Figure Drawing: Building Shapes

Figure drawing doesn’t have to be complicated. We can construct the entire human figure if we break it down into basic shapes.

Figure drawing shapes
Quick sketch broke down below into basic shapes.
Figure drawing shapes
(Basic shapes draw in graphite and contrast digitally increased)

Figure drawing shapes

Figure drawing shapes

To begin, think of each part of the body as a shape: either a tube, circle, cone or block.  Build them one on top of the other. The torso is a long tube, bent in any direction. The arms long tubes or cones. The head begins as the shape of an egg. Figure drawing shapes

Think of the shapes as a soft, pliable material that is pinched. Notice the push and pull on the shapes. Where do they push inward? Outward?

Next time we’ll look at muscles that create the face.

Receive a FREE guide today of the body’s skeleton proportions and critical areas when doing realistic life drawing. http://bit.ly/2rpkTvtdrawing figure shapes

Proportions: Drawing People

drawing skeletonProportions

Each part of the body is related in size to its other parts. In the image above the entire human skeleton is shown in relation to the size of the skull. Seven and one-half height of the head equals the whole human body in traditional proportion.

Children

When drawing children, the proportions are different. You will notice in the example above the head is equal to just over a fifth of the entire body. Younger children have an even more significant head to body ratio

facial proportionsFacial

When you divide up the facial features, the eyes are usually at the midpoint between the top of the skull and the chin. Nose-width is equal to the space between the eyes. Each edge of the mouth locates in line with the center of each eye. Of course, each is unique and different, but these guidelines are a classic example of perfect facial proportions.

Next time we will explore basic shapes you can use to build the human body.

Receive a FREE guide today of the body’s skeleton proportions and critical areas when doing realistic life drawing. http://bit.ly/2rpkTvt

drawing figure

Tool and Supplies: Drawing People

Drawing Skull

First and foremost in drawing you do NOT have to spend a fortune on supplies. The goal here is that you are learning to see and duplicate what you see on paper. If you have archival paper and professional supplies that is great, but if not you can also have plain white copy paper, a 2B pencil, and an eraser.

With these simple tools, you can spend a lifetime learning to represent the human body, and still not know all there is to know. The information provided in this series of lessons is just a tip of the iceberg of what is possible. In the future, we will delve deeper into specific areas.

Basic Drawing Supplies

The Basic Drawing Supplies:

You need paper, a 2B pencil, a paper towel or tissue, and an eraser. My current preferred tools are a mechanical pencil 0.5, a blending stump, and a kneaded eraser.

Making Marks:

If you wish to experiment, set yourself with a variety of tools, below is a sampling of the type of marks each will make. The light area on each is where I used the kneaded eraser to see how easily it removed the mark.

Drawing Marks

Pencil sharpeners relatively easy to come by and are very inexpensive. Myself I have an electric one in my studio I use regularly. If it I am working away from the studio I will take a small, inexpensive sharpener along.

Additional Drawing Items:

Below are some supplies you may want to try.  From left-to-right: A wooden skewer, a sharp knife, a sandpaper block, a white pastel pencil, a hard eraser.

A sharp skewer can be used in a method to score into the paper before shading, leaving a white mark visible. The knife and sandpaper block are so you can sharpen your pencil to a preferred point. Having a white pastel pencil on hand helps in creating value in your piece, mainly if you use a toned paper. And lastly, a hard eraser will take more of a mark away than the kneaded eraser usually will.

Extra Drawing Tools

Drawing Paper:

Paper comes in a wide variety of shapes textures and colors. As mentioned before using plain white copy paper will do fine if that is what you currently have access. The point is to be learning; the tools themselves aren’t as crucial in this case as what you do with them.

We could do an entire series on just the types of papers available. So, for now, focus on getting what you can afford and feel the most comfortable using. If you are a beginner, begin with a white or cream that is about 90lb.

Drawing paper

Next time we will explore the traditional classic proportions of the human body.

Receive a FREE guide today of the body’s skeleton proportions and critical areas when doing realistic life drawing. http://bit.ly/2rpkTvt

drawing figure

Free Drawing Human Body Lessons

Free Drawing the Human Body Lessons
“George” is going to help us through the coming weeks.

Over the course of the next three months, I will be posting free lessons on drawing the human body. The following areas are covered:

  1. Intro/Resources
  2. Tools/Marks
  3. Proportions
  4. Building From Shapes
  5. Value
  6. Drawing The Portrait

Each lesson will come out on Tuesday, every other week. This post will start you off with a few resources for those wanting to get their feet wet right away. (Note: They are not affiliated links.) The suppliers below are only an option; you will be able complete the lessons with a standard sharpened 2B pencil (or mechanical pencil), a good eraser, and plain white copier paper.

Drawing Human Body Supplies:

Drawing Human Body Books:

Drawing Human Body Online:

The lesson on tools/marks will be available January 23rd, 2018.  I hope to see you then!

Classical Drawing Inspiration

Classical Drawing Inspiration
“Lessons in Classical Drawing” by Juliette Aristides, book with DVD

Maybe you have noticed my blog posts are spaced differently than usual this month? I will follow a regular posting schedule after the first of the year.

Drawing is the topic I want to focus on at the beginning of 2018, so I am digging up extra inspiration. I am a big believer than drawing skills are the foundation of all visual arts.  Learning to see and interpret what you are looking at is a huge game changer for any aspiring artist.

“Blocking Your Knitting” eBook Is Here!

Blocking Your Knitting eBook Is Here!

blocking knitting cover

Learn to block your knitting and take it to the next level. Twenty pages packed with information/images and tips. All the information you need in one place.

eBook includes:

  • Why Block Your Knitting?
  • Blocking Different Fibers
  • Basic Blocking Tips
  • Blocking Methods
    • Tools
    • Spray Blocking
    • Wet/Immersion
    • Steam
    • Pinning Your Blocking
    • Blocking Lace
  • Making a Homasote Blocking Board
  • Swatches Compared
  • Resources
  • About The Author

Drawing Facial Proportions

Drawing Portrait Supplies

The primary focus around here when it comes to shopping for the holidays is our six grandchildren. The theme this year seems to be art supplies. At least two (five and six years old) have them at the top of their list.  Drawing the human figure is such an essential part of one’s art skills. I had already decided I needed to stretch my drawing muscles, and their gift lists are icing on the cake. In the coming months be on the lookout for drawing content of all sorts.

Drawing people has always been my favorite subject. So below I revisit a post from 2013 where I discuss drawing facial proportions.

Facial proportions can vary according to ethnic background and gender. Traditionally men have more angular faces and more pronounced brow just above the eyebrow line. Examine the images shown to see how the eyes fall in the middle of the entire skull, between the tip of the head and chin. In-between the eyes is a space equal to the width of one of the eyes. Halfway between the eyes and the tip of the chin is the line where the mouth opening will fall. Although the model on the left is a young adult female, the proportions are the same as an adult. Her features are merely softer and less angular than seen in an older mature looking individual.

drawing portrait female proportions

Remember these are merely guidelines and will need to be adjusted to fit the subject that you are depicting. Below is that of a middle-aged male’s profile. When you are drawing a subject keep in mind where your light source is coming from, the same rules apply to drawing a human being as to drawing anything else. The trick is to be objective and to draw what you see and not what you think you know. Look at the subject carefully and try to look at the person more than the paper you are drawing on. Always work from life whenever possible, if you can not find a model or do not feel comfortable doing so as of yet, just use a mirror and do a self-portrait.

drawing portrait male

This post originally was published in 2013 here.

 

Planning For 2018

Planning Artist With Frankenstein Shawl
Tip: Showing your knitting works well to hide behind when you have not put on makeup.

It is now November 2017. It is starting to get chilly, and I am sitting here all cozy in my “Frankenstein Shawl.” I am also in full planning, scheduling and list making mode. So right now I am looking at 2018 and thinking of all the things I need to get completed by the end of the year.

Tomorrow was supposed to be the deadline for my ebook “Blocking Knits.” I have decided to push it back a couple of weeks to enable me to develop a few things behind the scenes stronger. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

In case you are wondering I am going back to the basics, my branding, what I offer and how I offer it. So I am reviewing EVERYTHING from the ground up. Some things will stay, some will go. It is exciting to think and plan all that is possible. :0)

Is There A Perfect Day-Job For A Creative Entrepreneur?

Unless you are wealthy, you will need to have a day-job if not for a part, then for all of your art career. It is just a fact of life for creative entrepreneurs, and you are an “entrepreneur” if you are trying to make a living from your creative abilities.

The ideal day job is one that has health insurance, retirement, paid vacation and sick leave. It also needs to not mentally or physically drained, so you still have the energy to create when not on the job. Even better is one with the flexible hours. Cream on the top is one that does not drain you but enriches your creativity.

There are plusses and minuses to having a day job. If can drain you as mentioned above, but it can also give you the financial freedom to explore creative areas you may be hesitant to look into if not for the security of knowing the necessary bills paid.

I currently have a day job, in a small rural public library. It forces me to step away from my house and out into the world of humans. If I did not have it, I’m not so sure I would step out of my home office/studio nearly as often as I do. My plan initially was to work there for one year. That was roughly fifteen years ago.

One of my coworkers retired over the weekend. It has made me stop and REALLY look at where I am in my work. Honestly, I am not where I want to be at all. There have been some personal hiccups the last few years I could use an excuse. But, the fact is I have not been giving it the attention it needs to thrive.

So what do I do?

  • I look at where I am right now, with open and honest eyes. I need to ask myself where are things are going and what do I need to change? This is continually happening if you are in charge of creating your own income.
  • What new skills do I need to obtain to get things back on track? Where can I receive them to fit my budget and schedule? This is somewhere where my day job is aligned almost perfectly with my side hustle. Many things I can use for one, I can use for the other. There are those sweet times where I get paid to learn something that benefits both.
    Day-job for creatives
    Inservice for day-job meant getting in on a Skype conversation with the Managing Editor of Snopes.com

What makes the perfect day-job for a creative entrepreneur, from your perspective?

Artist-How-To Blocking Knits & Artist Alley 2017

Blocking Knits eBook Progress:

Blocking knits shawl in progress

The goal is to have an ebook on blocking your knits available by November the 7th, 2017. All swatches are made, and a rough draft created. As some of you might recall, I initially started this ebook about a year ago. Life and other priorities caused it to be put on the back burner, so I am anxious to get it completed and up on the site ASAP.

Of course, I need a full-size shawl to also block as an example. It’s October, our local school district colors are orange and black, so it’s not difficult to guess the color of yarn I chose to use.

Artist Alley 2017

The passing of September here in southeast Kansas also means that we JUST enjoyed Artist Alley in Chanute, Kansas. I can’t help but also include a few images of some of my favorite pieces and a short video.

http://www.humemarbleco.com

Dew Baskets on Facebook

BTW by purchasing a local artist work, I was able to publically say: “He’ll be dropping my pot off later,” and not worry a person in uniform would show up at my Kansas doorstep. I should also note that living in a small town has its perks: I can plot a murder mystery while out to dinner together with hubby, and know that if anyone overhears me, they would not be concerned for someone’s safety.

Bob Cross on Facebook