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Thread: Sight Measuring How To...

  1. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Hinman View Post
    Thinking about it makes me realize trying to sight along your shoulder as I described would lead to an awful lot of awkward, distracting twisting and turning. Wherever I saw it I must have misinterpreted what was presented.
    Theoretically speaking, it is the best way, although practically, it is uncomfortable. Looking over your shoulder, keeping your arm in line with, loosely speaking, your collar bone, eliminates another degree of freedom, and another source of error.
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  3. #15
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    D) Transfer the relative information to your drawing - it is not a direct transfer of the distance by the way - but a ratio based on the size of your drawing.

    D is always a bitch to me, I can never seem to get it right.
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    I hope I'm not straying too far from the subject matter, but would this method work the same way if I were trying to draw something more accurately from a reference photo? A little similar to gridding, perhaps, but not so rigid in turning everything flat? Kind of like instead of standing back from a real subject and measuring, you'd just lay the pencil over the photo with your thumb and get the relative measurements that way? I hope that doesn't sound completely dumb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Sight measuring techniques are the cornerstone of observational drawing and painting, yet it can be difficult to find good information on how to go about it. Here are a couple of diagrams that illustrate this basic skill, I hope they will answer some questions and help people develop good observational practices:

    Edit: I realized I didn't really describe the "method" very well first time around...

    A) Hold the measuring tool (a thin skewer works best) at arm's length with elbow gently locked (this maintains the distance to your eye).
    B) Close one eye and use your thumb against the tool to gauge the particular width/height/distance you are measuring.
    C) Simply move the tool to check or gauge how many units the next width, height or distance is.
    D) Transfer the relative information to your drawing - it is not a direct transfer of the distance by the way - but a ratio based on the size of your drawing.

    (Note: When sighting a foreshortened angle or one in perspective, do not let the tool "tip" in the direction of the angle - keep it flat to the picture plane at all times. Sight measuring works much better when working with your drawing surface vertical at an easel or mule and placed just to the left or right of the subject. Also do not confuse sight measuring with "sight-size" approach - which just takes this method to a much higher level.)

    (Note 2: Most artists I know use sight measuring in one way or another - the more experienced just tend to do it without the need to measure with anything but their eye. I'm not sure I used any "measuring" except by eye when I did this 30 minute sketch - it just turned out to be a good pose to show how to check all the information.)

    hey, really good attempt, I believe you were clear and understood by most. I'd like to ask about ''sight-size'' approach. What is it exactly? I've seen people saying it's bad and you actually learn nothing using it. Does it mean you make something exactly the size you see it? I don't know xd.

    About the measurments you talked about I did the same on this drawing but instead using the head length (Which I use almosts always when I draw) I used the length from the toe ( left leg) till the knee of the other (right leg). I mean not the diagonal that connects those two points but the vertical distance. I hope you can understand..damn..I can not explain it any better.. XD so, this is it

    edit: the drawing is not from life, it's an ''analysis'' of a drawing from bargues book I think
    Last edited by ezion; April 24th, 2012 at 06:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx52hg View Post
    I hope I'm not straying too far from the subject matter, but would this method work the same way if I were trying to draw something more accurately from a reference photo? A little similar to gridding, perhaps, but not so rigid in turning everything flat? Kind of like instead of standing back from a real subject and measuring, you'd just lay the pencil over the photo with your thumb and get the relative measurements that way? I hope that doesn't sound completely dumb.
    I use a similar method to get proportions right from skeletal references when reconstructing dinosaurs or other prehistoric critters. It's pretty useful when you want to close or open jaws or move limbs around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezion View Post
    hey, really good attempt, I believe you were clear and understood by most. I'd like to ask about ''sight-size'' approach. What is it exactly? I've seen people saying it's bad and you actually learn nothing using it. Does it mean you make something exactly the size you see it? I don't know xd.
    Thanks ezion.

    "Sight-size" approach is basically a more rigorous approach to sight measuring...essentialy the same thing just much more about copying the subject exactly. Yes it means doing the drawing the same size as well and placing the drawing on an easel next to the subject physically. It also tends to involve more tools, in particular a plumbob to sight verticals.

    Sight-size drawing is no better or worse than any other type of drawing depending on what you're after.

    Hope that helps.
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