Overlap and Tangents

Let's address some visual rules of space.

Some Life Rules

The first visual rule is overlap. See how it is that shape 1. is closest to us and 11 is furthest away. This is all done with overlap. Overlap occurs when one line stops as it touches another. This makes it appear as though it has gone behind it. The circles in the bottom left corner also give us this depth effect. I have heard some instructors call this the "T" rule because of the intersection creating a "T."

At Disney they made a huge fuss about tangents, and rightly so. As the drawing at the bottom right shows you, if you have a tangent or two lines meeting, neither takes dominance in space and we have flatness. Decide what is closest to you and see the journey back into space. All three of the circles feel as though they are on the same plane. Overlap helps evoke foreshortening.

With all of these concepts in mind, as you draw the model, ask yourself what is closest to you and what is furthest away. Enjoy the journey between the two moments.

Overlap Line Drawings

We hove come to the point where we hove o solid structural drawing without all of the surface line. The cen-terline of her back, her spine, helps set up all of the structures. The buttock and hip area shows plenty of overlaps describing depth. Look at where two lines meet and which one moves over the other. The form it describes is in front.

Bondage Line Art

Here force mokes on aggressive vertical climb up the model's right leg. When we crest the hip we quickly shoot back into space over the upper body. See the hip in front of the stomach, with the ribcage beyond it. Look at the lats, and the shoulder blade resting on the ribcage, and the head over the horizon. Overlap helps divide the back into left and right halves.

Drawing Overlap Lines

This drawing is full of overlap. Notice the lack of surface lines and yet the sense of structure found here. Some obvious examples are her right arm moving behind the chair, the left breast in front of the arm, and her right leg going under the left.

Legs Behind Head Bondage Drawing

In this drawing, the model's elbow is closest to us. The rest of the model falls behind it. See the straight places that show us the angle of the head, the hardness of the shoulder and hand, and the strength of the lower back. A quick visual aside: I was taught that a heavier edge on an object with less interior information makes an object punch forward. Now when I draw this comes to me automatically. I see closer objects as having thicker edges to them. In this drawing, it helps push the entire right arm slightly away from the model's body. In the end, you are trying to show your thoughts as clearly as possible, so this is another approach to consider.

How Draw Foreshortened Arm

The most telling overlop here is the ribcage stretch beyond the hips in depth at 1. His right arm hos extreme foreshortening at 2. We move from the deltoid to the bicep and elbow into the page. Then we make our way out from the forearm to the hand with the face lying just beyond it. The left arm at 3. has a more casual progression through space still created by overlap. Also see the sweeping surface lines that assisted me in finding the model's forms.

2. Size

Size matters. The larger an object is, the closer it will appear. Therefore, the smaller an object the further away. This rule will help explode the boundaries of the paper, thus fooling the eye into seeing depth. We are so conditioned to this rule in our everyday lives that something as simple as the size of a circle fools us into seeing space. The more you force space into your drawings, the more conditioned you will become to seeing it in everyday life. To provoke the sight of space, try drawing the model from a closer position than you usually do and exaggerate size. Make things ridiculously small or large. This will help you see the power of size.

"Kids in the Hall" cleverly turned this reality into a skit. They would show one person pinching another's head between his thumb and pointer finger while looking at the second person from far away, thus making him small enough visually to be pinched between two f ingers.

Sight Size Drawing Instruction

Look at how effective both examples of this are. We are forced into believing we see depth when it is only the size of the object that has changed.

Take a journey in your mind's eye towards the model from where you are seated as if you are a tiny floating movie camera, and notice, for instance, what part of the figure you approach first. This alone should help you see direction into and out of the page.

Overlap Drawings

Since spoce, or depth of the poge, through size is our focus, look ot the size of the model's right foot relative to her hands, head, or most importantly, her other foot. This is so important because if two of the same objects are different sizes, we immediately make a visual connection that helps us realize a change in perspective or distance between them. You can also see some moments of surface line here.

Forshortened Figure Drawing Reference

In this drawing, his left hand is the object that is closest to my eye. The reference of his other hand helps the spatial illusion. See how I structured his arm and hand in the depth it occupies. Now overlap helps describe form in a foreshortened space. I also like the different force of each foot.

Foreshortened Arm

I love the upward climb. Starting at the left foot, we have an invigorating journey ahead before we reach the model's face.

Our triangular trip through space takes us from the model's right foot to her head and then to her other foot, where we see o digression in size that makes us see space or depth. Again, also notice the overlapping to force space.

All of the topics covered in this chapter are to assist you in describing forceful structure. You need to be capable of describing forms moving with rhythm in a four-dimensional space. In animation, surface lines are not evident in the finished product. Moving shapes are important. These shapes are created via a true understanding of force and form, or in simpler terms, curve to straight. That is the topic of Chapter Three, forceful shape.

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