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Thread: Simplify, simplify, simplify!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Hamachi's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    In your heart

    Simplify, simplify, simplify!!

    One of the most basic methods of drawing involves starting with a simplification and working your way up from that as a foundation. My question is: what methods of simplification do you find to be most effective; e.g. what method do you use the most?

    Some examples off the top of my head - certainly not all of them -

    => The gesture/ghost lining method - uses gestures and "ghost lines" to capture the relationships in energy behind the figure.
    => The 3D shape method - applies 3D shapes to capture proportions and perspective of shapes in space
    => The major shape method - draw one huge shape roughly in the shape of what you want; split it/draw another connecting shape, etc.
    => The border method - draw straight lines as borders (potentially in perspective) all around your figure and work inwards in such a way that nothing's too large or small
    => The "idea" method - note, *extremely* misused as the 'stick figure' method - beginning your drawing with an action or idea. Sharp lines capture the basic action of the subject without giving detail to shape or form. Sticks with no action obviously are against the purpose of this method...

    Of course, I don't advocate any one over the other and realize that each kind has its virtues. I guess what I want to know is which seems to come the most easily to artists.


    On the left is gesture stressing loose, flowing forms; on the right is borders stressing neat, tight accuracy.

    Major [overlapping] 2D shapes seem to work best in simulated 2D...

    The foundation isn't always visible either... :P
    Trying to build something from its basic forces is extremely hard for me to learn, but here's someone who did.
    Last edited by Hamachi; 02-11-2011 at 01:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Devilish Member Slurpee's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    huh, i'll try these styles out. certain poses call for different techniques i guess

  3. #3
    I use shapes,gestures and dynamic lines altogether to get a good visual on my pose. The shapes really gives you a good idea on the perspective of certain areas. dynamic lines are more like curve long lines to indicate the movement of the figure, and the gesture are to give you a general idea on what looks like what. Works pretty well if you know how to put them together, but Im still ways from mastering it myself xP

  4. #4
    Regular Member Son44's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Really interesting techniques... I'll try them out

  5. #5
    Oh boy, learning!

    I prefer to use geometric shapes, but I'm open to new methods since I have seemed to hit a wall in my art. Also, shapes take a very long time to put together right.

    What do people think the best methods is if I am trying to achieve my desired proportions (aka which frame in general makes proportion easiest/the most natural)?

  6. #6
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Guidelines, I believe, are a pretty self-styled thing. Not everyone uses the same guidelines for everything. I use a combination of lines and shapes, one more than the other or the same depending on if there's foreshortening or not. You should pick out your vanishing point and draw the person according to them, but I think it's good to sketch in a general sketch first. If I don't, I always end up with a person standing and facing the camera with their arms slightly out to the side, which sucks unless you're doing technical concept sketches.

  7. #7
    Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er Rio's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Normally, I use lines and shapes like Matt but sometimes.... I find I can just go with the flow and draw something with no predetermined pose/action in mind and just finish a drawing - usually rather quickly too. (Don't get me wrong, there are times when I struggle as well and that's when I fall back to lines, shapes, visualizing in 3D and so on).

    Regarding border method, I see that more for drawing things than people. Personally, I think the human body has too much movement and shifting elements to be effective in using the border method... but who knows? If it works for someone, then who am I to say what's what?

    That's some pretty useful info Hamachi - thanks for posting!


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