Sunday, June 18, 2017

Drawing Feet



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Drawing Feet
// Muddy Colors

-By Ron Lemen

I simplified this dialog to the drawings.  This started off as a rant against the HUGE problem with every one of my anatomy students these days, the problem with drawing feet.

Somewhere out there is some misinformation, or alternative truths that seem to be popular to the newbie art student, but need to go missing forever please.  I have created some pages of useful information that need to be put out there into the system.  But first, let's start off with some wonderful drawings from the Russian Academy.  Who can resist the amazing studies from that school.  So much character, so much charm.


Anyway, my diagrams are nothing in comparison to these beautiful drawings.  But diagrams are not meant to be beautiful drawings.  They are meant to help you learn and clarity is important.  So I do apologize if the drawings are not totally clear.  And if they are not, please help me by mentioning that in the comments.

These are more excerpts from my soon to be figure drawing book, but since that is taking as long as it is to complete I am putting these notes out there now.  I also realize I have a lot of them so I am only going to post so many.  If there is something that feels like it is lacking, the book will have taken care of that.



Here is what I am seeing quite a bit of lately, both the drawings and the bone structure.  I have no idea where this is coming from, but the land of drunk socks and bigfoot must be steered clear of during your training.  Go back to it if you must stylize your feet, but, these are not good quality representations of real feet.




There is also a trend of missing heels.  Someone has gone around and removed the heel from the foot design and replaced it with a "Weeble Wobble" style foot design.  I guess the world isn't already dangerous enough as it is, let alone giving us unstable feet.


There is also this interesting trend of giving everyone bow legged qualities.  Shin bones are straight with curved accents.  They are not curved.  Sorry.



A descent starting point for the foot is the door wedge.  It helps check the perspective of the leg and assures that the feet are grounded to whatever surface they might be attached to.  This wedge is the ideal shape for the 3 points of the foot, ankles, toes, and heel.




The foot is a shock absorber for the body, it makes sense that the ankles, and the leg are positioned over the arch of the foot to take that impact, from walking to running and jumping.  Thank the feet for that arch, that we need to put the leg over and not behind.



The ankle bones are the tibia and the fibula together, and combined they form a wrench like structure that holds the foot bones in place as the pivot point for the foot rotation.  The bones are side by side medially and laterally, not in front and behind.  And each leg mirrors each other, they are not the same orientation to each other.


Here in profile view the door wedge is broken down into two shapes to help support the design of the foot when the toes are bent.  The toe wedge is removed from the front of the bigger foot wedge and is rotated to its new orientation.  This now becomes the new position for the toe details.






Here are the simple door wedges converted to planar structures to help design in the change of surface from one bone set to the next, over muscles and the orientation of the toes and their segments.




And while talking toes, here are the planar stair steps both in primitive form as well as fleshed out a bit more with the big toe and the second toe.  In addition, because our toes are smooshed together in shoes a lot, and because our feet our well designed, the toes fit together nicely, but are over exploited into ugly distortions of the design because our shoes mold our feet to the constraints of their size and build.  But, our toes are all uniquely shaped to fit together and the diagram on the left shows how they fit together.


And here are the folds in the bottom of the foot common with all of us but not the same length and exact orientation between any of us.  Note that the big toe actually has 3 fat pads in it within its wedge like shape.




Add character to the body of the foot.  There is a lot going on in that space, but the foot won't often times show it, especially in photo reference.  I used hatch lines here to explain direction of some of the sub planes (anatomically rooted).  These would be represented in half tones being that these feet were directly lit.

These last few pages are for those of you who do not know anything about perspective and are surprised when you find out that the body is loaded with it...because all forms are in perspective.  I do not understand how students think that they can avoid perspective by just figure drawing.  LOL...I mean that with kindness.





I know they are not pretty, but I hope they help.  Now, please share these with all beginning students you know and hope to make careers with their art skills and to those who think they understand feet but we have had a hard time explaining to them that maybe they should practice them more often.  Or do what I do and hide everyone in mist so you can avoid feet, lower legs, upper legs, pelvises, and more thanks to that wonderful fog stuff.  Any time you have a hard time with something and you to meet that deadline, just fog it up a little.  Gonna duck into that fog now and get back to the work load. Comments, please leave em, until next time, creative success to you and happy arting.  


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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cesar Santos and his Sketchbook



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Cesar Santos and his Sketchbook
// Gurney Journey

 Cuban-American portrait painter Cesar Santos uses his sketchbooks for mixed media, including oil.


He started this portrait in pencil, sealed the surface with fixative, and then used semi-transparent layers of oil over it. 

He also makes master copies from statues in museums, changing them a bit to add natural hair and realistic eyes with irises. 

Santos introduces this sketchbook on a video sketchbook tour (Link to YouTube). 

Trained in Florence, Santos has traveled the world to "see masterpieces through the eyes of his sketchbook." On his re-energized YouTube channel, he promises future videos that take us deeper into this and other sketchbooks. 




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How to draw RUNNING FIGURES + CHARACTERS tutorial by...



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Sunday, May 21, 2017

New Anatomy 360 Pack with 40 Poses



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New Anatomy 360 Pack with 40 Poses
// Anatomy 360

We have just released our first large pose pack. This new 40 x pose pack features 20 male and 20 female scans with a handy new pose selector which allows you to scroll through and select the pose you want rather than having to click through them with the change pose button.

The pack contains all the poses from Female 01, Female 02, Male 01 and Male 02. 

Buying this pack represents a significant discount over purchasing all 4 packs individually with a 25% overall saving, effectively giving you a free pack.


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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Gesture Drawing Is A Part of My Life



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Gesture Drawing Is A Part of My Life
// Muddy Colors

-By Ron Lemen

I do a lot of sketching before any job, and I do a lot of sketching beyond the job.  I sketch to stay in shape.  My weekly calisthenics include drawing from life, in my opinion, the most important sketching to do as often as possible.  It is the major and minor scales of our visual language. The tones we see are as sensitive as the tones a musician hears, and as a skilled musician will play scales along with their music on a daily basis, if we want to stay on top of our game we need to continue plugging away at the basics.

Here area few different drawings from various evenings this last semester in the gesture drawing class I teach at LAAFA.  I have a brief explanation for the motivation behind the drawings.  I put little ashcan books together each Comic-Con with a collection of these along with lessons to learn about quick sketching.  It is fun to look back at each drawing, and it is really great to have all the memories surrounding each drawing from that day still fresh in my head when I look through the various pages.  The following drawings are 3 - 5 minutes each using charcoal in most of the drawings and design marker in several.



This first sketch is using design abstraction to link the various anatomical landmarks together through the center line of the figure.  I had two goals here, the first is abstracting the musculature and connecting the muscles together in a design aesthetic similar to how Dean Cornwell would construct and connect his anatomical designs.  The second goal was to achieve volume within each physical region of the body through varying the edges.



Here is another figure using design and direction as a means of sculpting the form and building movement in the action.  Here I am using parallel line structure to generate form and movement through thick and thin, soft and sharp, or the combination of line types.


This set of drawings is a page of form drawings, using value and edge to tell the story of the form design of the figure.  I am using a cleaner tonality and softer gradation technique here to achieve a very solid form design, where the bottom right figure is using parallel lines to describe the form, more like the way Leyendecker would build out various tones and gradients in his figures.




Here are a few more figures where the goal was to build out dimension and form using both line strokes and tones/gradients to explain the light and shadow.  You can see these drawings built out on my Instagram feed.  It should be one of the most recent posts.  I am posting more of these drawings done live on Instagram at the time that I am creating them on most Tuesday afternoons during my class.


These drawings are also developing form but using the anatomical rhythms between and across muscle groups and edges of bones.  So much can be seen with very few simplified and deliberate marks.



These are both form driven sketches done with the Touch Design Markers, both are roughly 20" tall on 24" paper.  On this tracing paper the markers can be manipulated like paint, achieving wet into wet effects, pick out, and blending are all very easy accomplish.




These two pages are very quick sketches working on using line to solve the movement and the weight of the pose.  Heavy handedness is encouraged in this exercise, and simplicity is an absolute must.  I think these could still be even simpler.


This last page is using calligraphic shapes, a shape language of sorts, to first build out the design of the pose, then using edge and if time warrants, also using value to build out the dimensions within the abstractions.  

I draw every day.  I practice most of that time knowing that without the practice the craft I do will atrophy or stagnate.  I love what I do too much to allow that to happen.  These gesture sketches definitely hone the skills and keep the eyes sharp, and just knowing that will keep me coming back for more.  I absolutely recommend sketching from life frequently, if not often if you are pushing yourself, trying to level up, or just trying to maintain a fresh hand in all the heavy loads of work that have to be accomplished.  



Stay fresh in the skills, sketch from life and enjoy the process.

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