Art: Enveloping the Figure
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  1. #1
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    Enveloping the Figure

    Alright, so there I was in a my first day of figure drawing class. The semester is starting it's third or fourth week.

    So there I was with a nude figure in front of me, but the nudity isn't the problem, I've seen thousands of nude people, I'm not really surprised that I'm unphased.

    However, this is my first day of class, I don't know how to draw.

    So, I asked my instructor to show me. Now, I think my instructor broke it down and taught me pretty well and fast. She taught me something called enveloping, which is where you box the subject in in about 6 lines, and add more boxes from there. However, after enveloping, and re-enveloping, and more enveloping of a drawing where do I go from there, How do I know when to get past the line and go into the values ? After enveloping the plane changes, what's next ?

    Also, I need to copy a masters drawing not a painting, but a drawing. It will be on 18x24 paper,Does anyone have any suggestions of which drawing to take on?

    ~Sean

    ~"With a little hope, and alot of try, anything is possible."~
    ~"The harder You work, the better life gets."~
    ~"The pain doesn't last, but the gain will last forever."~
    ~"Fear is my courage." ~Mr_S_14
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  2. #2
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    So, is this your 1st art class? I mean figure drawing straight out the gate is a tough cookie, not to say you can't handle it, but it's going to take you some serious hours at your drafting table.

    Anyway, Andrew Loomis is the Sensei of anatomy you can learn alot from his books as far as how everything in the human body (regardless of age) is layed out. A method that works for me when using charcoal is that you can lay a rough sketch out of the shape of the face's shape and with a bit of the charcoal dust rub your values in then comeback and add all the features after that. I think with art alot of times it's stepping away from your project then coming back and looking at it find things to alter...Really a critical eye and being brutally honest with yourself about the work you're producing.


    Also, with the works of the old masters anything you pick is going to be a ultra tedious (they don't call them masters for nothing).

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  3. #3
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    Learning the envelope - or block-in does not happen in a few sessions - it can take many many ( like hundreds) of attempts to understand just that portion of the figure drawing. getting basic shapes down that are close to correct is a big triumph ( my opinion) in drawing the figure and if you feel like you are capturing that, then it's time to move on to blocking in a bit of the shadow shapes. Over time and thousands of drawings, you may develop your own shorthand for building a figure.

    As for a few master suggestions, some modern folks might include people's work right here on CA: Hope Railey, E.M. Gist and Aztecfireflower - take a look at their longer figure work - lots to learn! I might also check out Henry Yan, Glen Orbik, Zhaoming Wu, Tony Ryder among others..

    Kevin

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_S_14 View Post
    Alright, so there I was in a my first day of figure drawing class. The semester is starting it's third or fourth week.

    So there I was with a nude figure in front of me, but the nudity isn't the problem, I've seen thousands of nude people, I'm not really surprised that I'm unphased.

    However, this is my first day of class, I don't know how to draw.

    So, I asked my instructor to show me. Now, I think my instructor broke it down and taught me pretty well and fast. She taught me something called enveloping, which is where you box the subject in in about 6 lines, and add more boxes from there. However, after enveloping, and re-enveloping, and more enveloping of a drawing where do I go from there, How do I know when to get past the line and go into the values ? After enveloping the plane changes, what's next ?

    Also, I need to copy a masters drawing not a painting, but a drawing. It will be on 18x24 paper,Does anyone have any suggestions of which drawing to take on?

    ~Sean


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