Since we have to model a head for one of our imaging and data visualisation projects this life drawing class involved us drawing the head of the life drawing model. I actually really enjoyed this, I love drawing faces and it was great practice to draw the models head, as well as the skull.
We started this life drawing with the usual warm up poses and then we went on and did something really fun and enjoyable, we had about 20 seconds to draw as much as we could and then we moved along to the next persons stand and continued on with theirs for another 20 seconds. You would literally start of with a squiggle and then when you come back around you see that it has changed into a wonderfully colourful life drawing picture.
(i’ll post these once I get them back from Jonny who is making a video out of them)
We then did something as equally as fun to practise seeing and drawing tension and gravity. The model stood under a sheet and in front of a light which made really cool shapes in the fabric, we had to get the folds and weight of the sheet with the feeling of the person under it.
During our life drawing class we looked at weight and balance. Weight effects a person when standing in different positions, it is the gravity that pulls things down creating the weight. This is important as you do not want your drawing to end up looking like its floating or looking out of place, you want them to look organic and finding the weight helps this. This goes for the same as balance as you need to find the balance in the model as you need to make the pose look organic, this is because you may find that if you were to draw a pose that is unbalanced then it does not look right, you can see that the characters pose would be impossible to do and in result they would fall over in real life. In the life drawing class the model moved their weight using props like leaning on a stick or a chair, also shifting their weight on one leg or arm. If they moved these components they would lose balance and fall over. Our task was to draw the model in such a way that shows how gravity works on their body.
This is a good video showing examples of weight and how it effects poses:
This is also another good video showing examples of finding balance in a model:
It is important that you illustrate with weight and balance in mind, this is so that you can find the correct form. When doing this there are several things that you need to consider, this includes scale, weight, mass and density. Taking these things under consideration will make the drawings of the models more realistic and organic.
When a character sits on a surface, their butt and thighs squish because the weight presses down on the surface, causing the mass of the buttocks to spread. If you don’t convey the squish onto the surface properly, it will look like they’re not sitting on it/not putting their weight down.
Here is a really good example of balance and how to make it believable. As you can see the center of balance can usually be found behind the belly button but according to the videos above you can also use the nose in finding balance. You can find more information about this here.
Then there’s also the perspective and where in the drawing you put the focus on. If your background doesn’t look realistic or proportionate to your subject, your subject will not look like they’re part of the environment. They’ll always look out of place!
Objects can also effect weight and tension of a model. If the model is carrying something heavy it would create tension and effect the movement as it would slow them down, creating resistance of force. If the model was hold something heavy you would also see the tension in their hand, they would be gripping which would create sharper tones in the hand as you would see the tension.
Here are the drawings that I did attempting to show weight and balance;
To improve more I would want to practice with models that interact with the environment more and try to draw out the background first, then gently nudge the character in there. I find that if you draw the character first and then the background, you increase the risk of the subject not being integrated properly and therefore not looking like part of the scene.
However when looking back at how I did in my first ever class of life drawing you can see how much I have improved since day one. I do enjoy life drawing and I love to see how much it actually influences and improves my character drawings, as looking back I would always struggle to get my anatomy right as well as making my character look as if it is actually in the scene. I look forward to more improvement in my work.
We started this life drawing session with the regular warm up poses.
We then moved on to focusing on rotation, where the model was rotated three times but still in the same position. This allowed us to see things from different angles and at a different perspective and how this effects how you see the body. It is also important that to keep the scale and form the same throughout which can be tricky.
This week we did a lot of 15 second poses. The intention was to give the class a feel of how long 15 seconds actually is, in preparation for our animated short. We also had some fun doing caricatures of each other at the end of the class. I really enjoyed this class, I always love doing the 15 second poses because I feel I grasp the form better and then the characters were an added bonus.