Frustated with anatomy

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Old 05 May 2013   #1
Frustated with anatomy

Hello everyone! I am new here on CGI.

I want to start to leant how to draw the body but none of the resourced I have tried so far have worked for me.

I have already studied how to draw cubes in many angles, drawing from the right side of the brain so I am a late beginner.

I would like if someone could recommend me a book for beginners but please not loomis.

Loomis is awesome but it just isn't the book for me,believe me I tried,But his book take for granted a lot of things and I am mostly alone on my artistic journey so I don't have the luxury to stop by and ask what he meant every time (took me a lot of hours on the internet to understand elipses on a sphere here http://innao.blogspot.mx/2010/09/he...-solved_28.html).his books aren't beginner friendly at all.

I would like an anatomy book that doesn't take for granted anything but explains the basics of anatomy for beginners. I by no means want something easy just something that is for my skill level

I know i should practice for life but I would like some foundations. I really want to start but most tutorials and youtube videos I see only confuse me.

Sorry for my rant and thank you for your time!.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #2
Hello! Another new person to CGS here.

When I was learning to draw, Jack Hamm's Drawing the Head and Figure helped me out the most. The breakdowns were very clear and they show many, many steps to each drawing. There will be a point in the book where it does get more complicated but he tends to keep things really easy to understand, and definitely put thought into communicating them.

For Anatomy, I found Valerie L. Winslow's Classic Human Anatomy the most useful. I have Goldfinger's book, I have Human Anatomy for Artists, but, Classic Human Anatomy has helped me more than anything else. She isolates all the bones and muscles of body. You don't get to see everything from every angle, but there will be an entire page dedicated to a muscle, it clearly displays where a muscle begins and where it ends and the text is all about its function and shape.

I hope that was helpful!
 
Old 06 June 2013   #3
You ask for something at your skill level, but what is your skill level? all I know is your level is somewhere between being able to draw cubes and unable to figure out ellipses on spheres.

I suspect drawing the body may be too soon for you now - not to be nasty, but to help you, and here's my reasoning: the human body and face is by far the hardest things to draw in the world. Well, to draw accurately, anyway. Yet it's extremely common for beginners to jump on this task too soon. Because we're humans, we like humans, we love to draw humans. But sometimes it's like trying to lift a weight in the gym that's too heavy for you, and it might hurt you, it might make you give up.

So unless I've misjudged your level, my advice is to continue to diligently practice all those types of drawing leading up to the body - cubes, spheres, cylinders, ellipses, cones, eggs, pyramids, toroids, first singly, then together, with varying shadows, then still life - fruit, bottles, vases, flowers, towels, cutlery, pots, bowls, drapery, cars, planes, ships, trees, buildings. Maybe some animals. Somewhere along the line also study perspective, start with 1 point, move to 2 point, 3 point etc. I don't know any book that takes you through this step by step, I took a correspondence course like that when I was a kid, but that was 40 years ago and I don't have it anymore.
Most videos and tutorials out there are totally idiotic and useless, merely showing off the skill of the artist. "This is how you draw a sexy anime girl!" Yeah right, what about the thousands of hours of training with realistic subjects you need first?
But here's one I found that seems to take the right approach, talking more about how to look and break down shapes. Also shows how useful that initial training with basic shapes is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnH_KraYSkc
Anyway work at it every day.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #4
Originally Posted by Stahlberg: You ask for something at your skill level, but what is your skill level? all I know is your level is somewhere between being able to draw cubes and unable to figure out ellipses on spheres.

I suspect drawing the body may be too soon for you now - not to be nasty, but to help you, and here's my reasoning: the human body and face is by far the hardest things to draw in the world. Well, to draw accurately, anyway. Yet it's extremely common for beginners to jump on this task too soon. Because we're humans, we like humans, we love to draw humans. But sometimes it's like trying to lift a weight in the gym that's too heavy for you, and it might hurt you, it might make you give up.

So unless I've misjudged your level, my advice is to continue to diligently practice all those types of drawing leading up to the body - cubes, spheres, cylinders, ellipses, cones, eggs, pyramids, toroids, first singly, then together, with varying shadows, then still life - fruit, bottles, vases, flowers, towels, cutlery, pots, bowls, drapery, cars, planes, ships, trees, buildings. Maybe some animals. Somewhere along the line also study perspective, start with 1 point, move to 2 point, 3 point etc. I don't know any book that takes you through this step by step, I took a correspondence course like that when I was a kid, but that was 40 years ago and I don't have it anymore.
Most videos and tutorials out there are totally idiotic and useless, merely showing off the skill of the artist. "This is how you draw a sexy anime girl!" Yeah right, what about the thousands of hours of training with realistic subjects you need first?
But here's one I found that seems to take the right approach, talking more about how to look and break down shapes. Also shows how useful that initial training with basic shapes is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnH_KraYSkc
Anyway work at it every day.


Thank you for your reply .

This is my newbie gallery in case you are curious http://mythicsonofgod.deviantart.com/ I have literally filled entire notebooks on cubes and I still feel frustated that I can't draw the body.

To tell you the truth I spend months taking a full course on perspective an drawing cubes from the brilliant March Chong http://www.youtube.com/user/moatddtutorials. I agree that most tutorials are completely useless!

Thank you for showing me that video it seems to be just what I am looking for. I will continue practice basic shapes


That Jack Hamm book is is brilliant! thank you

Originally Posted by lchacon: Hello! Another new person to CGS here.

When I was learning to draw, Jack Hamm's Drawing the Head and Figure helped me out the most. The breakdowns were very clear and they show many, many steps to each drawing. There will be a point in the book where it does get more complicated but he tends to keep things really easy to understand, and definitely put thought into communicating them.

For Anatomy, I found Valerie L. Winslow's Classic Human Anatomy the most useful. I have Goldfinger's book, I have Human Anatomy for Artists, but, Classic Human Anatomy has helped me more than anything else. She isolates all the bones and muscles of body. You don't get to see everything from every angle, but there will be an entire page dedicated to a muscle, it clearly displays where a muscle begins and where it ends and the text is all about its function and shape.

I hope that was helpful!

Last edited by Fallenlegend : 06 June 2013 at 02:36 AM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #5
your level is higher than I thought. skip the cubes and jump ahead, a complex vase in the sunlight, or a photo of some really cool animal. Actually any complex photo. Don't use ink or color, only pencil. Try to get the shadows.

When I was 20 I went to art school. There was this moment when I got pissed off with my anatomy ability and decided that's it, I'm improving today. I had also read about Frank Frazetta doing something similar with an anatomy book. I didn't have an anatomy book, so I took a newspaper and started on the first page, drew every single person in every photo in the whole paper. I repeated this later. If you ask me, it helped, I think I improved quicker.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #6
Being able to replicate what you see is the most fundamental technical drawing skill that beginner artists must master. If you can't copy a drawing, a photo, or a painting with decent level of accuracy in terms of overall proportions and values, then that's what you need to work on.

Once you have gotten a handle on your observation/analysis skill and eye-to-hand coordination, you then learn about structure and logic that governs our world, as well as the cornerstones of visual art foundation. Among them would be anatomy/figure, but just as important for an artist's overall artistic development (regardless of what your preferences are for subject, style, medium), you'll also need to learn composition, perspective, values/lighting, color theory, etc.

These things all play a part in helping you depict anatomy/figure with more credibility and aesthetic appeal. Simply memorizing anatomy alone is not enough, because you're just memorizing the technical layout of a figure's structure, but have no idea how to depict volume and mass properly, or how forms are revealed by light and shadow, and so on (this is evident from the examples of your work, and it's something you need to work on along with anatomy, and in many ways, is even more important, because if you can get a handle on the other foundation elements, anatomy would be far easier for you to tackle).

You can sort of think of it like having learned basic grammar structure, but don't know anything about syntax, cadence, diction, etc, so you can't construct interesting and creative sentences, or even just normal sentences that communicate ideas effectively.

Last edited by Lunatique : 06 June 2013 at 07:38 AM.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #7
I'm not sure on book recommendations: I'm living in a rented room in a foreign country so tend to travel light, but there are some core principles that anyone needs to keep in mind in order to improve. A largish chunk of text but worth reading:

- Draw what you see. Forget inventing for the moment - to invent convincingly is extremely difficult. Draw from reference images wherever possible and really learn to use your eyes. Don't draw the 'outline of an eye' because you're drawing an eye, and when drawing a hand, don't draw in all five fingers if you can only see three of them from this angle. You're only ever drawing shapes and tones, so look at your reference and see where the lines are, and draw them instead. This way you should be able to draw a portrait upside down and still have it look as good as if you drew it the right way up.

- Get good at measuring by eye. This is an element of drawing what you see. If something looks wrong, then check it against the other elements of the drawing. Is that nose in the right place? On the photo the distance between this bit and that bit is about the same as the distance between this bit and the other... Check things like, the angle between the shoulder and the cheekbone. Hold up the pencil, get the angle on the reference, then move it across to your drawing and see if it's the same. If it's not, then change it, because it will throw other things out. The more you do this, the less likely it'll be that your image has a fundamental flaw, or that you'll have to redo too much of it to fix problems. Some simple rules can help you here, like the distance from chin to cranium is about the same as from chin to nipple, nipple to navel; shoulder to hip is about the same as upper leg; same as lower leg etc. etc.

- Careful with your outlines. I noticed that your drawings are very cartoonish. Whilst there's nothing wrong with that if it's your thing, make sure it doesn't constrain you. A cartoon outline is basically an abstract way of saying 'this is the edge of this thing', even if, in reality, that edge is pretty hard to see because whatever's behind it is tonally similar. We all draw outlines in anatomy when we're early in the piece, because it serves as a useful planning tool, and a kid of shorthand for where things are, makes things easier to measure, but you shouldn't necessarily leave it in if it's not something that you can see on the reference. If it's not there, don't draw it.

- Don't be too precious with your work. My biggest mistake early on was caring too much about the work I made. It's tempting, when you're not sure of your ability, to want everything to be perfect so you can show it off, especially if you get one bit looking really cool. I had that in a portrait; I did a really beautiful rendition of someone's eye, then realised it was not at the right level and got really frustrated because I didn't think I could redo it as well again. As it happened, I made myself just rub it out and do another one, and it ended up looking even better, and not only because it was in the right place this time. If it looks wrong, fix it, and if you ruin the piece? Well, sod it, you're only learning. Chances are in a few months you'll look back at even your best pieces and be faintly embarrassed by them anyway, so just enjoy the process and try not to care too much about the result.

- Go out of your comfort zone. If you're always in your comfort zone then you're not learning. Try new stuff; new media, new styles, new techniques. In art college they get you to do life drawings in 1 minute, then 30 seconds, then 10 seconds. Often you just get a mess, but sometimes, because you're not being so precious and self-conscious about every little detail, you'll draw some sweeping line that perfectly describe's the model's poise, and that 10 second drawing will actually be the most artistically sound thing you've done all week. Even if you don't like abstraction (I don't), or hate drawing with e.g. your left hand, try it. Get your ego out of the way and play with the media. Try wax sculpting, wire bending, screen printing, making stuff out of rocks and leaves. It might not seem relevant to anatomy, but it will all help. What you're doing all that time is forging neuronal links between the visual, interpretive and motor regions of your brain; basically you're physically making yourself a better artist.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #8
If all you want to draw is the body, I think the best thing is a well-tutored life drawing class. There are badly taught life drawing classes, so beware, but a good teacher will be more helpful, more quickly (and probably expensive) than books. A good teacher can stand over your shoulder and see your mistakes and point them out to you. Books can't do that. Books require you to be self-aware (which is harder when you're a beginner because self-awareness takes experience and knowledge).

But if you can't do that, stop angsting over cubes and get onto people already. Even if you can draw a perfect cube, you're still gonna have to draw thousands of imperfect humans before you can get to that one perfect one.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #9
This has been an interesting read of the replies from the masters. Thank you.
Originally Posted by Stahlberg: . . .
So unless I've misjudged your level, my advice is to continue to diligently practice all those types of drawing leading up to the body - cubes, spheres, cylinders, ellipses, cones, eggs, pyramids, toroids, first singly, then together, with varying shadows, then still life - fruit, bottles, vases, flowers, towels, cutlery, pots, bowls, drapery, cars, planes, ships, trees, buildings. Maybe some animals. . . . Also shows how useful that initial training with basic shapes is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnH_KraYSkc
Anyway work at it every day.

This is going to help my so far undisciplined practice. Thank you again.
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Old 10 October 2013   #10
I think the best way to learn anatomy is by video rather than books. Right now I am giving away 20 free copies of my 65 hour anatomy course. I released a Youtube video for the course, and the 15 I gave away there were gone in 5 minutes.

Click here to check out the Anatomy Course for figure drawing and comics

The coupon code is cgpromo


If anyone misses out on the free 20 copies, there are several of the lessons, hours worth, that you can watch free on that link. I make a lot of the course available for free, full lessons, so people can see the quality and style of teaching, to see if it works for them.

I just released this course today on Udemy. I have other courses as well. I first made this course available on my site masterpaintingnow.com and it has gotten great reviews.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #11
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