Life Drawing
Lesson I
Gesture -- The Foundation of Figurative Art

Showing projection

Here is a possible volume explanation for this stick, drawn between two pivot points. It's a cylinder. But what if this stick is supposed to project toward you? This stick, defined by the pivot points, does not describe which end -- the top or bottom -- is coming toward you. The volume description that you see superimposed over the length of the stick, does nothing to describe projection. In fact, it is describing a straight side view.

The illustration below shows the next big step in understanding the gesture study.

Step-by-step, here is what you do:
1. You've got your basic stick figure with its pivot points.

2. Looking at the pose, you are aware that some body part is projecting toward you. Circle the pivot points for the projecting body parts.

3. Connect the two circles with straight lines. The stick is now a center-line, defining the shortest distance between pivot points deep in the joints.

4. Suppress the hidden side of the far end circle to indicate that the full circle display is the projecting end. Here, the top end is projecting.



Gesture Intro Page Skeletal Foundation
Stick: The following are the key elements for organizing a "stick" figure:
The line of action Three ovals -- Head, Ribcage, Pelvis Pivot points Long bones Tilts and angles Contour center lines of front and back torso, and face
Projection and volume augmentations: While good as a foundation, the stick figure does not adequately express projection of form, volume, or relative position in space. There is more you can do to express these important factors in the posing model:
The shortcomings of the stick figure Showing projection Application of the projection concept to the stick figure Simple volume solutions Relative position in space
Loosen up: Using the stick figure foundation with the projection and volume augmentations, you can loosely organize an expressive gesture sketch:
Compare the "contour" method to the stick-start method Importance of the free-going mark The line of action and stick are construction lines Adding relationship and rhythm



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This page created February 14, 1998
1998 by Rebecca Alzofon. All rights reserved.