Thursday, November 19, 2009

This is Anatomy?

Well, I'm sure this isn't exactly the type of image you'd expect to find on this here Beefcake drawing blog! My previous post where I played around with straight lines vs. curved inspired me to try a little experiment: to draw a figure alternating, as much as possible, between straight and curved lines. You might be inclined to call me out on a few of my curve-ishy "straight" lines...but I would argue with you that the area in question leans more to the straight and, therefore, counts as such :)

Now, I'm a cartoony cartoonist so my technique does favor the more exaggerated. There are certainly very few(if any) completely straight lines in actual human anatomy. But drawing is all about interpretation of the actual/real. Even in the most realistic of drawings there is stylization going on (meaning that the artist is making choices in what and what not to include in the interpretation of the three dimensional world onto the two dimensional drawing surface).

Whew! That's nearly enough "Art" theory for me! As one of my college art teachers used to say, "Talking about Art is like Dancing about architecture." *

Here's a fleshy colored doodle to put us back on the Beefcake track. This was another experiment, however. The Red line running up the front-side of the figure was my starting point. I wanted to build a figure with as much of his form "locked" to a solid perpendicular. When I'm drawing from life I'll sometimes look for such "through lines" on which to build the rest of the figure.

* (As I know there are both artists AND dancers who read my blog, I type that quote with tongue firmly planted in cheek ;)


Lou W said...

All that's missing from your pics are the fur...

And would you consider hair and fur to be straight or curved lines?

grapestain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erykh said...

Great drawing class! Thanks!

j. said...

Lou Wysocki - Hmm...good question. I think I'd consider chest hair as curved. Arm hair, sometimes, can look pretty cool as straight lines. And I generally draw beard stubble as a bunch of straight lines!

Bet you didn't think I'd take the question seriously! :)

Erykh - Thank you!


Robert Chandler said...

I love this kind of insight into how an artist works. It takes so much skill to break the human form into something so deceptively simple and beautiful. Sometimes I think that it's unfair to call an artist "talented." I worry it demeans the thought, skill and experience that goes into art. An artist doesn't just wake up with their abilities. It takes brains, time and hard work. And you, Mr. Bone, are one of the best!
Thanks for sharing all this.

Cyrill KALITA said...

Aye, othere is one hell of a curve that should be straight :)

j. said...

R - Hey, Thank You! I've also been blessed with the right encouragement and some darn good teachers. Glad to know you enjoyed the post.

Reinsurance addict - Unless you like 'em curved, eh! ;)

Not that I know what you're talking about because I would never be so suggestive or crass.


James said...


pipemandoug said...

Love it!
I have seen some guys that look like they have straight hair patterns on their chest vs. the standard curly q's. Almost looks like a starburst radiating from between the pecs or from around the nipples. Very hot!

Unknown said...

Hey man I love the way it has been broken up for your style. the Vs. works well and I it can be said for other artist.

thanks for the eye opener.

Now only if you could post something on inking. ^_~

Artist here too. Horrible at inking.

Yining Su said...

Looks a lot like Asterios Polyp, man.

Palanca Feet said...

I really admire your work because it always winks me and teases me. I always wondered if someone would critizise you about that apparent dominion of straight lines in your sketches. I think each artist have their own drawing procedure, the thing is to stimulate and seduce people (and yourself, of course!) in some way. I've seen some of The Hun's ruff sketches and I found out they are not as hot as his final works, maybe because he "boxes" his drawings instead of using lines and curves, but maybe it's just my personal opinion since I am used to compare the pencil lines with the ink's valued lines. I use to sketch with scribbling lines and have some "standard" figures like balls, boxes, kidneys and eggs that can be linked with straight or curved lines, for example: my head craniums use to be short rounded balls, then I trace the eyebrows line to place the ears so from the ears the straight neck lines will come down. Later I work on a huge jawbone like a box parting from the ears and cheekbones the way the chin might end up like a half convex sphere. Then will come the thick nose and the mouth line pretty next down to the nostril line (the way you did in your Cody Cummings sketches). Although some people here like myself are attached to body hair, I don't think it would be a matter of structure of the drawing, because body hair is like a suit (it's like (a) forest(s) in a geographic site). Anyways, in few words every artist tries to find out the best way to build and suit their own art.