Figure Drawing - Dynamic Figure Drawing

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Figure Drawing - Dynamic Figure Drawing

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Figure Artist brings a whole new dimension to posing a figure that would be nearly impossible in real life. With Figure Artist, the ability to catch an action pose is limitless. In real-life situations, about the best an artist can do is ask the model to perform an action and then try to capture the action with a camera, which is a haphazard approach at best. Figure 8.1 shows a pose taken from a model in Figure Artist that would be impossible for a live model to hold for more than a fraction of a second. This chapter deals with...

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  1. C H A P T E R 8 Figure 8.1 A live model could not hold this pose for more than a fraction of a second.
  2. ✎ Dynamic Figure Drawing F igure Artist brings a whole new dimension to posing a figure that would be nearly impossible in real life. With Figure Artist, the ability to catch an action pose is limitless. In real-life situations, about the best an artist can do is ask the model to perform an action and then try to capture the action with a camera, which is a haphazard approach at best. Figure 8.1 shows a pose taken from a model in Figure Artist that would be impossible for a live model to hold for more than a fraction of a second. This chapter deals with creating dynamic figure poses that would not be pos- sible with live models. My hope is that it will help you to unlock a world of possibilities that goes beyond those available in a life-drawing situation. Limitations of a Live Model Although a live model is always the preferred situation for drawing the figure, there are limitations to what you can have a model do. Live models are humans who live in a real world. They get tired. Even a relaxed pose can’t be held indefi- nitely. The following are just a few limitations you will find when posing a live model: ✎ Gravity affects everything in life, including a model, causing fatigue. Some poses are easier to hold than others for long periods of time. Out of respect and compassion for the live model, most figure-drawing situations tend to be poses that the model can hold without a great deal of difficulty. Dynamic poses are often short, giving the artist little time to fully develop the figure. 157
  3. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models ✎ Some poses, such as floor. I guess it would ✎ Models are people, and running or jumping, be possible to put the because they are peo- can’t be held at all model on an overhead ple, they come in a because they happen in glass platform, but I variety of shapes and the air. Again, gravity is haven’t seen too many sizes. You might not be the problem. I guess if of those. able to find just the there were a life-mod- ✎ Time is also a limitation right person for your eling class on the space for live models. Not drawings. In addition, station the model could only is there the prob- the person you find hold an action pose, lem of fatigue men- might not be able to but until artists can tioned a moment ago, perform the required work in the weightless- but there is also the poses because of lack ness of space, a live fact that models can’t of training or ability. model can only hold a always be around For example, you pose when planted on when you want them. might want to have the ground. Even rig- They have lives of their someone pose for a ging a harness to sus- own, so drawing time graceful ballet pose, pend the model doesn’t has to be scheduled but you might not be work very well because well in advance. Thus, able to locate a quali- of the distortions and if you have a great idea fied model in your view obstructions the for a drawing, you area. harness causes. might have to wait ✎ A living person will ✎ Viewing the live model before you can pose a tend to move even if it is usually limited to a model. is only a little bit. range near eye level. ✎ Another limitation of a Holding a pose is hard, Not often can an artist live model is the fact and often the model view the model from that there is usually an will shift or lean a little directly above because expense involved in while posing. When the most studios or classes hiring the model. Few model takes a break are not equipped with models work for free. and then tries to reas- catwalks or other over- Modeling is work, and sume a pose, he or she head platforms for the models deserve to will never be in exactly drawing. Likewise, be paid for the time the same pose as drawing from directly and effort involved in before. below the figure is modeling for artists. impossible because of a thing we call the 158
  4. Dynamic Figure Drawing Figure Artist does not solve every year later and load the pose, it will needs it as reference. What is limitation of live models, but it be exactly the same. more, the artist can adjust the pose does go a long way toward solving as needed to fine-tune the action. many problems. A model in Figure Figure 8.2 shows a pose of a char- Figure 8.3 shows another such Artist can hold a pose indefinitely, acter in the act of jumping in the pose. no matter how difficult the pose. air. This is a good example of a Holding a pose indefinitely is a pose that could not be held by a You can see from these examples great advantage because the artist live model, but can be held by a that dynamics of figure movement can study the figure in detail. virtual model. that go beyond the sedate, static What’s more, when a model from poses of the life-drawing class are The virtual model can hold this now available to the artist through Figure Artist is posed, it doesn’t action pose for as long as the artist Figure Artist. move at all. If you come back a Figure 8.2 The virtual model can hold a pose indefi- Figure 8.3 This is an example of an action pose. nitely. 159
  5. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models Posing the exaggeration is okay when posing dynamic figures, but overdoing it action. These art forms have con- sistently pushed the human figure Dynamic Figure might push your drawing from into more and more extreme move- dynamic to grotesque. To create a ment to add drama and suspense Dynamic figure poses are different good dynamic pose, you need to to art. Take a look at the three fig- from other poses in that they push push the limits of human move- ure poses shown in Figure 8.4. the envelope of human movement. ment, but not break them. In other words, dynamic figure You can see from these pictures poses are at the extremes of the For years comic book artists and that the beginning and end of an motion that the human body is animators have known that the action are more dynamic than the capable of performing. extremes of movement are the pose that is partway through the most dynamic depictions of human punch. Extreme Movement Dynamic figure posing really has two main components that the artist needs to work with to be suc- cessful. The first is exploring the extremes of human motion with- out going beyond the physical restraints of the body. The second is establishing a strong action line that conveys a consistent momen- tum within the figure. The joints of the body have natural limits to movement. The arm, for example, only bends at the elbow in one direction. Contortionists may defy the natural limitations of Figure 8.4 The beginning or end of an action holds the most dynamic the human body, but drawing a pose. limb that is pushed way beyond its natural limits will often result in a drawing that looks odd or disturb- ing rather than dynamic. Some 160
  6. Dynamic Figure Drawing The Action Line All good dynamic poses start with You don’t necessarily have to draw a good dynamic action line. The the action line first, but you do Now let’s take this example even action line is the unifying element need to see it in the pose of your further and push the dynamics a that ties the figure to a consistent figure. A good way to work with little. Take a look at Figure 8.5 and motion. A good, strong action line the virtual models in Figure Artist notice how making the action will give a figure a sense of finesse is to create the pose and then draw extreme increases the feeling of and grace. Try to think of the fig- an action line over the model, like drama and power. ure as a single line. Look at the line the lines drawn over the model in to see whether it conveys the Figure 8.6. You should be able to If you remember from Chapter 5, a dynamic quality that you want to see readily whether your model has pose that has a strong action line is have in your drawing. If the under- a strong action line. If it does not, more dynamic than one that does- lying action line does not express a you can then work on the pose n’t. Figure 8.6 shows the action strong sense of dynamic motion, some more to get a better line. lines superimposed over the figure the overlaying figure won’t either. pose. Even the lines seem dynamic. Figure 8.5 This punch seems more dramatic. Figure 8.6 The action lines seem dynamic. 161
  7. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models After you have a strong action line, drawing the dynamic figure becomes easier. Figure 8.7 shows a drawing of the figure from the action pose. Figure Artist comes with a number of poses for both the male and female models. These poses range from relaxed, mundane actions to dynamic comic book–style poses. To help you learn how to increase the drama in your own poses, I suggest that you load a few of the poses and adjust them. See whether you can make the poses more dynamic. Work on the action lines and see whether you can cre- ate some expressive dynamic poses for your drawing from the poses that come with the software. Figure 8.7 After establishing the action line, the figure is then drawn. 162
  8. Dynamic Figure Drawing Posing Multiple Figures Posing one figure is a challenge, but often the artist will want more than a single figure in the drawing. Sometimes multiple figures can cause problems for the artist because they have to be drawn in relation to each other. You can set up scenes with live models to have multiple figures, but two models usually cost twice as much as one model. With Figure Artist you can add as many figures as you like, and they don’t cost any more than the purchase price of the software. Let’s take a look at the punch pose again. What good is a punch if it doesn’t actually hit anything? Figure 8.8 shows a virtual model Figure 8.8 This punch landed. punching and another virtual model getting punched. 163
  9. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models A great advantage of Figure Artist Now let’s try a more dynamic pose is that the models are to scale, NOTE for our two models. Instead of the which helps to keep the figures in light tap that our models used, let’s your scenes in scale with each These poses are other exam- see some real action and reaction. other. The perspective in Figure ples of poses that would be Take a look at Figure 8.9. One of Artist is automatic. difficult to achieve in a live our virtual models has just finished modeling session. Not too a powerful punch, and the other many models will be willing model is feeling the effect. to have their jaw dislocated Are you starting to see how moving just so the artist can get a a pose to the extreme of its motion good look at a fight scene. enhances the action in the pose? However, the virtual model doesn’t really feel pain, so you can beat him up as much as you like, and he will still come back for more. Figure 8.9 Now that is a powerful punch. 164
  10. Dynamic Figure Drawing Moving the Point becomes very evident in pictures in become more dramatic. This view which there are two or more char- of the scene has a lot more drama of View acters. than the one shown in Figure 8.9, Not only can the pose be dynamic, without changing the poses of A view in Figure Artist is associated either model. but the view can be as well. A with a camera. By moving the cam- static view from the side, such as era, you are moving your point of You should never accept the first the one shown in Figure 8.8, might view. Take a look at Figure 8.10. view you come up with of a scene. not always be the best view of The only thing that has changed is Always explore different angles to dynamic action. Although the your point of view. see whether you might find a bet- action lines may be strong, the pic- ter view. Figure 8.11 shows the ture can look less dramatic because In Figure 8.10, the action is head- scene from the back of the punch- it is viewed from a perpendicular ing more toward us, making the ing model. Although it has the angle. Poses tend to look more picture more dramatic. Notice that same (if not stronger) diagonal dynamic if the view is at an angle as you turn the scene, the figures lines as Figure 8.10, it doesn’t have other than a flat view of the action. start to overlap each other. The as much drama because the action Although it is not as noticeable in diagonal lines in the scene also is going away from the viewer. single-character pictures, this Figure 8.10 Change your point of view to increase Figure 8.11 Receding action is not as dramatic as drama. approaching action. 165
  11. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models Figure Artist has no restrictions as Moving your models around can environment. A pose that might to the angles from which you can give you a better view, and it can look right from one angle often view your poses. You can even also give you an opportunity to doesn’t look as good from another become creative and view the view your pose from other angles unless you pose your model and action from a sky shot, as shown in to see whether it looks right. The look at it from multiple angles. Figure 8.12, or you can look at the virtual models simulate a real 3D action from below, as shown in Figure 8.13. Figure 8.12 You can view the scene from up top. Figure 8.13 You can also view the scene from down below. 166
  12. Dynamic Figure Drawing Posing with act. These objects are by no means a complete set of objects for any- Objects thing you might want to do, but they do form a basic set of shapes When you are drawing figures, you that you can use. For example, might want to also add some Figure 8.14 is using a box object objects. Figure Artist has a number from the available objects as a prop of simple objects with which you with the figures. can have your virtual models inter- Figure 8.14 Props can also be added to scenes. 167
  13. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models The view of the scene is kind of they can strain at something as pushing and pulling a heavy static because it is taken from the hard as you like without ever get- object. The hunched stances and side, but you should be able to see ting tired. If these guys were real off-balanced positions of the three how adding a prop can help with models, fatigue would cause them pulling imaginary ropes clearly putting a group of figures together. to only be able to hold a pose like show their exertion. The two push- Figure 8.15 shows a more dramatic this for a few minutes. ing the box show by their posture view of the models pulling and that they are leaning hard against pushing the box. Virtual models might have the the back of the box. drawback of not showing the In this scene there are five figures intense muscle strain of individual With a little work you can have struggling to move the box. From muscles, but the models can be set your virtual models interact with the amount of effort these guys are up to show the overall stress put props in a very realistic manner. A putting into it, the box must be on the body with extreme exertion. lot depends on how you set up very heavy. An aspect of virtual From the poses with the box, you each pose in relation to the object. models that works very well is that can clearly tell that the models are Figure 8.15 Changing the view helps to show dimension of the box. 168
  14. Dynamic Figure Drawing Adding Clothing NOTE Not all figure drawing is of nude figures. In fact, artists have to deal The clothing in Figure Artist should not be viewed as an exact refer- with clothed figures more often ence of how cloth hangs off the figure, but rather gives a general than with nude ones. The clothing idea of how the figure would look clothed. If you are interested in for the models in Figure Artist is getting a more accurate simulation of cloth on the human form, you similar to the props in that there is will need to upgrade from Figure Artist to the full version of Poser. not an endless set, but there is Poser has a very sophisticated cloth simulation system. enough to represent a good array of options for clothed figures. The real benefit of clothing simula- tion in Figure Artist is that you can pose your figure, save the file, and then add the clothing and save the file again. You then have a good view of the underlying structure of the body and another of the over- laying cloth. For example, Figure 8.16 shows a scene with two fig- ures in a dancing pose. Figure 8.16 Pose the figures before adding clothing. 169
  15. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models In Figure 8.17, I have added cloth- ing to the figures. I can use the two sources from Figure Artist as reference for a drawing. The pose reference is good for developing the underlying structures and defining the figures, and the clothed pose is good for working on the overlaying shapes and textures. Figure Artist uses a system called conforming clothing. Each article of clothing is actually a 3D model separate from the virtual model. When the clothing is applied to the figure, it conforms to the figure as closely as the 3D model will per- mit. For this reason, some articles of clothing will not work with some poses because the range of movement of the clothing model is not as robust as that of the virtual model. You will need to experi- Figure 8.17 Clothing is added over the figures. ment to see how each article of clothing works with your pose. The clothing in Figure Artist does not simulate the way cloth folds at joints or gathers around the hip and waist. Unfortunately, these aspects of figure drawing are better dealt with in real life than they are in a software simulation. Figure Artist is better suited to the study of the undraped human form than it is to clothed figures. 170
  16. Dynamic Figure Drawing Ending Note live figure, but it is a great tool for an artist to use in planning, devel- This book is just the launching pad for all of the creative development Exploring dynamic poses for figure oping, and creating figurative art. It possible using a virtual model for reference can be a freeing experi- is a tool that can expand the artist’s drawing reference. I, for one, look ence for the artist who has only vision and increase the artist’s forward to the impact that a tool had sedate figures from which to knowledge of the figure. Used such as Figure Artist will have on draw. When you think of all the properly, Figure Artist can become figurative art in the future. I believe possibilities available through a a valuable ally in the struggle to that its impact will be felt as artists tool such as Figure Artist, you will understand one of the most com- use it to gain a better understand- quickly notice that many of the plex and difficult subjects in art, ing of the human form in 3D limitations of live models are elimi- the human figure. space. I wish you luck in your nated or reduced. study of figurative art, and I hope As you read this book, I hope that that this book has helped you in Figure Artist is not and should not you took the opportunity to your journey. be a replacement for studying the explore some of the vast possibili- ties presented by the virtual model. 171
  17. I N D E X 90-degree angles, 92 ligaments, 33 artists, 5 muscles, 33–34, 40–48 knowledge, 6–7 A skeleton, 34–40 vision, 8–9 soft and hard tissue, 33 visualization abilities, 2 abdominal muscles, 43 studying, 2 assumptions and drawing, 7 absorption, 135 tendons, 33 Atlas, 36 Achilles tendon, 44, 56 understanding, 33 Axis, 36 action, 126 upper arm, 34 action focus, 126 anger, 88–89 B action lines, 29, 31, 80–81, ankle, 37, 52 91–94 anterior notch, 70 balance, 77–81 defining, 150 architects and people represent- checking, 79–80 dynamic figure, 161–162 ing scale, 101 composition, 114 establishing, 22 Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, formal, 115–117 expressing sense of dynamic 128 hip and shoulder relationship, motion, 161 arms, 29 82 as guide to mannequin, 95 accomplished dancers move- hips, 78 lightly drawing, 30 ments, 40 informal, 118–120 matching mass line, 81 female and male, 40 pelvis, 82 observing people in life, 92 muscles, 53 as point of action, 77 roughing in skeleton, 22 shading, 152 spine and, 82 secondary, 92–93 simplified figure, 20 base manikin, 84 virtual models, 161 tension in, 83 basic proportions of human action poses, 24, 78, 83, art form, 9–15 157–158 history and human figure, 2 beauty AFA Pornography Web site, 4 little things making biggest dif- composition, 90 American Decency Web site, 4 ferences, 9 drawing, 94–97 analogous colors, 125 mundane scenes made interest- general accepted standards, 90 anatomical reference tool, 5 ing, 8 grace, 90 anatomy, 3, 6 physical act, 6 lighting, 90 bones, 33 versus pornography, 4–5 ultimate expression, 75 complexity, 49 artificial environments and grav- biceps, 34, 43 elbow, 34 ity, 78 biceps femoris, 44 hands, 52–55 artistic anatomy, 49 blending edges, 113 jawbone, 33 artistic vision, 8–9 172
  18. Index blocking in figures, 14 body C fulcrum lever principle, 118–120 divided in height by four, 11 calcaneus, 37, 56 good or bad, 100 grace and beauty, 90 calf muscle, 43 informal balance, 118–120 locating center of mass, 78 cameras, multiple, 4 pathways, 127–129 moving parts, 1 capturing gesture, 21 picture plane, 100 physical association with envi- cardiac muscles, 40 placement, 102–114 ronment, 75 carpals, 52 purpose, 100–101 as series of curves, 24 cartilage, 68 confident swagger, 86–87 symmetry, 115 cast shadows, 85, 97, 112, conforming clothing, 170 body language, 75, 86–87 140–141, 149 confusion, 88 bones, 1, 33 adjusting, 144 construction guides and placing affecting shape of body, 38 number and location of lights, features, 63–65 ankle, 52 143 construction lines, 85, 151 calcaneus, 56 center of mass, 78–79 contour lines, 151 carpals, 52 chin, 60 contrapposto, 82 curves, 38 Christ and the Woman Taken in contrast, 111 female, 38 Adultery, 119 adjusting, 85 foot, 56 circle, 106 drawing attention, 123 hands, 52–53 clavicle, 34, 42 highest, 123 metacarpals, 52–53 closer, 113 thin lines, 103 metatarsals, 56 clothed pose, 170 contrast focus, 123 phalanges, 56 color focus, 125 copyright laws, 4 skull, 59–60 color wheel, 125 copyrights, 4–5 smaller and more slender, 38 colors core shadows, 139, 149, 152 talus bone, 56 determining, 135 corners, 104 very close to surface of skin, 59 intensity, 125 cranial bones, 34 wrist, 52 commercial art purposes, 101 cranium, 60 brachioradialis, 44 complimentary colors, 125 cultures and generally accepted brain, 59 compositions, 6, 90 standards for beauty, 90 breastbone, 36 balance, 114 curved lines, 91 breasts, 46 blatant devices to draw atten- curves, 24 tion, 126 bones, 38 focal points, 121–126 joints, 24 form, 110–112 lines, 104 formal balance, 115–117 thick and thin lines, 104 foundation of, 99 173
  19. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models D physical act, 6 practicing, 6 elements changing dynamics of picture, da Vinci, Leonardo, 2, 113, 115, proportion, 60–66 106 124 shading, 96–97 closer, 113 dark, quality of, 123 standards, 1 diagonal or horizontal, 120 dark areas, defining, 152 unknown or unfamiliar objects, form, 110–112 David, 2, 126 3 lines, 102–105 daydreaming, 88 your own hand, 53 placement, 102–114 defining shapes, 107 drawings points, 102 deltoid muscles, 28, 42 element placement, 102–114 shapes, 105–110 detail focus, 124 feeling of life and action, 21–26 vertical, 120 determined, 89 form, 110–112 visual confusion, 109 diagonal elements, 120 foundation of, 24 emotion, 86 dimension, 111 illustrating story, 76 based on own human experi- direct light, 134 lines, 102–105 ence, 2 disgust, 89 messages in, 86 lighting, 146 dominant shape, 106 points, 102 portraying, 88 drawing, 5 potential for gracefulness, 90 emphasizing shapes, 106–107 assumptions, 7 purpose or goal, 75, 100–101 erasing, 30 beauty, 94–97 selecting poses, 76 evening lighting, 147 erasing, 30 shapes, 105–110 exaggerating poses, 77–78 facial features, 67–72 structure and components, 6 external oblique muscles, 42 foot, 57 dynamic figure, 160–162 extreme movement, 33–34, 160 framework defining dimensions dynamic poses, 157 eyebrows, 60, 65 and proportions, 17 eyelids, 7 gesture drawing, 21–26 E eyes, 58, 60, 67 hands, 51 construction guides, 65 human form, 2–3 ear canal, 70 distance between, 61 from inside out, 17–21 ears, 61–62, 70 eyelids, 7 knowledge, 6–7 “eight heads high” rule, 10 horizontal lines for, 63 from life, 2–3 elbows, 34 location on head, 6 manikin, 29–31 female and male, 38, 40 pupil set back from lens, 8 people, 2 shape, 7 tear ducts, 7 tips for drawing, 67 174
  20. Index F female manikin, 28–29 female skeleton, 38, 40 figures 3D space, 3, 81 face, 60–62 femur, 36–37, 90 action line, 22, 80–81, 91–93 features too high, 6 fibula, 37 adding clothing, 169–170 shading, 96 Figure Artist, 1, 3 average, 10 facial bones, 34 action pose, 157 balance, 77–81 facial expressions, 88–89 anatomical reference tool, 5 base manikin, 84 Family.org Pornography Web cameras, 165 blocking in, 14 site, 4 clothed pose, 170 cast shadows, 85 fat, 46 clothing, 169–170 center of mass, 79 fear, 88–89 conforming clothing, 170 checking balance, 79–80 features darkness of shadows, 144 complexity, 1 drawing, 67–72 default lighting, 143 defining general proportions, ears, 70 designing lighting, 155 29 eyes, 67 Hip-Shoulder Relationship detail, 84–85 female, 40 Guide, 82 deviation between action line isolating and drawing, 67 image-based lighting, 146–148 and center of mass, 81 models, 73 library of poses, 25 drawing beauty, 94–97 mouth, 69 models holding pose indefi- evenly distributed weight, 80 nose, 68 nitely, 159 fashion proportions, 15 placing, 58, 63–65 multiple cameras, 4 fat, 46 feet, 29 objects, 167–168 focusing on joints, 24 female, 40 pose reference, 170 foreshortening areas, 84 simplified figure, 20 predefined poses, 162 gestures, 29 virtual models, 57 reflected light, 145 height, 11, 13 female figure, 36, 38, 40 selecting poses, 76 heroic proportions, 15 breasts, 46 simplified figure, 18–21 history of art centered on, 2 fatty tissue, 46 viewing poses, 166 learning to draw, 31 hips, 11 views, 165 light, 143–148 hourglass shape, 46, 48 virtual figure models, 49 lighting, 133 muscles, 46, 47 visual options, 76 line of motion, 80 proportions, 10–11, 12 minor proportions, 84 muscular and skeletal systems, 84 175
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