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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts

    Need help drawing a mannequin/simplified skeleton!

    Hello everyone!

    As you know it's important to be able to draw a mannequin that is a "simplfied skeleton" or simple "framweork" to be able to gesture and practice anatomy.

    However I am having a hard time finding the skeleton/framwork that is "right" for me and a lot of trouble applying it to models.

    I find the circle method the easiest ... but I think it's very uneffective for foreshortening and perspective poses.,

    I want to be able to draw the mannequin from imagination mostly in order to draw from imagination and also to practice from life.

    Being completely honest some skeletons like loomi's ( are not just super complicated but I take more time drawing that.. than actually practice from a model

    Seriously loomis that's not "simple" (I guess that's becuase he is an art genius...)

    In all seriousness I need a way to "simplfy" the body that works for me in order to start practicing gestures and basic anatomy

    Could someone recomend me a simplified skeleton/mannequin framework ?

    Note : I have some experience drawing cubes from imagination on many angles if that helps
    thank you for your time!
    Check out my NEW NEW NEW SKETCH BOOK and my Constantly updated deviant art too! (Don't forget to critique both! I am very eager to learn)

    "There is a right way and an easy way". I am here to do things the right way .

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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Thanked 208 Times in 171 Posts
    That's not the simplest Loomis skeleton. There's an earlier one in the book that's lines only, basically an anatomically correct stickman.

    He's a genius because he worked very hard to learn. If you read the book, he mentioned something of the order that he was invited to leave art school because he was so bad. He preservered.

    Anyway, you might try Hampton's method too.

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  6. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Thanked 2,586 Times in 1,615 Posts
    You might find it far easier to do this sort of thing if you sketch with pencil on paper. Doing it with a tablet is much, much harder than drawing with a pencil - a lot of artists don't even bother, they use scanned sketches for digital painting.

    I think you misunderstand Loomis's point, though. His "mannikin" is an abstraction of anatomy that can be useful to construct a figure from imagination, but is primarily intended to help you parse what you are seeing in an actual human model. As you say, anatomy is intricate, so it helps to have a handy breakdown of it into simpler blocks; that's the mannikin.

    You can start out with a contrived mannikin and gradually adjust it into a more realistic shape, but if you are just starting out, why not start with the realistic shape and distill that into the mannikin instead? Work on learning the real figure - as long as you are understanding what you see, you'll be able to convert that knowledge into skill in drawing without a model.

    There are tons of ways to simplify the figure for beginning a drawing, from structural Loomis to gestural Vilppu. Find your own way. Later on you'll likely find that you are focusing on different things in different models and poses, so your "mannikin" is different every time. Focus on the things that are important for a particular drawing. It's about capturing the human being's motion, not about formulas!

    Book recommendation: "Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators" by Mattesi. It basically consists of samples of starting methods, all fluid, all situational, none formulaic.

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  8. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Thanked 1,004 Times in 789 Posts
    Whatever you do, think 3d: don't think circles, do think eggs. Personally , I prefer to use blocks, as a block has a distinct front, top, side...
    Grinnikend door het leven...

    Sketchbook Blog

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  10. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Thanked 27 Times in 24 Posts
    As for the skeleton, in my opinion the only way to go about it is studying the real thing and making your own simplification.

    The more you know the less you have to put down on paper. For example, if you know the pelvis, most of the time it will be enough to only draw a box. Or a slightly modified box.

    Look at Gottfried Bammes simplified skeletons.

    Working with volumes (spheres, cylinders boxes) is the same thing. Study the muscle groups and modify your volumes to represent the real thing in the most general way possible.

    All this also depends on how specific you want to be. And thats your own choice.

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