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Art Lessons: Measuring The Figure

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now we're gonna really get into measuring
the figure really
figuring out where things are from a much
more intense point of view.
So one of the things that I like to do,
I've mentioned this is I'm gonna keep
mentioning it cause it's really one of
those things that are really fundamental
to seeing, to being able to see.
And I think if you do this, you will be
able to learn not only how to draw,
but you will definitely learn how to see
cuz this is gonna be one of those tools
that if you do it over and over and over
again, its going to be intuitive to you.
But its one of those things where if you
do it, you're going to see your mistakes
clearer and you're going to see nature
Its going to be like you're putting on
and you didn't even realize you needed
them, okay?
So here we go.
What I like to do is, I like to have a
vertical a vertical and a horizontal.
So my figure I could put, sometimes I can
use like, the edge of my paper.
So I see the edge of my paper and this is
obviously a great vertical, right?
Because, I'm sorry this is a great
horizontal and this is a great vertical.
So let's just even use that right there.
So, I don't even have to measure this side
because I have a built in vertical.
Now if I look, if I take my pencil across,
I'm seeing her elbow there.
Then I go across again and I see here
And I actually see a line down from the
elbow to the knee.
So everything becomes a little
Everything becomes a measurement.
I'm finding the landmarks.
I'm finding what's the furthest on her
I'm finding what's the highest on the top.
I'm finding what's on the bottom.
I'm dropping lines down to see where I am.
So everything that we're doing is helping
us experience the figure.
So from here, I have a diagonal going that
The shoulders are going that way.
Well how do I know that?
How do I know that the shoulders are going
in that direction?
Well let me take a straight like that.
Okay, I'm taking a straight across.
Taking it straight across and
I'm definitely seeing that this is going
in that direction.
And the arm, how's that going?
Well, the arm is actually going in that
direction as well.
Now that back arm kinda
almost lines up with this arm like that,
and this goes that direction.
Now the torso, that's, that's interesting.
So if I'm looking at the torso, and I'm
holding up a vertical,
I'm seeing that this is the first point
that I hit and this goes down.
So in here, right in here, is where that
torso is.
It's going down this direction.
[SOUND] Then, this is coming out this
Now the elbow is actually way further out
than the hip is.
So the hip is going back and down like
Actually unfortunately, I have made this
maybe a little too small.
So I'm not going to cutting off my feet.
So we know it's going that way.
Then we have this side and that is going,
is it going straight down?
No it's going diagonally that way as
this leg is gong diagonally this way.
Like that.
Now, sometimes I'm going to look at the
directions of the negative shapes.
Now what are the negative shapes?
Okay, so the positive shapes are actual
form, right?
So this is, this is her arm, this is the
positive, quote, unquote positive shapes.
The negative shapes are the emptiness
between the form.
And in that emptiness, we will find
Everything exists in that.
Nothing is not nothing.
This nothing here is going to be the key
to keep our shapes accurate.
So, if I'm looking just at the negative
I'm gonna go diagonally this way and I'm
gonna go that direction.
I'm gonna go this direction and that
direction, like that.
In fact, I"m going to do that as well.
So all of that information here is really,
really important to see the overall
Now remember we're always,
always keeping a rhythm, always keeping
the rhythm.
So, that arm's not just a straight arm
like that,
that kinda does this, right?
That's not what we're drawing.
We're not drawing robots.
We're drawing the figure.
So it's on a diagonal like that.
So here what an amazing indicator is, is
when you see an article of clothing
whether it's a bikini, a dress, a shirt,
we're seeing that it really,
we can use that as a device to explain
So right here with her bikini, it's going
up like that,
then it's going over like that.
And as you can see, it's going around the
neck, behind the neck.
So the neck is coming up here on a
diagonal, all right,
on a diagonal this way and the bikini's
coming up and
at a higher point around the trapezius,
it's coming down this way to here.
So this point right across is where the
other piece of that bra is.
And this is coming down like that.
And this is scooping up and around.
This is getting pulled across the form.
This is getting pulled that way,
that way, getting pulled around, around,
around, around, down, okay.
So I'm measuring every little step of the
way and
they're little measurements but they're
So actually even here we could feel that,
that piece of clothing is going around the
It's going around.
Now here is the pin side and
here is the stretch side.
The belly button is there,
following that,
like that.
The arm is tucking in here, fitting,
now I am going to take that measurement
and I am going to draw, I am going
to look at that shape and I am going to
say the torso is going that way, I am not
thinking that as a torso necessarily, I
need to see where that hand is, okay.
So that finger right here is below that
belly button.
If I drew a line across, I would say that
that finger is below the belly button.
And that belly button, about that much
down, is where her bikini starts,
right there.
So everything's kinda gotta move down
because that's just kind of not accurate.
Now this is especially good when you're
painting because when you're painting,
you want to really identify the shapes.
If you can identify the shapes with
accuracy, then you're just mixing paint,
you're putting on value, you're mixing
paint, you're putting on color,
because your shapes are identified in your
So the more accurate you are with your
the more accurate you will be with your
said it took him nine years to learn how
to draw and
nine days to learn how to paint, or
something like that.
But, it was one of those things when I
read it i was like, oh my God,
that's crazy.
But, it's, it's so true because it takes
so long to see things.
But when you use these tools that I'm
giving you,
these certain tools, you are able to see
things so much more clear.
And then when you paint it's like oh,
that's easy.
Cuz drawing is everything.
Drawing is the bull work.
Drawing is the foundation that you're
building upon for everything else.
So, here we go now.
Let's settle down, get into a groove.
All right, so
[NOISE] you can see here
the bikini wrapping around like that.
Coming from underneath.
Going diagonally.
See the bikini's not just going down like
If I hold up a straight, it's actually
going diagonal.
Like that.
Same here, it's going diagonally like
Though I'm holding my pencil like this
I'm able to think about things more
sculpture and
make, able to make big moves with my, from
my shoulder.
As opposed to doing this where I'm kind of
then, all the sudden I'm stuck and
I have to, can't really see everything and
And now I've pulled away.
That's why I think it's important to hold
the pencil like this at least initially.
here the hand is below the belly button.
What's here?
The finger is here.
And the pinky is down here.
That way.
That way.
Point here, point here.
And the elbow, what is the elbow lining up
So I take a measurement of the horizontal
of the elbow.
And I realize that the elbow is going to
right here.
So I'm pretty close.
I'm pretty close.
I can, you know, you could spend all day
getting all of the point exact.
But you might be here for 24 hours, which
is actually a good exercise.
But in the meantime taking pretty quick
measurements to keep me on track,
otherwise I'm going to be all over the
Which is fine if you're being
expressionistic and being stylistic, but
right now I'm trying be a little bit more
So here the deltoid is clamping down and
radiating from the humerus.
See the back of the tricep here [SOUND]
And here.
This comes out.
Wrist gets very flat here.
Like that.
And you feel the pelvis here, and the leg
Overlap here as well.
Now where is that knee?
That knee, if I do a straight line, it's
kinda right around here.
So if I draw a straight line all the way
Well, how about that?
Pretty on target.
Oh yeah.
There we go.
Down, around here and
up with the neck.
And this is lower.
Up oh, that head is going this direction,
then going back, then going up.
Back down.
Something like that.
And once again it's that elbow.
Overlap with that elbow.
The deltoid is coming out, attaching yet
again with
So there you can see that I've tried to,
to grid the figure, I've tried to measure,
I've gotten my basic principles down of
I'm designing the figure, and with a
little bit more work and
some value, I'm ready to paint this.
So this is a really good tool just to
kinda get your gesture on,
get your armature on and measure quickly,
effectively, efficiently.
And those will give you all of your little
key points so
that you could proceed to the next level
which is value and painting.
Or just do a really cool line drawing.