How would you begin doing Life Drawings?
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    Question How would you begin doing Life Drawings?

    So recently i posted a thread on the "Art Schools & Education" section asking about what are some good character animation schools. Shortly after I got some feedback with quite a few schools.
    I've noticed that the portfolios requires observational drawings which i have no experience in drawing. So i'm wondering how would you begin if you have no transportation to get anywhere (huge problem of mine right now) and don't have any experience when it comes to drawing from life? The only thing i know i might give a shot would just be going outside and just drawing people (also my roommate when he isn't looking).
    Other than that what resources are there that i could use to help me get a start on this?

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    Start by going outside and just drawing people and your roommate (and why only when he's not looking? Just go and ask if he can pose for you or if you can draw him while he's watching tv or playing or reading, and unless he has issues or is an asshole I don't see why he'd refuse). And yourself if you have a mirror. Good quality photos can be used in addition to practice.
    Also if they require observational drawing and not just specifically figure drawings, I'm pretty sure you can observe inanimate objects too and practice doing still life drawings (it's good practice anyway).

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Start by going outside and just drawing people and your roommate (and why only when he's not looking? Just go and ask if he can pose for you or if you can draw him while he's watching tv or playing or reading, and unless he has issues or is an asshole I don't see why he'd refuse). And yourself if you have a mirror. Good quality photos can be used in addition to practice.
    Also if they require observational drawing and not just specifically figure drawings, I'm pretty sure you can observe inanimate objects too and practice doing still life drawings (it's good practice anyway).
    Yeah I think i'll start with going outside and drawing what i see. I don't think my roommate is an asshole (maybe some of his friends are) but he doesn't seem like the type that would say yes to just pose for me. He's one of those types who likes to party, smoke, skateboard and sorta a wannabe wrapper.
    The mirror things i'll give it a shot, but you really can't pose and draw yourself in a mirror so i'm guessing it would only be good for things like portraits, studying the face as well as practicing drawing facial expressions (kinda hard for me cuz i always looks like :|...haha)

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    I would still suggest researching your area for some open studio figure drawing sessions, unless you dont get bore doing like a hundred self portraits/still lifes. Take the bus if you have to , I did.

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    Do the portfolio requirements state specifically that the observational drawing has to be of people? Because you can probably fulfill most of the requirements with still life and landscape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    Do the portfolio requirements state specifically that the observational drawing has to be of people? Because you can probably fulfill most of the requirements with still life and landscape.
    Well right now i'm looking at the calarts one. It says that there should be drawings of people, animals and also interior and exterior landscapes

    Edit: I found a book by Andrew Loomis online called Figure Drawing for All Its Worth, so right now i'm seeing what i can learn from that. Its helping quite a bit because i don't have muhc knowledge on human anatomy or how to draw someone

    Last edited by CivilizedYapper; October 18th, 2012 at 11:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CivilizedYapper View Post
    Edit: I found a book by Andrew Loomis online called Figure Drawing for All Its Worth, so right now i'm seeing what i can learn from that. Its helping quite a bit because i don't have muhc knowledge on human anatomy or how to draw someone
    But mind you, it's a book and you can't skip the actual drawing from life part. So I suggest you get outside to draw people, look what you especially have problems with, see if the book has any help on that, go outside again and keep drawing.

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    draw people on the bus, ive been practicing so im pretty good at it and draw stuff on the windows really fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CivilizedYapper View Post
    Well right now i'm looking at the calarts one. It says that there should be drawings of people, animals and also interior and exterior landscapes

    Edit: I found a book by Andrew Loomis online called Figure Drawing for All Its Worth, so right now i'm seeing what i can learn from that. Its helping quite a bit because i don't have muhc knowledge on human anatomy or how to draw someone
    Without having artwork to look at, this is a bit general.

    Loomis is great. Keep it. But you will also need gesture drawings; exploring the attitude and emotional state of the person without worrying so much about getting everything drawn 'right'. (Don't stop learning that stuff either, though - it does help drawings gestures much, much easier.) Pick up Drawn to Life, by Walt Stanchfield; the book is a collection of the notes he'd put together for his life-drawing classes at Disney. Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair goes over a lot of basics, too. (Line of Action, simplified construction)

    I know people are recommending open figure drawing, but don't rely on that entirely - especially if it doesn't offer any gestures. (Which are poses that are less than 5 minutes.) Still, any model time is good. (Oh, so much to learn!)

    Don't forget to do what you think is fun, too!

    If you want to go to a school like CalArts, make sure you're trying to develop a voice - which comes from drawing a shit-ton - not to reproduce nice looking work. The skill level going in to the school is already pretty high, so keep that in mind; it may not be a bad idea to take some time before school to do lots of drawings. (If you search around the forums there should be a thread with accepted portfolios.)

    Last edited by Alice Herring; October 19th, 2012 at 06:42 AM.
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    Yeah, books are helpful but don't let them distract you from actually drawing. If you've never done any observational drawing at all and want to get good enough to get into one of the top schools, your time should be maybe 90% drawing, 10% studying books.

    You can start drawing right now. If the requirements say "interiors and landscapes", you can do those anytime, anywhere. You can also draw random objects from life anytime, and you probably should if you've done no observational drawing yet - still life is a good way to start practicing your observational skills. And you're going to need all the practice you can get. To start with, you can draw your room and everything in it. Now. GO.

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    Also I hope when you say, "found online" you found the book being sold online and supported the publisher and purchased it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Izbrunz View Post
    I would still suggest researching your area for some open studio figure drawing sessions, unless you dont get bore doing like a hundred self portraits/still lifes. Take the bus if you have to , I did.
    I'm gonna call ditto on this. I know you said transportation is an issue, OP, but if there's any life drawing classes in your area I urge you to take them.
    Not only are they a great learning experience but they're also really fun

    If not, I'd prob suggest your local park esp. if it's busy.



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    Quote Originally Posted by The-Idle-Elk View Post
    I'm gonna call ditto on this. I know you said transportation is an issue, OP, but if there's any life drawing classes in your area I urge you to take them.
    Not only are they a great learning experience but they're also really fun

    If not, I'd prob suggest your local park esp. if it's busy.
    Well, I know they have figure drawing as a course in my uni which is nice, but i have to wait til next semester if i want to take that.
    But the public park is a nice idea! Maybe not a public park, but my uni is pretty big and also it wouldn't be too had to draw people and the surroundings.
    Thanks for the tip haha, now i have something to work with for some time

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    you could also try to sneak into those sessions... youre at least a student there... i did it at the local university and i havent had a problem even not beeing a regular student at all. shouldnt be taken as too much of an offense to not at least try.

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    I would suggest mixing it up with some extended poses & quick sketches. For extended poses, try drawing with landscapes, arranged still life, self portraits with a mirror, studies on your own hands, feet, etc. & if you're able to find (or bribe) a friend to sit around for a bit. For the quick sketches, go to some places that is busy like a cafe, train/bus stop (or even better on the vehicles themselves), pretty anywhere there's a lot people & activities & just draw a fast as you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChubbyCake725 View Post
    I would suggest mixing it up with some extended poses & quick sketches. For extended poses, try drawing with landscapes, arranged still life, self portraits with a mirror, studies on your own hands, feet, etc. & if you're able to find (or bribe) a friend to sit around for a bit. For the quick sketches, go to some places that is busy like a cafe, train/bus stop (or even better on the vehicles themselves), pretty anywhere there's a lot people & activities & just draw a fast as you can.
    Cool beans, but when it comes to extended poses how long should i be spending on a drawing? This would go the same for quick sketches? Is there a general time frame you should be spending on them?
    So for extended poses, you spend like an hour or 2 and for quick sketches 1-5 minutes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CivilizedYapper View Post
    Cool beans, but when it comes to extended poses how long should i be spending on a drawing? This would go the same for quick sketches? Is there a general time frame you should be spending on them?
    So for extended poses, you spend like an hour or 2 and for quick sketches 1-5 minutes?
    There isn't any "should". You can spend as long as you need to in order to bring a drawing to the level of finish you want, especially with something that doesn't move, like a still life or an interior. If you don't have much experience, expect it to take some time (anywhere from half an hour to several hours,) because you'll probably be doing a lot of erasing and correcting.

    Depending on what you're drawing and how detailed and finished you get with it, it could take an hour, 2 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours... It all depends.

    Although if you're getting someone to pose for you, it depends on how long they'll be comfortable holding a given pose, or how long they're willing to pose... 20 minutes is about long enough for most poses (after that they get really uncomfortable,) though a lying-down pose could be held for an hour.

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    Extended poses will depend your subject. Still life, self portraits/studies, & landscape, you can take your time. If you're using a friend, it can range anywhere between 20 minutes and upwards to how long they can or is willing to hold the pose. For quick sketches, they last until the subjects move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChubbyCake725 View Post
    pretty anywhere there's a lot people & activities & just draw a fast as you can.
    This is such a strange comment to me. Just because it's a short pose, or you're catching someone in the act of doing something (btw if there's a local skate park, that's awesome for fun gesture drawings) doesn't mean you can't be deliberate in your markmaking. Part of the challenge in gesture drawing, especially if the person is in the middle of the action, is you have to capture the emotion and moment even though by the time you've already seen it, it's gone. So there's definitely a process of trying to hold the idea and image in your mind when you try to draw it. (These will absolutely suck at first. But it gets better with practice - this is also where more traditional life-drawing based in construction helps, because you can use the knowledge gained from observation and study to fill in the gaps in the pose.)

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    I start with the head, and go from there. Just draw!

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    Alrighty! Well I've already begun drawing stuff...not exactly from life, but from photos...I'm getting there! (i'm kinda introverted and stuff so i don't really go out much)
    But I have one last question before I do anything else here and that is, where would i post my sketches on this website???

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    In your sketchbook - start one. If you're having problems with one specific picture post it in the critique section.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CivilizedYapper View Post
    So recently i posted a thread on the "Art Schools & Education" section asking about what are some good character animation schools. Shortly after I got some feedback with quite a few schools.
    I've noticed that the portfolios requires observational drawings which i have no experience in drawing. So i'm wondering how would you begin if you have no transportation to get anywhere (huge problem of mine right now) and don't have any experience when it comes to drawing from life? The only thing i know i might give a shot would just be going outside and just drawing people (also my roommate when he isn't looking).
    Other than that what resources are there that i could use to help me get a start on this?
    If you have no transportation but access to the internet and books I would recommend combining the two. There's several publications out there that are absolutely marvelous at laying down steps (or techniques rather) on honing your skills as an Artist, Since your going for real life drawings I recommend Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery by Christopher Sia. I own the first two volumes of the book and it has helped me tremendously with not making the mistake of focusing on everything, but rather the steps. (although everyone learns differently) heres a link to it if your interested. http://b78deck5n08ddv53sqjnv85rd5.ho.../?tid=DRAWING1

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    Even if you can't do too many weird poses in front of the mirror, you are your own best model. Hands and feet are hard and you have two of those. With two mirrors, you can even draw yourself from profile view. Make faces at yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CivilizedYapper View Post
    Yeah I think i'll start with going outside and drawing what i see. I don't think my roommate is an asshole (maybe some of his friends are) but he doesn't seem like the type that would say yes to just pose for me. He's one of those types who likes to party, smoke, skateboard and sorta a wannabe wrapper.
    just ask the dude if he's going to be still for a while if he's watching TV or reading or something. i've literally never had anyone say it wasn't fine to draw them.

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    I work from observation all the time
    things I draw on different places:
    at home: my parents, my cats, selfportraits, the rooms, still lifes, actually everything!
    on the train: people, selfportraits in the windows
    outside: logical, the landscape, houses, animals like cows, trees, flowers, the garden, people in the city in a bar...
    at school: I ask friends to come and sit for me. they really like to be drawn! also still lifes from things I have with me (can be the most stupid things), the sight from the window, selfportraits..

    I hope you can do something with my comment. Everything around you can be drawn!

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