First week back at school and I am loving it already. This semester I’m taking ANM Figurative Concepts aka Life Drawing for Animators. I have an excellent professor who worked at Disney for a number of years, so I am psyched to be in this class.

We learned some important concepts for drawing the form, mainly – STRUCTURE is everything. No amount of detail can correct a badly structured drawing. When you think of structure, think of the skeleton, or the support beams of a house. Or this quote that our professor passed along from the great artist Henri Matisse:

“You have to build up the figure like a carpenter builds up a house. Build up with parts but create a unit. Everything must be constructed. A tree like a human body, a human body like a cathedral.”

Today we focused on creating the proper structure by learning about standard proportions and focal point. A focal point is where your eyes naturally travel to when you are looking at something. For a portrait, the focal point is most often the eyes of the person in the painting. This is why it is imperative to capture the correct likeness. The focal point is the highest contrast between light and dark and the sharpest point of the drawing or painting.

Below are my drawings using the concepts that we learned in class. I am happy to report that after a month away from drawing nudes I have not forgotten how to draw. Life drawing is like riding a bicycle it turns out.

First drawing – 15 minutes. The form is alright, although the face is off.

This is a ten minute drawing. Starting to get the hang of things.

5 minute drawing. Much better. It’s coming together now.

Page o’ 1 minute drawings. This was fun.

15 minute drawing. Our professor challenged us to draw with our opposite hand. I drew with my left hand. It came out quite well – I expected a scribbly mess.

I believe this was 20 minutes. After the left handed experiment things got looser. My professor gave me some tips for improving the facial features, mainly by drawing the shadow shapes first.

20 minutes with shadows.

10 minutes. Started going off the rails…

But returned with this much better 10 minute pose.

And finally this 20 minute pose.

This semester I will intensively practice faces and hands. Onward!

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