Anatomy for the none-figurative artist

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  11 November 2009
Anatomy for the none-figurative artist

I have a bit of a noob question that I have been fussing about for a while.

I am wanting to do 2D to help me with my 3D environmental and lighting skills and wanting to sketch out environments and its lighting beforehand (they environments may or may not have a character).

My question is how important is it for me to be studying anatomy for this purpose?

I have been thinking about getting the Bridgeman book but I am worried that I would be spending too much time on anatomy. The 2D stuff is mostly to make me a better 3D artist and since I want to be a lighting artist and lighting TD rather than a character artist I don't know how helpful it would be. Saying that though it might be a huge help because of the old paradigm that you do humans because you can tell easier when you are doing them wrong and it will make me a better artist in all categories including environmental art by doing anatomy studies. Its something I have been fussing over.

What do ya think?
  11 November 2009
For your goal, I do not see any real good reason why you should practice anatomy to a high degree. But it would be smart to learn some basics about character drawing, like strong silhouettes in simplified form.

I agree with Glenn Vilppu, a well known figurative teacher, who says that when you have learned to get the gestures of your figures, and build one form on top of another, you basically know how to draw. The anatomy is just knowledge, you cannot draw, what you do not know.
I'm sure that someone who studies anatomy very serious will get a lot of experiences that will help in all sorts of drawing.
However, by learning to draw the human body perfect, does not mean you can draw everything. The person still cannot draw what he do not know.

A lot of people start half way up the ladder, by jumping right in to the anatomy.
Not all the anatomy knowledge in the world can rescue a weak understanding for the basics.
Personally I did this mistake myself. But now I'm going a bit off-topic here..

I would like to recommend a Gnomon training video for you, Practical light and color, by Jeremy Vickery. It is mostly theory, but he also shows us how he does 2D-sketches for his 3D environment work. I’ve seen a lot of environment video tutorials, but this is more or less the only one I really felt I learned a lot by watching.

In short, In your case I would rather devote the time to practice perspective instead of detailed anatomy. Do a lot of studies from life, take your sketchbook and go outside to see the world.

Last edited by kyrandian : 11 November 2009 at 03:03 PM.
  11 November 2009
Cool, thanks kyrandian

So it would be: Gesture and form from life and pictures vs muscles studies. The former is what I should be focusing on the other part isnt necessary (for my goals).

Iv got Jeremy Vickerys DVD. Its crazy awesome. One of the best tut dvds I have ever seen even though its basically all theory.

So in order of importance for my learning:

1) Life study (of course)
2) Perspective
3) gesture and overlaying forms (figurative)
4) Anatomy (less important but I will a bit anyway because its fun)

Feel free to expand on that and clarify or correct
  11 November 2009
Yes that sounds good I think.
Do studies mostly from life.
It can be everything, like for example your messy work desk, to people waiting for the bus. We get a better understanding for form and directions when we draw from life, that is why we also find it harder. Our brain has to work much harder. You will find that it will become easy to draw from pictures, once you have spent much time drawing from life.
If you can, attend life drawings sessions. Like croquis.
  11 November 2009
thanks kyrandian -- have no time for classes at the mo but if I do get time I will. In the meantime drawing what I see should be fine.

Is it still a good idea for me to continue working from my loomis stuff? Im a few exercises in to the Fun with a Pencil book
  11 November 2009
I have not really read that book, but I have looked through it briefly, and from what I remember it was very good.
  11 November 2009
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