Friday, July 17, 2015

July Sgraffito Challenge (#3 of 4)

The Stick Person Challenge has Arrived!

And you thought it couldn't happen! 

Stick people can actually teach us a lot about how we view drawing humans.  When we're very young, we know what is 'essential' to the human body.  Head, Face, Arms, & Legs. 
As we grow older, we add things like the neck, hands, and feet, and from there we progress to adding knees, elbows, fingers, and toes...  

Beyond that, drawing people can get a little scary as we try to make our drawings look more realistic.  THIS is where a lot of us just give up and succumb to the idea that we 'can't draw anything better than a stick man.'  This week, we're going to 'Stick-it' to that thought and tackle some fear!

First, let's look at a few funny stick figures that have serious problems...

Pablo the Stickman is headed for disaster, and doesn't even have hands to catch himself...
At least he can still yell for help.  He definitely seems concerned and looks to be falling fast.


Poor Stan.  Things in the bathroom

were never easy with arms this short, but that's a 
secondary problem...
Stan's head would likely have fallen off into the toilet first, 
just from trying to look down without a neck!


All Stella wanted from life was to dance the
'Macarena' with her friends, but alas...
No Hips, No Shoulders, No 'Macarena'.
 She can't even reach her head...


Next, let's learn some simple tips about PROPORTIONS of the human body, or, how the sizes of different parts line up and compare with other parts.

The average adult human is approximately 8 "head lengths" tall.  Children have much different proportions from adults, so this drawing can help you notice those differences.
By the way, these photos were taken from the book "Figure Drawing For Dummies", by Kensuke Okabayashi.  It's a great, inexpensive starter book for anyone who wants to learn more about drawing the human figure.

Some Easy Tips & Tricks to help you 'figure' it all out: 
In order, here is approximately where each head length hits from top to bottom...
  1. Chin
  2. Armpit/ Nipple
  3. Navel
  4. Crotch/Groin (this is also usually the 1/2 way point)
  5. Fingertips
  6. Just below knee
  7. Just below center of shin
  8. Where the feet hit the ground
Things that line up pretty closely to each other:
  • Elbows and navel
  • Wristbones and Crotch
  • When seated, the distance from the top of the head to the seat is about the same distance as the back of the seat to the knees.

When drawn in proportion, these guys/gals can attend themselves in the bathroom, catch themselves when falling, AND can take on the 'Macarena' in style!

And finally, on to your challenge...  
The July Fused Glass Powder Sgraffito Drawing Challenge (#3 of 4), is to use what you've learned about proportion to create a series of sketches of human figures.  
You can start out with stick people if you like, and give them mass by adding powder in the appropriate places.  Picture it like you're working on a sculpture; starting with a wire armature and adding shape with the powder as you work.
 It may help to draw a sharpie stick person directly on your glass, and add powders over your sketch.
Avoid thinking about outlines if you can!

Things you can do to further challenge yourself:

  • Make your figures 'do something'... Dance the Macarena, walk a dog, ice skate, run, shoot a basketball, eat a hotdog, or hold a yoga pose.
  • Draw figures of different ages together.
  • Draw figures with animals, or in scenes that give a sense of scale.
  • Study figure drawings and paintings by other artists... Albrecht Durer, DaVinci, and Degas are some of my favorites.

 An InLinkz Link-up

*For those of you know me and are wondering... YES, I did laugh a lot while writing this blog post and I did very much enjoy using the words nipple, armpit, navel, groin, and crotch in a legitimate post.  :) 

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