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2.5 Adding Structure

Up to this point we have been working mostly with strong, expressive lines. Although lines are the most important part of capturing the feeling of a drawing, you also need to know how to apply the structure around the lines that you have created to help tell the story.

2.5 Adding Structure

Hi, my name is Brian Lee and welcome back to Dynamic Gesture Drawing. Up to this point, we have been working mostly with strong, expressive lines. And although these lines are the most important part of capturing the feeling of a drawing, you also need to know how to apply the structure around the lines to help tell the story. To do this I wanna introduce a popular method used in figure drawing to break up organic subject matter. I want you to be able to use these in your gesture drawings as well. Using geometric shapes we can make organic moving parts easier to understand like the human body or this elephant for example. In general, the most common use of shapes to use in this method are boxes, circles, and cylinders. To understand the box, you need to understand some simple two point perspective. It helps if you understand three and four point perspective also. But if you can get the two point down, you can generally have what you need to make this method work for you. If you don't really understand through point method, I recommend just going on really quickly and checking it out. There's plenty of information out there on perspectives. For this lesson we'll be using the boxes as our main shape. A box shows the most amount of perspective due to its multiple points, some poses may call for circles or cylinders. But if you can get the box concept, you can replace it with other shapes as needed. So, let's talk about how boxes work with human body. The front and back planes of these boxes represent the direction of the human torso is facing, and are usually good places to start when determining the perspective of the body. The top and bottom planes should tilt and lean, and are pretty important when summarizing forward leaning or downward angle of the body. The side planes describe the twisting and turning of the torso and also help to describe the thickness of the hips and a ribcage. So I just wanna run through a few examples of how I find the boxes within the human body. So here we have a naked cowboy. If you're interested in tracking him down, I believe he can be found on the streets of New York or Vegas. He's got a crazy twist in his torso, and using the box method in this example is a great way to summarize. For the first pass, I'm just going to add the major shapes of the torso rotation and a few lines to describe the center line in the back. We'll come back to each one of these examples and look at how to apply the structure once the building blocks are established. So you can see these are very dynamic poses. And without using a simplified method like this, it's very hard to figure out what's going on internally in the body. All right, so let's go back to the first example and see how to complete the pose of the cowboy. So building off the boxes, I'm gonna start with the torso's contour lines. I'm just gonna try to find the man shapes and his body and build those out. Boxes themselves are just the first two shapes that you use and after that just finding more shapes within the body. Keep in mind this is very sped up. I think we're at about three times the normal speed here. So this pose in particular is a great example of when to use geometric shapes. And then there are so many action lines involved here that it would be very tricky to build, just off of action lines. And the pose itself really lends itself the shapes. You can see the triangle from the hips, to the knee, to the angle. You see straight lines coming up from the hips. And there is a lot of circular areas areas as well. Remember when you're looking at really difficult poses, just try to simplify as much as possible. That's what I want you to walk away with from this lesson. For your homework, I'd like you to draw at least 10 poses using the geometries we've described in this lesson. Don't feel obligated to use boxes. You can use circles, cylinders, whatever helps you to define the main building blocks of the body. When I first started drawing, I would use the method a lot. The more I practiced the less I needed to use them in my drawings. I would just see them subconsciously and I want you get to that point. I still use them every once in a while especially when there's a difficult pose or a pushed perspective. But I hope that by practicing this method you will start seeing these different forms in a new simplified way. In the next lesson, we will look at how to effectively balance the poses we draw. So thanks for joining me, and I'll see you in the next lesson.

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