Tuesday, November 07, 2006

1st attempt at a composition for a painting.

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Ok, enough with copying photographs! It's time to start drawing entirely from the depths of my mind. That's how I'll need to do it for the paintings, unless I plan to hire models to pose (and heck with THAT!). Here I'm going for an older, brawnier Fafhrd, as opposed to the strapping youth version I drew earlier. I left space for the Mouser to stand next to him, back to back, facing danger with blades drawn and nerves of steel. The pose looks kind of clumsy, but after living with this drawing for a little while I'll re-do it in a slightly modified pose. That's how I had to do the Longbow painting I did of him that's on my site.... I couldn't do the foreshortening for the rather difficult pose until I first drew it looking straight atr him (no foreshortening). That done, I found it simple to translate the pose into three dimentsional space with depth and everything.

Oh, and yes, I'm well aware he has no midsection! His ribcage seems to sit right on his pelvis! I'll be fixing that too.


herself said...

Strip nekkid, set a camera with a timer up in your lair, pose. Voila! Live model!

sven said...

Despite whatever problems, I see that you got a number of details that I wouldn't have remembered.

I took that amazing "sculpting human anatomy" class this summer, so I've still got a big dose of new info in my head... But it hasn't had a chance to get integrated into my drawing yet. There's still a doughy-ness to my human figures.

The divisions between the triceps. That little bump that appears on the lower leg when the leg is bent and the knee-cap rises. That huge slab of muscle that we're seeing above the clavicles (I forget its name). The definition on the muscle of his lower right leg -- how you can see where the tendon-y bits start... Nicely done!

There's also something really appealing about the way you've done the neck coming out of the shoulders. It's a bit tubelike (maybe?) -- but it has appealing geometry, like it's been *sculpted* using volumes.

Ubatuber said...

I like the blockiness of his right shoulder, makes him look like granite...
Overall nicely done, better than the photo-reference image...keep going!!

(.....and lets see those snow-witches :P

Darkstrider said...

Wow, thanks!

Really I put a lot more detail into this than I should have. It was supposed to be a quick gestural sketch, just trying to think up a pose, but when I do that I tend to get proportioning rea;;y messed up and end up with a very non-human looking figure. So I slowed down and drew it more carefully.

Sven - some of those anatomical details are things i was completely unaware of until delving into Robert Beverly Hale's fantastic series of books, particularly Anatomy Lessons From the Great Masters. I love the way it's put together.... on the left page of a spread is a drawing by Michelangelo or Leonardo or Raphael or somebody, and on the facing page are his lecture notes, in great detail, about whichever portion of the figure is being discussed in the chapter. Ruminating on what the great artists have done is a very different approach from the usual "here's how to draw the figure" method.... and he describes it with great relish.

Those small knobs under the kneecaps.... they're called the "kneeling points", and are the part that actually makes contact when you kneel. As he likes to say, "you can't draw it until you know it exists", and I discovered those in his books. Along with so many other important "bony landmarks".

Shelley - ye gods woman! The last thing I want is for Fafhrd (AND the Grey Mouser?) to look like me!!?!

Jeff - No snowwitches in this one. (is that like a cold sandwitch? Nyuk!). I see this as a basic two-figure comp. But the women are on their way, oh yes! And the monsters.....

Darkstrider said...

A little more elaboration -
Hale emphasizes learning the skeleton. In fact, he says all the great figurative artists began as shop assistants in the atleier of some master artist... usually at around the age of 6 or 8. The artists all had skeletons in their studios... not plastic ones, but actual collections of bones. And each day the master would "throw the assistant a bone" and have him draw it, over and over, from every angle, until he understood it. In time the assistant would be able to draw full skeletone. And basically that's what a body is - a skeleton with some padding on it. It's only at a few places (abdomen, thock upper arms and legs, thick parts of forearm and calf) that the skeleton is obscured. At the joints and the ends of extremities (hands, feet) that's basically ALL there is, with a thin skin stretched over it.

About posing for my own drawings... I did it before, using a video camera. If a picture's worth a thousand words, a few minutes of video are worth a lot more. But I quickly discovered I'm not a good model, and as an artist I end up drawing what I see rather than being able to adjust it into a different figure.

Heh... this drawing reminds me a lot of Arnold as Conan.... especially with the wedge-shaped slash over his eye... it looks like the war paint he wore toward the end of the 1st movie.

herself said...

After I commented this morning, I thought oh no, Mike prolly thinks I meant he looks like a muscular fantasy god guy when nekkid! That would be strange if you did! All those muscles getting in the way whilst animating! I just thought you could adapt a human pose to your uses. But then again, I've never drawn from a live model and perhaps it is entirely different than drawing from a photo anyway.

You guys all leave me in the dust with your talk about anatomy. Although I love what you quoted about not being able to draw something unless you know it exists. I'm going to check out the book rec for Paul as he is thrilled by knowing kinesiology (the science dealing with the interrelationship of the physiological processes and anatomy of the human body with respect to movement.) stuff and this kind of enriching presentation might prove inspirational! Thanks!

Darkstrider said...

I know a really good artist could probably look at anybody in the right pose, and just take the lighting and positioning information, and change the physique into whatever they want, but I'm nowhere near that good! Like most newbies, I get overwhelmed by visual reference, and more often than not I'll end up copying the shapes I see rather than using it as reference and a guide to where to put shading etc, the way you're supposed to.

It would be very difficult for me to draw a much less muscular figure like Fafhrd while looking at my own sculpted, bronzed musculature! ;)

Darkstrider said...

Another factor to consider:

I could try to hit the poses, but I just don't have it in me to strike that superconfident (I can kick anybody's ass" kind of pose. If I were to stand in the pose above for example, it's look more like I was experiencing back pain and needed to sit down. An artist just can't work with that!

Besides, a big part of this whole exercise for me is to sharpen my skills at drawing the figure in action directly from the imagination.