How to Draw the Figure

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Anatomical Figures

^Before you make a line you must have a clear conception of what you want to draw. In your mind it is necessary to have an idea of what the figure to be drawn is doing. Study the model from different angles. Sense the nature and condition of the action, or inaction. This conception is the real beginning of your drawing.

Give due consideration to the placing of your drawing on the paper, for balance and arrangement.

Make two marks to indicate the length of the drawing.

Block in with straight lines the outline of the head. Turn it carefully on the neck, marking its center by drawing a line from the Adam's apple to the pit between the collar bones.

From the pit of the neck make one line giving the direction of the shoulders, keeping in mind the marking of its center, which should be the pit between the collar bones.

Indicate the general direction of the body by outlining to the hip and thigh, at its outermost point, the side that carries the weight.

Follow this by outlining the opposite inactive side of the body, comparing the width with the head.

Then, crossing again to the action side of the figure, drop a line to the foot. You now have determined the balance, or equilibrium of the figure.

Carry the line of the inert side to the knee, over and upward to the middle of the figure.

On the outer side, drop a line to the other foot.

Starting again with the head, and thinking of it as a cube with front, sides, top, back and base, draw it on a level with the eye, foreshortened or in perspective.

Outline the neck and from the pit of the neck draw a line down the center of the chest.

At a right angle to this line, where stomach and chest join, draw another line and then draw lines to indicate the rib cage as a block, twisted, tilted or straight, according to its position. J7 J

Now draw the thigh and the leg which support the greatest part of the weight of the body, making the thigh round, the knee square, the calf of the leg triangular and / /' /?)

the ankle square. Then draw the arms.

These few simple lines place the figure. They give its general proportions, indicating its active and inactive sides, its balance, unity and rhythm.

Bear in mind that the head, chest and pelvis are the three large masses of the body. They are in themselves immovable. Think of them as blocks having four sides, and as such they may be symmetrically placed and balanced, one directly above the other. In this case, the figure would have no movement. But when these masses bend backward, forward, turn or twist, the shifting of them gives action to the figure.

Whatever positions these three masses may assume, no matter how violently they may be drawn together on one side, there is a corresponding gentleness of line on the opposing, inert side and a subtle, illusive, living harmony flowing through the whole, which is the rhythm of the figure.

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