# The roller coaster of rhythm

The rood of rhythm is o more flot, two-dimensional, left to right approach to comprehending the fluid-like balance in the body. It is the beginning of something greater. The roller coaster analogy uses the body's mosses to recognize how force moves in a three-dimensional manner through and around the figure and in and out of the page.

I tell students to imagine the model's platform as the amusement park and the model as the roller coaster. Your first task is to get your mind's eye into the park, close to the model. I suggest to students that they think of themselves as being one inch high. This empowers them to envision the figure as gargantuan. The model's tremendous size guides the students into seeing more roundness and depth. This helps you see just how long an idea goes before it turns into an opposing force because the body's energy changes direction. This again will help you get closer to the top of the pyramid. Beware of drawing the spaghetti line we discussed earlier in the chapter.

Next, find the largest moment of force on the roller coaster and hop on. The tracks are smooth and graceful. Feel how they project you through space, over high peaks and low gullies, through fast straight-aways and G-force-filled turns, spiraling along loop-to-loops and pretzel-like structures. Then time is up, you get off the ride, the model changes positions, and a new and exciting ride is yours to experience.

You have to give yourself the right to draw through the f igure. Those of you who are uptight have to loosen up in this exercise. Drawing through the figure will dramatically help you see long and begin to understand space, dimensionality, and structure.

Disney's Fred Moore was one of the best artists at going long with beautiful, rich, fluid ideas. You can see drawings of his in some of the older Disney books.

Here is on example of long ideas expressed through the roller coaster of rhythm. The thumbnail clearly defines the path of force. Look at how all appendages link up seamlessly to the pose.

The thumbnail on the left shows you my first thoughts on how to approach this pose. Look at how much is said about it with long ideas.

Here we shoot up the model's right leg, roll around the knee to the forceful side. Then we swing our way up the thigh and over into the hip where we make our final ascent up into the back, over the shoulder, and down into his extended arm. The relationship of the left arm and right foot helps encircle the idea of this pose.

I love this drawing. To me it is so alive that it's musical. The thumbnail on the right shows my initial idea.

Look at the long connection of her head and elbow down through the hips, up through the thigh to the knee. Finally, after that long and elegant journey we have a change in tempo but for a moment, found in the knee. Off we embark down the calf for a fast and graceful curve to her ankle where it repeats the tempo of the knee. Look also at how effectively mass is described with few lines.

Here we see where some ideas are longer and more connective than others.

1. The upward sweep of the back is where we will begin. This directs us across the body where we travel down to the crotch and sweep up through the left hip at 2. and drive up into the right one at 3. We then pick up speed again and shoot down the thighs through the knees and to the different endings in his feet.

See here how at 1. I address the largest idea, the connection between ribcage and hips. Then, to push the ride, we can sweep into the arms at 2. and 5. We also can glide into the legs at 3. and 4. with seamless rhythm.

This drawing started off as an exercise where I have students begin a drawing and then another student finishes up the time restriction. This drawing was started by Chuck and then completed by Barrett. Barrett unknowingly succeeded in producing a drawing with a very long idea. Above the figure you will see my explanation of the roller coaster ride we take. Barrett explained how he was content with seeing the model's left leg from hip to foot as one idea. A second look at the drawing shows us how that force sweeps through the crotch, up and over the back, into the deltoid, and then down to the model's wrist.

Remember: Everything in Chapter One works together. At times you will see applied force, and sometimes you will see the chance to go long, all within the same pose. Either way, you want your drawing to be a festival of the life that was in front of you, a loud drawing of your understanding. Don't forget the power of the force full curve.

Now let's look at how to better describe the forms around which force travels.

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Chapter Two: Forceful Form

Artists' understanding of the theories of perspective hos changed the world we live in. Their observations helped them create dimensional thoughts upon a flat surface. You are affected by this every day of your life. Recognize that the chair you occupy and the space you live in were conceived of by an artist with the capacity to draw form.

In order to draw form you must first see it. Perspective will be our launch into four-dimensional space.

Anatomy is form in drawing the human figure. There are too many books out there about anatomy for me to take up a chapter on this. If you feel uncertain in this area, it helps for you to have a book that shows bosic understanding of the placement, relations, connectivity, and workings of the major muscles of the human body. Some books I can recommend are Bridgeman's "Complete Guide to Drawing From Life," which is stylized, but the drawings are forceful and he explains how things work. Another book is "Anatomy for Artists" by Jeno' Barcshy. It is informative and the drawings show some of the mechanics of the body. Lastly, Elliot Goldfingers's "Human Anatomy for Artists." This book considers the body's muscle groups and draws the layers that create a given area's anatomy, from the skeleton to a photograph of a model's actual musculature, as we would see it.

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### Responses

• Juliane
How to draw a roller coaster?
7 years ago