Is there more than one methods of construction?
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    Is there more than one methods of construction?

    I've just started drawing and I'm really struggling with constructing forms (particularly faces) and general measuring. I've been skimming through the forums here and found the Reilly Method which seems fantastic by the way, but I'm just wondering if there are any other methods of constructing forms and faces?

    Also, would anyone be able to explain measuring to me (where you hold up a pencil/brush to an object and translate it to the paper) or point me in the direction of decent books/tutorials?

    Also, what are planes?

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    Sure...there are many ways of constructing...the most useful or successful are Reilly, Bridgman, Loomis. Reilly is pretty confusing/non-intuitive to me but I have to tell you that those who practice it achieve remarakable results. There are other "constructive" approaches as well, and many I probably haven't even heard of.

    I'm replying mainly because I have a link in my signature on "Sight Measuring".

    Planes are simply the big simplified planes found on the surface of the body and head. They help in construction and simplification of the volumes of the body.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_shipman View Post
    Also, what are planes?
    Flat surfaces.

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    This image will probably help you understand what they're talking about with planes faster than trying to explain it.


    That's from Loomis, btw, probably they most highly recommended instructor out there. I know I've already learned more from his Figure Drawing For All Its Worth than all the other books I have put together. The book is recently back in print and I recommend buying it but you can also download it for free here..
    http://www.alexhays.com/loomis/Loomi...ure%20Draw.pdf

    If you're serious about drawing figures and faces, that book is the rosetta stone my friend.

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    I would suggest Vilppu and Loomis.

    Not a big fan of Reilly myself.

    Also, check out the "Realism Vs Construction" thread. Theres a wealth of info over there.

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    There are tons of methods of constructions. Most artists grow their own one, eventually.

    It doesn't really matter how you construct the form; it matters that you do construct the form, not just put lines on paper.

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    Loomis is definitely an excellent guide to start from, but as a fellow beginner, I understand Figure Drawing For All It's Worth (FDFAIW) could appear intimidating at first despite its brilliance. So start off with Loomis' Fun With a Pencil to really get a low down on the basics before you hit FDFAIW. I also understand Loomis recommends you read FDFAIW along with Bridgman's Complete Guide To Life Drawing to get a serious foundation in figure drawing. Both are widely regarded as splendid teachers and all 3 books are available on this wonderful website:


    Good luck!

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; November 24th, 2011 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Removed link
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    If you really want to learn construction, learn it from the ground up. As in learn perspective and become familiar with the form of what you're constructing, that's what all these methods (Villpu, Reilly, Loomis, Bridgeman, etc) are based on. You wouldn't be able to construct a cube if you weren't aware that parallel edges converge to a vanishing point or if you didn't know that the edges of a cube are all equal in length, that all the planes are squares, that all the planes are perpendicular to adjacent planes, that all the planes are parallel to opposite planes, etc. It's the same thing for complex objects like figures and heads as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arc41 View Post
    I also understand Loomis recommends you read FDFAIW along with Bridgman's Complete Guide To Life Drawing to get a serious foundation in figure drawing. Both are widely regarded as splendid teachers and all 3 books are available on this wonderful website:

    Good luck!
    The reason I removed the link is that Bridgman's book is still in print and not that expensive

    Please remember publishers are now going through the effort of reprinting the books. Loomis had been out of print till recently, so let's get people to buy them first before telling them to download them first.

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    Thanks for all the replies and help guys, it's been incredibly informative. I'm currently reading through 'Realism Vs Construction' thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by stabby2486 View Post
    If you really want to learn construction, learn it from the ground up. As in learn perspective and become familiar with the form of what you're constructing, that's what all these methods (Villpu, Reilly, Loomis, Bridgeman, etc) are based on.
    Could you please elaborate on perspective? I understand it in terms of simple 3d objects like the cube you mentioned, but how does it apply to a more complex object like a face? Are there any books or threads on here that would explain it?

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    I think Loomis explains the basics of perspective pretty well. But essentially what you want to do is to think about the building blocks of the body as cubes and geometrical shapes. If you do that it's easier to figure out how perspective would affect them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_shipman View Post
    Could you please elaborate on perspective? I understand it in terms of simple 3d objects like the cube you mentioned, but how does it apply to a more complex object like a face? Are there any books or threads on here that would explain it?
    Well, one of the easiest ways you could apply it to something like a face is making sure features that run on a horizontal axis, like the corners of the eyes, corners of the mouth, wings of the nose, etc run off to the same vanishing point. And those construction methods mentioned are the rules of perspective being applied to a face. Other than that, I don't think there's really any way to explain it, just draw lots of objects from life in perspective like a wireframe, start off simple then move up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_shipman View Post
    I understand it in terms of simple 3d objects like the cube you mentioned, but how does it apply to a more complex object like a face? Are there any books or threads on here that would explain it?



    The head can be built using a sphere, which is a 3D form, and then adding another modified shape to that sphere, and carving in and out of that sphere, adding modified cubes, converting straight construction lines into curves etc...

    The pics says it all.
    Loomis "Fun with a pencil" and "Drawing the head and hands" book covers these head construction.

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    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=225780
    Constructions are ideas(which are tools) used to make sense of facts, they are fitted together to transmit messages/meanings to viewers. Different constructions transmit different messages. They also determine what you look for, which can help you find what you need in the thing you're looking at but they can also prevent you from seeing new things.

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    What say all of you concerning the method in David Chelsea's perspective for comic artists book? He implies/argues the idea of breaking a figure down into all cubes is less efficient compared to a more intuitive way of seeing figures as stacks of ellipses. Of course, this is very general and I may be wrong/misreading (new to the book), but his notion appears to be that taking the pure cube approach to a human figure will make a beginner artist try to plan out a figure through an unnecessarily complex 3 pt perspective method that is over-engineered and more trouble in the long run.

    Last edited by CortesDiddy; December 23rd, 2011 at 12:27 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CortesDiddy View Post
    What say all of you concerning the method in David Chelsea's perspective for comic artists book? He implies/argues the idea of breaking a figure down into all cubes is less efficient compared to a more intuitive way of seeing figures as stacks of ellipses. Of course, this is very general and I may be wrong/misreading (new to the book), but his notion appears to be that taking the pure cube approach to a human figure will make a beginner artist try to plan out a figure through an unnecessarily complex 3 pt perspective method that is over-engineered and more trouble in the long run.
    How does he define "efficient"? For an artist who had internalized perspective, it may be inefficient to plot out the cubes. For a beginner artist, I'd expect the cubes to be ten times more useful than the ellipses, because they'd 1) let the artist keep track of the correct perspective without floundering, as the ellipses won't; and 2) get better perspective on the figure in the first place.

    Use as little or as much construction as you need to get a good picture. If you take shortcuts at the planning stage and end up with a finished (read: unfixable without reworking from start) picture that has fundamental flaws in perspective or anatomy, you weren't being efficient at all. If you have to spend, say, 5 hours on the planning stage and then 5 hours on the finishing, you spend 10 hours. If you try to get away with 1 hour of planning, chances are you spend the 6 hours, then discover you've been polishing a turd and have to start from scratch, and end up spending 9 hours more on reworking, totaling up to 15. That's bad economy, wouldn't you agree?

    Time spent on the planning stages pays off tenfold at the later stages.

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    Nobody on earth that's remotely sane would plot out all the vanishing points for all the cubes representing a human figure.

    I can't count the number of beginner and even intermediate artists I've seen that say "yeah, yeah, I know perspective" and yet can't properly draw the axes on a sphere in perspective properly if they used mechanical aids and took all the time in the world, much less quickly, freehand, and on a spheroid or something more complex.

    I understand a comic artists need for efficiency, and in that sense Chelsea is correct in saying ellipses are more efficient- they are quicker to draw and quicker to imagine/project perspective into. But without the fundamentals down they're a more efficient way for many to make mistakes. I would guess it would be confusing to many as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    The reason I removed the link is that Bridgman's book is still in print and not that expensive

    Please remember publishers are now going through the effort of reprinting the books. Loomis had been out of print till recently, so let's get people to buy them first before telling them to download them first.

    Thanks.
    Understood. Forgot Loomis was getting reprinted then & I thought Bridgman wasn't still in print because it was available online, so my apologies for the naivety on my part.

    To contribute to the topic, beyond the basic forms in perspective and proportion I'm guessing, what else should you have a solid understanding of to construct well?

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    If you are starting to build up human figures or suggestions of figures what I would like to call gestures, you need to take the weight of something into account as well. How a body leans on a leg and/or how his weight is divided.

    I took a peek at your sketchbook, and for now I would stick to basic shapes, and maybe try to adjust the basic shapes into new shapes, like the pillow drawings you did. That`s the beginning of inventing shapes which gives you a better understanding of how things work. The drawings with the most mistakes, are your most precious ones, as they learn you alot more than a good drawing!

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    I'm finishing up a class at Gnomon that essentially is an intro to perspective, 'Visual Communications I'

    I think my perspective knowledge is improving, but I still need more instruction. Everyday I read Loomis and a few other books, but sometimes I have trouble deciphering what the authors are trying to tell me and end up doing it wrong. I learn best when guided by an instructor.

    Anyway, the class was great, but only once a week, and the instructor had a full schedule so wasn't often available for feedback. I'm looking for more once I leave the West Coast. I can't really afford a daily rate that a private instructor (if any exist around my area; I did take a few one on one art classes but again, couldn't afford to keep paying) charges, but there is an atelier in my area that has figure drawing classes which I'll sign up for.

    Anyway, the gist is that I am getting the mathematical language of perspective. I just need more instruction from a live person; I've spent hours gazing at textbooks and not getting it.


    I have learned that my primary problem with drawing is proportion. I have struggled with proportion my entire life and I have learned that it is inextricably linked with perspective.

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