In an attempt to expand upon my anatomy eduction, I’ve begun consuming a number of different figure drawing books/videos to maximize either my confusion or understanding of the human form, not sure which it is yet. The sources are:
- Ray Bustos - UArtsy courses via ala carte videos which I’ve written about here and here
- Michael Hampton - his book Figure Drawing Design & Invention along with CGMA workshop videos
- Glen Vilppu - his book Vilppu Drawing Manual
I’ve also been skimming these, though not going into as much detail:
- Andrew Loomis - his book Figure Drawing For All It’s Worth , Laura’s grandfather’s copy from October 1945!
- George Bridgman - his book Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life
- Will Eisner - his book Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative
All this combines to what I’m calling The Soule Method™, of which I am the soul pupil… see what I did there?
|A mere fraction of the The Soule Method™ course materials, skull sold separately
The best way to picture me learning all this is an animated gif of Sherlock in his mind palace:
|Except human anatomy instead of hounds?
Actually, it’s nothing like that, I’m more or less hoping back and forth between different materials because I’m not Sherlock and I’m pretty sure college boozing condemned my mind palace and it may have already been demolished in favor of low cost housing and … wait, where was I? Ah yes, here are some more of my Photoshop notes from the Ray Busto’s video lectures:
While those may not be particularly compelling as pieces of art, I’ve found the Busto’s courses great as far as leaning muscles and bones. He does not delve too much into technique the way my other resources do, but that makes sense because the other resource are more “drawing theory” than “anatomy dissertation”. Speaking of “drawing theory”, let’s move on to some of that, shall we?
I’ve chosen Hampton and Villpu as my main resources because their methods are very similar. Both focus on building up a figure drawing from gesture, moving on to basic forms (cylinders, spheres, etc.), and finally adding in anatomical details. In both methods the key aspect is the initial gesture and really capturing movement. Interestingly, Hampton even mentioned a book I’ve owned for years call Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, specifically the below diagram that outlines how Disney handled rhythm/balance to capture life in their animations:
Since gesture is so praised by these drawing methods, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time drawing from online models. Most of these are quick 1 to 2 minute drawings and aren’t particularly good or representative of the actual figures. Luckily this is not a problem, practicing gesture isn’t about photorealistic rendition but rather seeing movement and balance in the human form.
|Some of these even go beyond gesture and start to describe contour
Oddly, doing this type of repetitive work has pointed out a few strange consistent problems with my figure drawing:
- I have a tendency to draw lopsided figures, features on the right are almost always lower and squished, it must be some kind of right eye dominance issue
- Regardless of my initial head size, my bodies tend to be too large and in fact my head oval will almost always be correctly proportioned as the hairline to the chin portion of the face rather than the top of the head to chin (strange indeed)
- I’m consistently too short with my legs
I guess these are breakthroughs, since figuring out what problems exist means I can more readily solve them! Ok, that’s enough drawing analysis, here is a collage of some random crap done in Manga Studio, enjoy!