30- minute study, 3. june

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by General Winter 1 month ago.

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    so... i've for the first time started learning anatomy, and since i had no idea how to go about it, i just took an anatomy for artists book and consumed the images with my eyes for an hour, hoping they would come back to my mind when i go back to draw on loa... and they kinda did. i started recalling them, but at some point, i feel like my proportions just diverge.

    like... am i practicing the wrong way?

    and...yeah, thirty minutes is too little!

    i would be happy about critique of any kind!


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    Hi!! you should definitely be focusing more on smaller timed studies(like 30 seconds, 1 minute and 2 minutes). You'll build up your visual library and muscle memory much faster that way, and it will force you to identify basic shapes and how they divulge from contours, which will improve your flow, anatomy, and proportion. I'd also reccommend looking into Reilly rhythms. It's a system that helps you measure the body based on how parts of the body are positioned.

    I'm not explaining it well, but take a look at this video


    Proko has a lot of videos on figure drawing, so I'd recommend taking a look at them(especially the one on landmarks, the ribcage, the pelvis, and the robo bean). I know it seems overwhelming but it gets easier pretty quickly, especially if you do it every day. Hope this helps!!! You're doing great!!

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    I think you are running into a typical problem: You try to solve the whole figure from amassing lots of details, but you don't have an underlying system to organize proportions and relations.

    It will work kinda for a while. If you can focus well, you can compare all the relevant relations between two details, between three details, four details,... but with everything you add, you also add a new artistic decision, which you have come up on the spot, and therefor have to keep in the back of your mind. And at some point, you are just bound to lose track, and suddenly the one detail, which should be in a direct vertical line under that other detail just isn't, and the one detail, which should be approx. twice as big as that other detail just isn't, and there are some lines in your drawings, which you just no longer remember why you drew them, and the lower bound of your shoulder joint connects to the upper bound of the biceps instead of the lower one....

    You said you bought a book about anatomy for artists, and just stared at the details. Yeah, I remember being pretty much in the same situation. The problem is "anatomy" isn't "anatomy", and being inspired to juggle even more details doesn't help you with your proportion problems. What you need is a hierarchy of anatomical landmarks, so you can sketch out the big proportions quickly and correctly, and only then start to fill in all the pretty details.

    We had someone here on this page a long while ago, who actually used such an anatomy for artists book in the right way, and it was jawdropping to see. They had a very crisp and abstract mannequin of the human form, a box for the booty, line of action connecting it with the box for the ribcage, and the circle for the head, joints indicated, tubes for the limbs, whole human form done in purely primitives, but always with just enough lines to indicate the third dimension. The pose of the abstract mannequin exactly matching a reference photo. Then they used their anatomy for artists book to exactly identify a specific group of muscles and drew them onto their mannequin, trying to observe exactly, how those muscles stretched, bent, contracted or expanded on the reference.

    So, that pretty book you have isn't exactly useless, it is just like you grabbed a math book about calculus, while you are still struggling with the concept of basic multiplications.

    Learning to start with determining the scale of big forms before you focus on detail work is pretty much a universal concept in all of drawing, landscape, still life, portraits, poses, graphic novels, giant murals or tiny newspaper adds. In drawing poses this means getting used to the proportions and scale of motion of the human torso and head and limbs, until you really stick to them automatically, and no longer have to spend your mind on measuring them out painstakingly and constantly remembering all the relations you designed for your current drawing.

    And the efficient way to get to that point isn't by starting with loooong paintings, that will just exhaust your focus and never get finished. You say 30 minutes is too short? Try to use that time to draw 60 30 second "poses", not hurrying, but just practicing finding the first 3 or 4 lines in a calm drawing speed over and over, and you probably learnt way more from that. (Actually, doing half an hour of 30 second shorties is a bit too painful. Just use the class option in the menu, the slightly longer sketches that follow will give you feedback about the purpose of your shorties, as the goal of every shorty is to be the perfect start for an epic longform work)

    And yes, Proko has been mentioned already, so let me add to the cultish fanboy atmosphere, to point out one of his older courses, the one that I followed several years ago: https://www.proko.com/course/figure-drawing-fundamentals/overview

    I can say, it did work for me. The pricetag for the premium course seems steep, but Proko has a bit of a strange pricing model. All the essential informations are in the basic course, the premium course seems more like a huuuge buy-me-a-coffee option, that rewards you with a bit of nice bonus material. I did buy the premium stuff, after I finished the basic course, not because I felt it was lacking and needed something extra, but because I had the money and considered the value of what I had already learned to be in a fair relation with that amount of money. So, my recommendation, do the basic course, decide for yourself if you ever want to pay for the premium.


    Hi dattebayo,

    thanks for the tips! i have been doing short poses, so i figured i needed to do some more long ones. i will check out the video. i have posted shorter poses here some weeks ago. i may post new ones too. could you please also take a look at them? here they are once more:


    Hi Auntherbert,

    thanks for your detailed response!

    are the 32 free lessons considered the basic course? If so, I would try that out first.

    Of all the courses I have seen, proko is probably on of the more interesting ones. I don't like overly clean, calculated drawings, nor comic drawing styles. That is not my approach to sketching, in the sense that i don't think it works for me.

    Also, the issue is, I have been doing those short poses, but I feel like they have not helped me that much with proportions. On the other hand, the book also presents relative proportions, which is what I am trying to gain from it. In the sense that, when I look at its drawings, I am trying to also see how different proportions relate to each other in different poses. I feel like it's helpful to read this book before starting the class mode on LOA, which is how i did it yesterday. Of course, not all of it stuck in my mind, so I will go back to those pictures.

    The "point" of this drawing was not to add the details for the sake of details, it was my (probably failed) attempt to try to better understand how things are connected. I have had issues understanding how, for example, the neck is connected to the body and where the leg muscles and tendons are located, which always stuck out, and that is why i got this book (it was freely available).

    So, I do different kinds of practice using different methods. Sometimes I do "scribbles", sometimes measurements, sometimes drawing from imagination, sometimes just shadow and light. I feel like some of these methods help with some things, but not with others, so I do all of them at different times.

    Is there anything else I can do specifically for proportions and *angles*? I mean in general, not just for figure drawing. As I said, I am doing the short sketches, and I have noticed some improvement, but I do not think it is enough.


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