Okay, ready to try a figure drawing of your own?
1. Start your drawing with a few gesture or action lines that are the main limbs and direction of movement. Then, think of the body as a collection of spare parts, drawn as geometric shapes of various sizes and on various angles relative to each other.
2. Use quick lines to establish gesture, proportion, and shape.
3. Use ellipses for form, particularly ellipsoids.
In longer efforts, the same is true; just continue to add detail, check proportion, and then add more detail and form.
4. Look at the shapes and the way a shape goes over or under another, especially at the joints. Think of the roundedness of the body, its strength, and its flexibility as you draw volume and weight into the gesture.
5. Try to add tone that rounds the shapes and adds a sense of the smoothness, hardness, flabbiness, flatness, or thinness that you see on the model.
A figure drawing is as simple as the sum of its parts.
In Chapter 22, "Dress 'Em Up and Move 'Em Out," we will approach the head, its proportions and parts, the always popular portrait, a consideration of clothing, and the business of populating your drawings with your friends, family, or perfect (or close to perfect) strangers.
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