Monday, January 26, 2015

How I plan to approach construction

After finally absorbing the entire Realism versus Construction thread and sleeping on it twice now, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do - my own take on it all.

I'm going to proceed along the lines basically laid out by Vilppu (and this agrees with some of what people were saying on the thread too) -

'You don't measure - never measure, just draw the forms as accurately as you can and as you go forward you'll get better at it and proportions will fall into place.' (this is an approximation of what I've heard Glen say)

I don't intend to get into all the complex sub-construction, at least not now. Who knows later?  What I find works for me (for now) is a pretty simple construction, built from the gesture and done very gesturally - a curve to the arms and legs etc, draw them as modified cylinders, tapering where appropriate, but with boxy forms where appropriate too, like for the knees and wrists.

I do think I need to learn head construction, and will probably develop a technique for gestural torso construction to keep from screwing up the connection between ribcage and pelvis. This all essentially means I'm going to continue exactly as I was already planning to - doing head construction studies and a lot of gestural figure drawings, both with and without reference, without any measuring.

I really like the idea that the old masters didn't do construction, though they doubtless did learn to draw the geometric solids from any angle in any light and were trained to think in those terms, to at least visualize simple construction. But I'm not averse to doing construction if I'm having trouble figuring out some parts.

I do know that in the 80's, before I knew much about anatomy or figure drawing, but I was well versed in perspective and the basic tubes and cubes construction, I was able to draw pretty decent (anatomically wrong) figures with little to no construction. Usually all I needed was a shoulder-to-shoulder line to start off, and in fact that was generally the first line I would make, it gave direction to everything else and set the scale. I was able to visualize how the figure would fit (close anyway) and draw the body parts basically without construction. But now, knowing what I've learned since then, I'll probably start with gesture lines.

Of course this is only a working proposition, subject to change at any time, and whatever emerges from actual practice takes precedence over preliminary plans, which are often so far off the mark..

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