Life Drawings: Whats the benefit of large format?

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  1. #1
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    Life Drawings: Whats the benefit of large format?

    I took Life Drawing class every thursday for two years, left town, now two years later Im going to a life drawing seminar/workshop tomorrow. And as usual you need A3 or bigger to draw on. Why? In those two years no one ever told me the actual benefit of going big.


    What exactly is the point of using a very large surface to draw on?


    Im not questioning anything, I just want to know exactly what its good for. Is it because its difficult to draw fine detail on a small paper with coal? Or is it good for the eye-to-hand coordination? Or is it just tradition?

    Last edited by Automatic Kafka; November 29th, 2006 at 04:03 PM.
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  3. #2
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    I think it is easier to see proportions when drawing on a bigger sheet of paper.
    Also, it seems easier to draw more loose lines.

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    I've always used 18 x 24 pads or larger when I do life studies. AND I still "run out of paper," especially when I had a few drinks first... A large pad allows you to loosen up and get down and dirty with what you're doing without worrying about things like knocking the $56,000.00 Ming vase over that's sitting next to your teeny 6 x 9 sketch paper.

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  5. #4
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    Line Confidence - great way to keep people from going the 'chicken-scratch' route. Also - think of it as a larger 'resolution' so you can work in the details and/or subtle changes.

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    You learn how to draw using your whole arm, rather than just using your wrist.
    Using your whole arm gives much smoother, stronger motion, rather than using the weak motion of your wrist.

    emily

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    i think its harder to see proportions when working large because you stand so close to the page that you have perspective problems (eg from looking down/up) so i think the bigger you draw, the more you have to step back and check everything's in proportion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emily g
    You learn how to draw using your whole arm, rather than just using your wrist.
    Using your whole arm gives much smoother, stronger motion, rather than using the weak motion of your wrist.
    That's what the instructor said when I asked her today. It makes sense.


    And todays workshop aswellas as the loose sessions Ive taken recently made me realise that the drawing class I used to attend was garbage. No proper instruction, no method, no real approach. I actually think it did more damage than good, because when I first did Life Drawing again a month ago, all the stupid errors I used to make two years ago came right back, even though I had progressed beyond them when drawing figures from photo reference or my imagination. They're gone now though as Ive managed to unlearn the bad stuff these past weeks

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    I thought that it is easier to compare distances at a large canvas,sorry if I was wrong.

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    If its true for you, its not wrong

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    also its alot easier to draw something if its close to the size of the referance. try drawing a head the size of a normal head then try drawing one 3feet tall and you will see.

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    Yeah I did this too. The thing was they weren't even detailed drawings, they get out this huge like 3 foot slice of paper and command me to draw something in 30 seconds! They said something about "movement" and other vague reasons for this. I guess you are supposed to throw your whole body into drawing instead of just your hand. It seemed like such a waste of paper, especially since we would all do like a dozen of these to 'warm up' (and no drawing on the back). I mean...I can kind of understand the idea of wanting to get flow in your figures, but it doesn't seem like you should be having beginner artists who don't know how to draw at all just scribbling out indistinct humanoid type drawings. They didn't even attempt to teach us anything even as simple as "line of action", just some nonsense about "feeling" more than seeing and away we went swinging are arms while the teacher implored us to draw even faster. And people wonder why I'm so bitter about my schooling (and no I am not exaggerating at all).

    Last edited by Goodbye..fromthevoid; January 8th, 2007 at 03:37 AM.
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    Line Confidence - great way to keep people from going the 'chicken-scratch' route.
    I think Idiot Apathy got it right.

    I think Life Drawing is more about caligraphy then rendering. Rendering requires using the wrist. Caligraphy requires using the whole arm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider
    I think Idiot Apathy got it right.

    I think Life Drawing is more about caligraphy then rendering. Rendering requires using the wrist. Caligraphy requires using the whole arm.
    There are many kinds of life drawing, mind you. Long poses for example require rendering skills, obviously.

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    one of my teachers brought up a very good point, you can hide alot of small mistakes when you work small. blowing up a drawing reveals alot of subtle errors in your construction techniques

    working small is great for figuring out composition though.

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    http://www.henryyanart.com

    I like looking at this link to remind me I'm still not living up to my potential....yet.

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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Automatic Kafka
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emily g
    You learn how to draw using your whole arm, rather than just using your wrist.
    Using your whole arm gives much smoother, stronger motion, rather than using the weak motion of your wrist.

    That's what the instructor said when I asked her today. It makes sense.
    That's the best reason your instructor could give you? It seems to me if you want to practice your line, then why even bother drawing from life while you do it? Should just practice a bunch of abstract lines by themselves rather than having to simultaneaously worry about the figure.
    Better proportion with bigger paper is also unlikely, as being so close to a large image distorts it.
    Three possible reasons I can think of for using large paper are: If you're working on calligraphy, as someone mentioned, then it should be easier to feel your way through the interconnectivity of the lines. The second reason is that working big forces you to be authoritative with your marks, I mean that every bump you draw must have a structural purpose, must relate to some piece of anatomy. When working small it's easy to get a lot of vague blurry bumps and stuff, it's difficult to control overlap. The third reason is similar to the second, people who work big ususlly use charcoal which just makes a mess when working small.

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