What is construction in figures?

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Torrilin 5 years ago.

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    I saw this guy talking about figures, and he started to point out how there was no 'constructure' in some of the old figures he made, and it really confused me because it looked fine to me, and he didn't explain what exactly was wrong with it- and now i'm really confused. Can someone help me out?

    /(sorry if this is not the right place to ask this, i'm new)

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    Hey Castore, it can be really hard to tell what he meant without seeing the works. Do you have the ability to link to his stuff?


    Oh right, well he first mentions it in the video down below at the 27:50 mark, then at 35:37, 38:31, 38:45


    (The first timestamps aren't figures, but the last two are)


    So lets say you want to build a house, you need a structure to put the drywall and tapestry ontop, that's basically what construction is. Boxes, cylinders and spheres where you put all the fat and tissue ontop.

    • Kim edited this post on January 29, 2019 6:58pm. Reason: Changing phat to fat: there is no need to refer to art models with words that sexualize them.

    I don't really understand how i'm supposed to use them though, like yeah once i get them all down- how do i start turning a bunch of boxes into humans? They always end up looking slightly unnatural for me..


    Hi Castore,

    If this helps, try thinking about the boxes, cylinders and spheres as little “cages” that you can put the human parts in. The purpose of using simple shapes for construction is that they are easier to draw in perspective than complex shapes like human anatomy. So if you have a box that is roughly in the correct place and pointing the in the same direction as the part you are drawing, then you would draw that part inside the shape. These shapes also give you a rough idea of where the part starts and ends and how much space it takes up (volume).


    Oh man, i tried it a couple of times and kind of got the gist of it. Thanks a lot y'all!


    Construction and structure are kinda weird to grab a concept of at first,but continual practice and repititon in implimentning it into your drawing will grow your raw and unique understanding of it so you can takeout and add whatever you like to it.But generally it is how you set up the drawing for forms,volumes and anatomy,etc.
    Structure is kinda like the volumes (Corners and boxes,indications for perspective)

    Hope this helped,Best wishes.

    • Ky Ron edited this post on February 6, 2019 2:33am.

    For starters, it’s a really old idea. My notes aren’t good enough but you can find Italian artists breaking human figures down into cube-human in preparatory sketches from the 1400s (courtesy of https://kupferstich-kabinett.skd.museum/en/exhibitions/the-realm-of-possibilities-italian-16th-century-drawings/ this now closed local show that doesn’t seem to have had an exhibition catalog). It’s not the default or common, but it existed.

    The only way I know of to figure out how it works for you is to try different stuff and see what sticks. Maybe robo-cube-human is best. Maybe you like spheres. Maybe you have an elaborate thing to get the kneecap into the hinge joint at the knee, or a special thing for the heel bone.

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