AuthorTopic: Official Anatomy Thread  (Read 199207 times)

Offline 0xDB

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #280 on: December 01, 2012, 03:17:47 pm
Ashbad, the hard way would be to be a creeper and draw people from life outside (Public transportation works well for that but be prepared to get some angry looks when you stare at people analyzing their features. If you wear headphones and listen to loud music you can at least prevent them from actually starting to talk to you. After some time you can move on to sketching them in your head, still being a creeper staring at them but without the additional awkwardness which arises from them seeing you scribbling down lines into your sketchbook while you keep looking up and down.)

Other than that, others have suggested studying Loomis which is what I'm currently doing, reading "Drawing The Head And Hands". I'm still at the beginning of the book but already learned a couple of things which helped improve my head drawings. Of course, posting your drawing on the web and receiving critique is also a good way to learn. Avoid family and friends for critique for they tend to be mild on you and dishonest in that they won't point out your flaws because they're too afraid to hurt your feelings.

----
Today I tried to make an arbitrary construction without looking at the 3D model. This time I started with the ellipses which form from the sliced off sides of the main ball of the head and then constructed the head around them. Afterwards I looked at the 3D model and picked the orientation which seemed to match it most accurately (which turned out to be D3). Based on that I found too many flaws and after a bit of trying gave up on correcting all of them which leaves me with the abandoned version on the far right:


(this proves once more that if the construction is flawed, no amount of tweaking and screwing around on the individual parts afterwards will be sufficient to make it look right as a whole)

My mind seems to be controlled by some strong force of habit which always wants to go back to rendering the face from a straight symbolic front view and it also refuses to accept that some things are hidden underneath others and thus should not appear in the drawing at all, it's like the mind does not like leaving out anything and wants to spread out and draw even the things that lie covered around and behind an edge. This becomes most obvious whenever I get towards drawing the mouth and chin region.




Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #281 on: December 01, 2012, 10:52:47 pm
Dennis, if you are not aware of it, you should know that our brains are wired to see symbolically just as you are describing, which is why it is natural to you. Trying to draw un-symbolically is actually a very unnatural thing for one to do, and is compounded when we are working from imagination and do not have a solid model infront of us to tell us something is "wrong".  I would actually recommend taking the time to work from life or photographs right now, as I think you need to build up a mental library of how different features look in different angles so that you can inject that information into your imaginative studies. It's very easy for things to look " fake" or plastic or otherwise off when you are only going based on the knowledge of construction and not the knowledge of how fleshy faces look like.

Offline jengy

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #282 on: December 02, 2012, 01:14:11 am
I would actually recommend taking the time to work from life or photographs right now, as I think you need to build up a mental library of how different features look in different angles so that you can inject that information into your imaginative studies

I would definitely agree with Ryumaru on this idea. Drawing something that exists in real life from the imagination is extremely hard, and there are plenty of online resources available to draw from. Most professional artists, if they are seeking realism, draw from resource. And if you are just practicing, then there is no reason to draw from imagination if you can get better faster drawing from life or photographs first.

This not only instills confidence in yourself, but it also teaches you to see something as it is--abstract, 2D shapes that represent 3D forms.

From what I'm seeing, you're trying to do battle with 1) perspective 2) proportion 3) imagination drawing 4) identifying enclosed shapes. Reducing these problem solving exercises to one challenge will may help you grow faster in that area and understand it more.

The main thing I would recommend trying to get better at is seeing abstract, 2D shapes that every drawing is made of. The book "Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain" has a lot of techniques for this, such as flipping the canvas and using a grid system to determine placement. I made a short gif with tips on how to draw from an image.

Here's a short gif with some tips (here's the png if you prefer: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oC4DXkd3uSo/ULqps1TrPvI/AAAAAAAAE0M/WTqmTMmjYJw/s1600/fordennis.png):


And good luck! :) Art is hard, but if you are open to trying new things, you can really grow your talents and technical skills. Try everything until something works for you!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 01:15:51 am by jengy »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #283 on: December 02, 2012, 02:05:19 am

The main thing I would recommend trying to get better at is seeing abstract, 2D shapes that every drawing is made of. The book "Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain" has a lot of techniques for this, such as flipping the canvas and using a grid system to determine placement. I made a short gif with tips on how to draw from an image.

Working wih a 2D grid is quite a nice crutch as long as you are doing photorealism. It definitely sets the placement for stuff and for "copying" from photos or even "copying" from live, although it only works with one perspective and it's also quite easy to mess things up with a grid if you are just copying tonal values and don't understand the underlying structure and form. Maybe some artists are doing it in this simple way, but there are lots of ways to use a photo reference.

Working with a simple grid would be a big step backwards for Dennis because he is reproducing his knowledge in the third dimension.

Maybe the end result would look better if he'd draw exactly from photos, but I think it won't help his vision and it's not the thing he is aiming for.
If we draw a head out of mind our own mistakes are pretty visible. The human sight is especially trained to see the face and even the slightest differences in mimic of a face (not at least because of surviving, imagine your perception of a face would be weaker - you won't be able to differ 2 persons or to predict their mood) and because of this the face - or the head are the ideal object to improve oneself - because the issues are pretty obvious. If you draw an apple nobody will see a big difference to a photo, even if there is ( I already checked this out...). But if a single angle is different in a face it's changing the whole impression drastically.
Photos are good to study how something looks - but after all it doesn't help the same if you have to draw the object in a different angle or with a different lighting angle or different lighting scenario.

I admire Dennis for what he is doing, because he trains his skill of forms and he also keeps me motivated to study. I also see that he also makes a lot of big improvements - because if you compare the newest stuff with the drawings from some weeks ago I can already see a huge difference in skill and experience.

I hope you keep the good work up Dennis  :y:

Edit: Flipping is good, because it makes the image fresh to look at - especially if the imaginary picture is only from one side, this helps a lot to get the forms right.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 02:20:54 am by Cyangmou »
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline jengy

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #284 on: December 02, 2012, 04:33:57 am
Working with a simple grid would be a big step backwards for Dennis because he is reproducing his knowledge in the third dimension.

It's definitely important to understand the underlying structure of the thing you are drawing. This technique specifically targets errors in proportion, which I think is very important when understanding the figure straight on, but doubly hard if you are trying to translate those proportions into space. I mostly want to recommend that it might be good to tackle one issue first (proportion), instead of two (proportion and perspective).

Proportion in itself is tricky, and using certain mechanics can help you build your eye for it (like drawing from life, photos, ect).

I do agree with a lot of your points Cyangmou, but I would only say that you should always try out a technique to see if it may help before not trying it at all.

We can say certain techniques are crutches, but anything can be used as a tool for learning if we can adapt past their limitations and integrate the technical abilities of exercises into our own workflow.

Iíll use myself as an example:



The drawing on the left is from April, and the drawing on the right is from June. These are drawn from life/observation.

I hated drawing from life or images. It bored me to tears. I never did it until this year, and now I see its worth.

After drawing from photos for a couple months, I found improvement even in my non-photo based drawings.

It may not work for everyone, but just trying out a technique canít hurt. Iíve been doing an art challenge (one drawing a day) since April and doing a mixture of imagination, life and drawing from photos, and all three have shown me something worthwhile.

And yes, kudos for throwing down so many posts! I agree with Cyangmou that it's inspiring. :] I guess what I want to convey is--try everything! At least once! One drawing can convince you of something or tell you that something doesn't work for you. Perception of technique is one thing, but doing it is another. And good luck to you!

Offline 0xDB

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #285 on: December 02, 2012, 12:25:55 pm
That's some good progress in those portraits jengy. I think your portraits might benefit from some real life pencils or charcoal next to add more character to them.


Thanks for all the positive, constructive and kind words everyone.

Even though I don't currently have any new studies to show, I feel like I should respond to what has been written so far before the backlog of text becomes too long and before there'll be too much stuff to respond to.

Thank you jengy for putting in the time to prepare that summary of some of the techniques presented in Betty Edwards' book (I hope you didn't specifically prepare those only for me though, because I already worked with that book back in 2001/2002, so that would have been a waste of your time. Still a useful picture for everyone trying to improve their life studies). It's really a good book and I think I've recommended it to others myself a few times over the years. I even keep meaning to read it again. :)

Personally I'm not a friend of the grid and never used it because I want to train my eyes/mind to be able to do stuff mostly without additional tools. Also, I'm too lazy to build a good physical grid, heh.

Cyangmou is right that simply "copying from life", trying to be a human camera, isn't enough and he's also right in that this is not where my main focus is on right now.

My current goal is to be able to construct any pose/angle from scratch with believable anatomy and volumes in a somewhat realistic appearance and without relying on any references (imagine being stuck on a lonely island where you have to invent & draw your own new friends from imagination to stay sane).
I see how I'm hitting a road block here again though, because I don't know enough about how the human features look from all angles yet and which basic volumes they're best constructed from, so life studies as recommended by Ryumaru and jengy are very important indeed and I should really do them more often.

That mental library of things which Ryumaru mentioned, combined with the constructive approach by Loomis, an understanding of volume and maybe even using photo references and being an observant creeper in real life (without copying 1:1) for getting features right should eventually end up giving the best results.

To make this post worthwile, I'll post some real life studies I made in the past over the years (in fact, I do these so rarely (because I find inventing more interesting than copying), those are all I could find) (anything pre 2002 I never got around to scanning it and I don't even know which box or drawer it's currently hidden in)).

2002 seems to have been a productive period. Then there's a long stretch of nothing until a single drawing from 2007, following by more nothing until two drawings from 2009, followed by nothing again until now 2012.

Another goal of mine is to first get back to and then surpass my skill level as it was 10 years ago. :)

2002:


















2007:


2009:









Offline 0xDB

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #286 on: December 02, 2012, 11:14:52 pm


I intended to draw a full portrait of her but I felt intimidated by her beauty and thought there was no way I could be able to capture that with my rusty and crude pencil-fu, so I just drew an eye. Even in that little portion I made a few mistakes and got some angles and stroke lengths wrong. The most obvious error is the fold which covers the upper eyelid, it seems a little swollen in my drawing thus already destroying the perfection found in the original. Also, it does not seem to wrap as softly around the bone as it does in reality and just ends abruptly on the left with a sharp edge.

Furthermore, I misinterpreted the dark stuff on the lower left as lashes from the lower lid where now after comparing my drawing side by side with the reference I think those dark lines are actually shadows cast by the lashes from her upper eyelid. Also, the dark lines inside the colored part of the eye are probably reflections of the lashes (got that wrong too while drawing and assumed seemingly random pigmentation).

Offline wishie

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #287 on: December 02, 2012, 11:33:30 pm
The lines on the eyelashes are a little thick. I would practice on a scrap sheet of paper with pencil strokes. Just make a bunch of strokes until you can get a thin, wispy(?), eyelash look. It'll help train your hand on knowing how the strokes for eyelashes are supposed to feel. (same with eyebrows too)
Your lashes are a little to even as well, especially the longer ones.

Also, on the upper eyelid, that dark spot is a little to dark and cuts off as a corner instead of blending in with the rest of the skin like in the photo.
She does have eyeshadow on, so the part on the lower lid is probably some blending of the eyeshadow.

Offline 0xDB

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #288 on: December 03, 2012, 12:40:37 am
Good observation on the lashes, I'll try making them more irregular in the future.

I tried making a few corrections, first to the original which soon became impossible to further fix further because of the limitation of non-digital erasers, graphite pigments and paper and then some additional digital ones. I'll abandon it now.

Offline wishie

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Re: Official Anatomy Thread

Reply #289 on: December 03, 2012, 02:41:29 am
Nice edits. You could draw the eye again? sometimes it takes more than one sketch to get something to look like how you want it.

Here's some stuff I've done recently:



(I know that face is out of place)

muscle study using posemaniacs.com


Below are two muscle study sketches that I did a year or so ago for a life drawing class: