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Thread: Subsitute for studies from a posed model?

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    Subsitute for studies from a posed model?

    I've been sketching people (or at least trying to do it) for the past 6-7 months, only to find out that I can't see the shape of the body underneath the clothes. The only way to fix it it appears to be doing studies from a nude model, but there are no life drawing classes (or workshops, how that's thing is actually called?) in my town. The only facility in Belarus which can be described as a life drawing workshop is the recently opened Modern Arts Centre in Minsk, but there is no information about it besides that it exists, and I live far away from Minsk.

    So, is there any alternative to doing studies from a posed model I can use to improve in figure drawing? The advice from a similar thread from August 2010 doesn't seem to apply to me: I can't afford buying a plaster statue or a bust, sketching myself to learn the musculature doesn't work because I'm too skinny (I'm so skinny I can actually study myself to learn a bit about the skeleton , which is the only good thing about it), and sketching other people doesn't work because I don't understand the shape of the body underneath the clothes.
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    Got a significant other that would be willing to pose for you?

    Even though you feel you are too thin, I would still recommend using yourself as a model. A working body is a working body. Any time you draw a real human body, no matter the size or shape, you will be doing yourself a great favour and honing your skills.
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    It's easier in the summer when people are wearing less clothes. That and studying anatomy books so even when you can't see all the details, you can remember what's going on underneath the clothes.
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    Just draw from photos. It's not as beneficial as life drawings, but honestly, it can still get you a long ways. And of course study from Loomis or Vilppu or whomever you choose as well.

    Also, although you can't learn detailed anatomy from people out in the street, you can certainly learn gesture, so don't give up on that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liffey View Post
    Just draw from photos. It's not as beneficial as life drawings, but honestly, it can still get you a long ways.
    From what I have heard before, drawing from photos when you are learning anatomy is very bad and should be avoided because you can't see the forms of the body when drawing from a photo, and the camera lens distorts things.
    I do it anyway because that's the closest thing to nude figure drawing I have right now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian G.I. View Post
    From what I have heard before, drawing from photos when you are learning anatomy is very bad and should be avoided because you can't see the forms of the body when drawing from a photo, and the camera lens distorts things.
    Well, learn anatomy additionally.
    It helps me LOADS. Use Rubins for the muscles, learn them, combine with Bridgman or whoever you find more suitable, AND do studies from photos.
    Look at the sketchbook section- there are so many people doing good(!) studies from photos.

    If you can afford it, get some of the downloads here http://theartdepartment.org/store
    on lighting in photography, anatomy for artists, and form. Also, colour theory by Jason Manley covers ALOT of the issues with photos, and I have found it very useful- for example he goes on to explain that black shadows, often seen in photos and movies, rarely exist in nature and that midtones are often sacrificed.

    James Gurney also discusses the issue of photos as reference in his book "Imaginative Realism", with some great examples of his work and where he had to be careful.

    The more you know about photography, the better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian G.I. View Post
    From what I have heard before, drawing from photos when you are learning anatomy is very bad and should be avoided because you can't see the forms of the body when drawing from a photo, and the camera lens distorts things.
    I do it anyway because that's the closest thing to nude figure drawing I have right now.
    Lens distortion generally is not significant for beginners to worry about. And you can still see form in a photo. Maybe not as intimately as in real life, but it's still there. That's why there are a wide range of values on a single figure.

    Obviously you want to study a variety of sources so you can get as fully formed of a grasp of human form as you can.
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    Get some anatomy books and keep drawing from life. Ask your mates to pose, even for minute or two, draw people in tram/bus, your family when they're watching tv, reading, sleeping etc... You need more practice. Drawing from photos is highly not recommended. Hundreds years ago there were no photos and artists still managed to do amazing shit. Conversion from 3D to 2D is bigger challenge than from 2D to 2D, I don't think photo copying will get You anywhere. Also recommending you to do some masterstudy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian G.I. View Post
    From what I have heard before, drawing from photos when you are learning anatomy is very bad and should be avoided because you can't see the forms of the body when drawing from a photo, and the camera lens distorts things.
    I do it anyway because that's the closest thing to nude figure drawing I have right now.
    It's not "very bad" and it's better than nothing.
    In the summer, though, see if you can hang out at the beach or a swimming pool.
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    If you are drawing nudes from photos, then try to use well lit ones with a clear light source - it will help you distinguish the form more easily. Heavy shadows and multiple light sources are not good if you are drawing them as a learning exercise.

    You can find a number of good stock photos on deviantart (and many many more bad ones sadly). You could do a lot worse than taking a look at http://mjranum-stock.deviantart.com though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hu-ha View Post
    Get some anatomy books and keep drawing from life. Ask your mates to pose, even for minute or two, draw people in tram/bus, your family when they're watching tv, reading, sleeping etc... You need more practice.
    That's what I'm mostly trying to do, thanks for reminding me about it though.

    Quote Originally Posted by hu-ha View Post
    Drawing from photos is highly not recommended. Hundreds years ago there were no photos and artists still managed to do amazing shit. Conversion from 3D to 2D is bigger challenge than from 2D to 2D, I don't think photo copying will get You anywhere. Also recommending you to do some masterstudy.
    I understand why blindly copying photos is a bad thing, learned it the hard way.
    And yeah, master studies, never thought about those.

    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    It's not "very bad" and it's better than nothing.
    In the summer, though, see if you can hang out at the beach or a swimming pool.
    Sketching people at the beach is a nice idea, actually. Too bad that my parents are against any sketching trips outdoors, but I'll try to circumvent that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris-Garrett View Post
    If you are drawing nudes from photos, then try to use well lit ones with a clear light source - it will help you distinguish the form more easily. Heavy shadows and multiple light sources are not good if you are drawing them as a learning exercise.

    You can find a number of good stock photos on deviantart (and many many more bad ones sadly). You could do a lot worse than taking a look at http://mjranum-stock.deviantart.com though.
    Marcus Ranum's stock photos are very good, too bad that most of them are "restricted to deviants 18 and older". Logging out might work though. It doesn't work. Ranum's personal website redirects to his deviantart gallery. Well, I'll get the photos from pixelovely.com or lovecastle.org.


    Thanks for the advice, everyone! Now I have some clear tasks to work on.
    Last edited by Guardian G.I.; March 18th, 2012 at 06:05 PM.
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    There's nothing wrong with using photos as long as it's not all you do.

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  23. #13
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    Try Posemaniacs http://www.posemaniacs.com/

    Another person was asking a similar question and they found it very helpful, could be worth it for you to check it out. It's a pretty cool resource with the rotatable 3D models and parts of the body, hands, etc.
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