy's at the end of my post, so get off Mattesi's jock and stop bitching.

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    Thread derailment, to me, is when the subject devolves into a completely different subject not a related one. This would be thread drift, which is cool as long as it's productive.

    Having had Mattesi's book for a few months I find myself agreeing with armando. He's taken a few principles of line and has tried (unsuccessfully) to construct a drawing instruction approach around them. The drawings are pretty, but the content sorely lacking.

    The topic probably deserves its own thread just to maximize the discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpace View Post
    Thread derailment, to me, is when the subject devolves into a completely different subject not a related one. This would be thread drift, which is cool as long as it's productive.

    Having had Mattesi's book for a few months I find myself agreeing with armando. He's taken a few principles of line and has tried (unsuccessfully) to construct a drawing instruction approach around them. The drawings are pretty, but the content sorely lacking.

    The topic probably deserves its own thread just to maximize the discussion.
    I would agree with rpace on "thread drift."

    But, having been in the thick of prior Mattesi threads, I think Mattesi himself has probably said everything he's going to say about Force here on CA! Essentially, he's defended his "brand" and he's probably not going to engage his critics any further.

    But, he does hold himself out as authority-- he's written several books and he charges people good money for instruction-- thus, he is NOT immune to critical discussion.

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    I missed those previous discussions -- probably because I kept putting off getting his books and really wouldn't have anything cogent to contribute at the time.

    Hampton's book, on the other hand, is a real gem.

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    If Armando went more into discussing than just posting the below statement, this would look more like an art discussion than just bickering. Just saying.


    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Mattesi is a deluded individual.
    I liked Mattesi's books and I know others did not. Same discussion goes on with Hogarth and other authors mentioned too. So asking armando to take a personal beef elsewhere wasn't too out of line, but later armando explained why he felt Mattesi's books are not worth it (which I think he should have done in the first place instead of the insult).

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    To each his own, not everybody wants to draw the same Armando. I'm a huge fan of Al Hirschfeld, and Mattesi's book help me understand how to achieve what Hirschfeld was capable of.

    The ironic thing in your post is you are too trying to coach us what is (or isn't) there. If you really can't see mass or force through lines alone, than fine, that's just you, it's not his book that is the problem. Just say you don't like it because of your own preference, no need to shove what is the "right" way of doing art down our throats as there is no right or wrong way.

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    back on topic. As someone who always had a hard time sitting down reading books, I think it's not that simple to say "just read it". I've always done better in classes where teachers could sympathize with their ADD students instead of trying to force their old fashion way of doing things down unto us. Yes I can't read books, I mean I can but I don't enjoy it as much as other learning methods such as discussing the topic, or having visual walkthroughs like a live painting demo, a tutorial vid, or step-by-step images. I think art books with large chunk of text are the worst.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Mattesi is a deluded individual.



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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    as opposed to vapsman88's real opinion, or everyone else's real opinion? The guy has 11 posts in 1 year and no posted artwork, who do you think is the serious student him or me?
    Thanks for the compliments.


    You appear to have some anger management issues.

    Generally most forums would ban a user for such hateful posts and personal attacks.

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    What you call hateful posts I call facts. At the time of the post you had: 11 posts, had been a member for about a year, had no links to any artwork. Those are the facts, these are the inferences: you only had 11 posts in a year so it's not likely that you are a serious student - there's no evidence to show that you are asking or answering many questions or thinking very much about art, I can't see any change of opinion; I can't see your artwork so again I can't tell how much you sketch, can't see how much improvement you've made over the years(not weeks or months). No one should get automatic credibilty, no one should be trusted on faith.

    edit: in other words I judge a person's character and knowledge based on their artwork and the structure of their posts not forum stats. Further explanation if neccessary: "I can't see any change of opinion" implies "I need to see a change of opinion". "I can't see your artwork " implies "I need to see your artwork".

    Figured I should respond to zwarrior's illiterate post since I have time:

    The original question is: How should I use this book to improve my drawing?
    Now all you have to do is go through the sentences and see if any of them refer to that question.

    "1.back on topic. 2.As someone who always had a hard time sitting down reading books, I think it's not that simple to say "just read it". 3.I've always done better in classes where teachers could sympathize with their ADD students instead of trying to force their old fashion way of doing things down unto us. 4.Yes I can't read books, I mean I can but I don't enjoy it as much as other learning methods such as discussing the topic, or having visual walkthroughs like a live painting demo, a tutorial vid, or step-by-step images. 5.I think art books with large chunk of text are the worst."

    Last edited by armando; September 8th, 2010 at 12:38 AM.
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    Enough.
    There's some good discussion here, I don't want to close the thread, but I am considering some massive cleanup.


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    As the guy who probably "drifted" the first Mattesi thread for much the same reasons as Armando notes, I would also like to say that the same goes for at least half of Donald Graham's book. EDIT: It turns out that Armando also drifted that original thread just ahead of my attempt to drift it.

    But... one of the good things about looking at force and graham's book on composition is to have a strong opinion to react against. If he says he sees something and you don't see it, you have learned something about what you truly believe... possibly about a subject (pure graphic design) you hadn't yet put much thought into. When looking at either book, call bullshit on everything as a starting point to learning from it. And you will learn from it that way.

    The bad thing is in asserting dubious analysis as iron clad principles, as Armando said, even though we must acknowledge that a book cannot be written where every sentence starts with "in my opinion." The corrective in the marketplace for Mattesi's assertions is just the criticism that Armando supplied.

    EDIT: Oh, and that line weight is a method of indicating relative mass predates Mattesi by a long way. It is one of those half wrong half "something to it" conventions that is passed down from artist to artist. I heard it from a hack comic artist when I was just starting out. It really belongs to the animation and big foot style of cartoon art. It is a stylization, not a principle.

    Last edited by kev ferrara; September 5th, 2010 at 07:38 PM.
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    *eats popcorn* aww come on it was just getting entertaining

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diarum View Post
    *eats popcorn* aww come on it was just getting entertaining
    *clears throat*

    DRAW DIARUM, DRAW!!!!



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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    What you call hateful posts I call facts. At the time of the post you had: 11 posts, had been a member for about a year, had no links to any artwork. Those are the facts, these are the inferences: you only had 11 posts in a year so it's not likely that you are a serious student
    I really shouldn't stick my nose into this, but, a word of advice? Don't judge people by their forum stats. You have no idea what they do in real life.

    Perhaps someone doesn't post often in online communities because they're too busy studying in real life...? I've known many full-time art students for whom this is precisely the case.

    Just sayin'. Courtesy is good.

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    I agree with large chunks of text in drawing books off putting. I also agree that sitting down and reading a drawing book wont be nearly as useful in a lot cases than learning how to use the information through practical use. You cannot learn to draw by reading how to draw and I am constantly reminded painfully of that fact.

    That being said ... every bit of text in Hamptons book I find to be pure gold. So how to use it: I would say in very small parts. Every couple of pages can present quite a lot of work. So read what he is saying and try and grasp the point. Once you have grasped the point do a few studies of his important pictures as you may glean something new from this. Then get some reference either from life or photos and try and apply it.

    Here is an example (which I myself am currently working with.) Page 34 on landmarks shows how to present the pelvis in relation to ribcage. It uses boxes which really force you to think spatially in 3D. So study/draw a few examples and make sure you can forshorten well enough to do it yourself. Then grab some reference and do it for yourself.

    To put it in probably too simplistic terms read it to teach one side of the brain. Then DO IT and DO IT SOME MORE to teach the other one.

    I hope this information from a humble beginner is of some help.

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    Just remembered something else as well. If you find your struggling to apply a concept you could try and draw directly on the photoref. Open up your ref in photoshop and draw the cubes on top of it (for this particular exercise). Then try on your own. I haven't tried that yet myself.

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    Can't be bothered to read through the random argument happening in this thread.. so I'll just respond to the OP.

    I personally love this book but I think it works best when coupled with Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist by Stephen Rogers Peck. It's as if the two books were meant to read side-by-side. Design and Invention helps you digest the complicated anatomy by breaking the forms down into simplified 3-dimensional shapes, and Anatomy for the Artist expands on the simplified forms and illustrates how those shapes can be seen on a realistic figure.

    Quick photo of the two together:


    My personal advice on learning from anatomical books is to read the content first, then draw it out to help you digest the details, then put the book away and try to draw it from memory (from different angles and in different positions) to test how much of it you absorbed. The areas you have trouble with drawing from memory are the areas you need to study further. Rinse and repeat.

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