To get an idea of a chorus costume, go to a movie of a musical comedy. Look up some clips of chorus girls. After you have decided on a pose or arrangement of the subject, get someone to pose for some studies or snaps. Use a photo flood lamp. Plan the light as though it were the only light in the room, shining over the dressing-table. You can get dramatic effects with your lighting. Go at the problem as seriously as though it were an actual commission, for if it does become a reality, you will have to be ready for it. You cannot start being an illustrator with your first job. You will have to be judged an illus-'trator before you can get the assignment.
Take a paragraph from any magazine story and do your version of an illustration for it. Better, take one that was not illustrated by another artist, or, if it was, forget entirely his interpretation and style. Don't under any circumstances copy another illustrator and submit the result as your own drawing.
After you have read this book, come back to this page and try the illustration again. Save your drawings for samples.
The paragraph quoted for illustration is, of course, fictitious. The art director's demands, however, are altogether real. Most magazines pick the situation. Some even send you layouts for arrangement, for space filling, text space, et cetera. All send the manuscript for you to digest. Some ask you to pick the spots and show them roughs first. Most like to see what they are going to get before you do the final drawings. You may work in any medium for black and white halftone reproduction.
VII. FORWARD MOVEMENT: THE TIPPED LINE OF BALANCE
The theory of depicting forward movement (any action that carries the whole body forward) requires that the top always be shown ahead of the base. If you balance a pole on your hand, you must follow with your hand the movement of the top of the pole. If it leans in any direction and you move the base in the same direction at the same speed, the pole maintains a constant slant between base and top. And the faster it goes the greater the slant.
So with figures in forward movement. A line drawn down through the middle of the forward-moving figure will slant exactly as the pole does. If you think of a picket fence with all the palings slanted and parallel, instead of vertical, you have a clear idea of the line of balance in forward movement. On pages 118 and 119 is a series of pictures taken with a fast lens, for the motion picture camera is actually too slow to stop movement for "still" reproduction and enlargement. The separate shots were taken at split seconds apart and pieced together to show the progression of the movement. 1 wished particularly to have the figure remain the same size throughout the sequence. The photographs reveal many-facts, not apparent to the naked eye, about what takes place in the acts of running or walking.
In walking or running, the line of balance remains a constant forward slant as long as the same speed is maintained and tips more as the speed is increased. This change is hard to see because the moving arms and legs distract one's attention from the action. A person must lean the body forward to take a normal step. The balance is caught by the forward foot. The forward push comes from the foot in back. The arms move in reverse of the legs, so that, when the left leg goes forward, the left arm goes back. The center of the stride expresses the least movement. Note the last picture on page 119. For this photograph my model stood still and tried to pose as if he were moving. You will see at oncc how unconvincing the motion is. It is not the fault of the model but the fact that the important principle of forward movement is not working in the pose. Movement drawn without consideration for the tipped line of balance will not give the impression of forward movement. The drawing, no matter how anatomically correct, will resemble the movement of a jmnping-jack suspended from a string.
The tipped line may be placed lightly on your paper and the figure built upon it. Technically, a heel should never be placed directly under the head but in back of it, to give motion. The foot that is carrying the weight and pushing should always be in back of the line of balance.
We think of the act of walking as if the foot describes an arc with the hip as center. What actually happens is that the hip describes the arc witli the foot as center. Each step is a center with a fanlike movement going on above it. The foot that is off the ground swings in an arc forward from the hip, whereas the foot on the ground reverses the arc. As we walk along, what happens is this: f<x)t moves body, lx>dy moves foot, foot moves body, body moves foot. Each leg takes the job over as soon as it is put on the ground, and the other leg relaxes and swings forward, mostly by momentum, until it takes over. Both actions go on simultaneously.
Hip and knee drop on the relaxed side. The leg carrying the weight is straight as it passes under the hip and bends at the knee as the heel
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