In Chapter 1, we attempted to show the major body forms as shape-masses, conceiving them according to their differences as solid objects in space. This means that we have tried to define form as three dimensional volume, not simply as flat body silhouette.
Seeing the body as a flat silhouette encourages a simplistic description of the figure as a mere area, and a drawing of this flat shape commonly assumes the character of an outline, or contour, drawing only. Shape-mass, on the other hand, demands to be understood as volume structure in three dimensions; this makes it possible to draw the figure in deep space projections, putting the human form into the most inventive and varied conceptions of foreshortening, advancing and receding in space.
Conceiving the figure as shape-mass permits the artist to manipulate the figure creatively, part by part, making changes according to his desire, without copying or using file reference material. Like a sculptor working with modeling clay, the artist can structure and compose by building-up. He can alter the actions and projections of separate forms. He can revise and modify his forms at will. But more important, he can choose to introduce radical innovations of form, To do this, at least experimentally, the artist must approach his drawing with a new order of form. He must give up certain uncritical conventions and preconceived notions of figure drawing. For instance, he must put aside starting the figure by sketching in the head. He must give this up, firmly. According to the method which I propose, the torso, above any other form, is of primary importance. With this premise, let us initiate the new order of form and assert the opening rule. . .
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