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Art Lessons: The Foot

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looking at the foot, we, we really have to
understand how it is sitting.
So, one of the most important things, is
to see how the ankle is.
How the ankle is actually, grabbing the
foot like a wrench.
So, as you could see here on the, the the
tibia side it's high.
And the fibula side it's low.
So, you could see how that.
If you, if you think about it as a simple
how this kinda becomes a wrench grabbing a
So, when I often times kinda,
ju, break down the ankle.
I kinda, break it down like this.
Where, on one side it's a little higher.
And on the other side, it's a lot.
It's a lot lower.
Like this.
And obviously,
it's clamping, [NOISE]
clamping [NOISE]
the sphere,
like that.
[NOISE] So, once again,
just thinking about it coming down,
[NOISE] architecturally
[NOISE] and [NOISE] coming in.
Think about it coming down, coming in.
And, clamping
[NOISE] the sphere.
[NOISE] Which is a representation of the
So, now let's talk about the actual foot,
and the gesture of the foot.
Because the most important thing, when
you're drawing is to really
kinda get down the energy of the foot, and
the intention of the foot.
So, what I like to do is, when I'm drawing
a figure, if I'm drawing a leg,
I like to just kinda, from profile, I like
to roll the leg into the foot.
And you see how this rolls like that and
with the muscles that are there it
really just kinda, c curves down like that
and ground you like this.
So, [NOISE] that's really, really
[NOISE] when you're drawing a foot.
It's just to make sure that this rolls
into the ground like that.
So, it's like a nice c curve.
[NOISE] And same with, you know,
any side that you draw.
[NOISE] You wanna make sure that there's
that kinda, that gesture,
that energy before you kinda, start
[NOISE] building up more detail.
You want to keep it pretty abstract,
pretty basic.
[NOISE] From the back,
you're looking at it,
a little bit more like this,
[NOISE] as it's rolling
into to the ground.
So it's coming down.
And rolling into the ground.
[NOISE] And then, you want to see maybe if
it's more active.
Like this, so
it's kinda,
coming off the ground
[NOISE] like this.
[NOISE] So, still
has that energy of
grounding [NOISE] down,
[NOISE] like that.
So, basically it's one movement, like
It's thigh, back of the leg,
foot, like that.
Two, three.
One, two, three, from profile.
And really, like the hand,
you wanna kinda get the foot down and get
the energy of the foot down.
And then, build upon the foot.
So, it's important to first get the
gesture and
the action of the pose of the foot.
And then get the actual construction of
the foot down.
Now, don't neglect the feet, just like you
shouldn't neglect the hand,
because there's so much personality in the
There's so much personality in the hands.
And often times, people just don't draw it
at all.
Often times people you know, they have a
foot coming down, it's just kinda like,
you know, what's, what's going on?
And another key is when you have a foot
like here, just be a little mindful that,
when let's say your profile, when the calf
rolls down, it's one move to the ankle.
And there's the achilles tendon behind it,
and then the foot comes out.
So, even though this is one move, there's
that little overlap right here,
of where the ankle overlaps the achilles,
that is really important.
And another another good piece of
information is that
just having a cast shadow on the ground,
grounds it.
So, you take a foot like this and [NOISE]
all of a sudden, you have a cast shadow.
It makes it a lot more believable.
[NOISE] You have a cast shadow, more
Cast shadow going [NOISE] this way,
wherever, [NOISE] it just grounds it, and
makes it much more believable.
Obviously, with paint, you're just putting
down blacks of value, and
the same thing happens.
So, from the back, you wanna really,
keep the foot pretty, pretty simple.
And you wanna think about, once again, the
direction of that line.
So, if you have the ankle high on this
you're gonna have the ankle low on this
So, it's going this direction.
And then you're gonna, have another shape.
Breaking it down abstractly, like this.
[NOISE] And then
you're gonna,
have the heel
[NOISE] like that.
[NOISE] Wider, [NOISE] and
then you're gonna see,
a little bit of the front,
other foot like this.
That's being overlapped.
[NOISE] So, it's a very abstract way,
but you can see how this can break down
constructively into different shapes.
And here's a little trick for you.
If you take some charcoal, I'm sure you
guys might know this,
you might not at home.
It's kind of a fun thing to do.
And I've actually done it in painting
And you take the charcoal and you put it
on your palm, like that.
The side of your palm and your thumb.
You can do that.
[SOUND] And you have a baby foot.
How about that?
[SOUND] Kind of impressive.
Kids love that.
So, the other day I did it for my
daughter, had a leprechaun come in
the room, took some paint in my hand and
[SOUND] Did it everywhere, it looked like,
I did green paint, like there was
leprechauns searching everywhere for gold.
It was on St. Patrick's day, so she loved
She doesn't even know, so don't watch this
So, as the ankle comes down we're thinking
about the ankle abstractly like a wrench.
So it's going this way, it's going this
way so the wrench is holding that sphere.
The wrench is coming down like this,
coming down like this, and
sitting on a block like this.
And you
could really break the foot down.
I used to have a teacher named Bearn
Hogarth, who taught at art center,
who was incredible.
Teaches us dynamic anatomy, and
he would really break the foot down into
like a million, billion different ways.
But just getting a basic understanding is
really all we need.
So I like to kinda break it down into
super simple shapes.
So I like to say that there's this bone
hugging and
there's that ball in here like that.
So the wrench is hugging the sphere.
And there's the base of that foot like
You're always thinking three
so if there's a top plane there's the side
If there's the top plane there's the side
Right here.
And this is going back that direction.
And this is going that direction.
This is coming out, and this is going that
So it's kinda like, you could really break
it down architecturally.
But it's got a kind of beautiful,
whimsical rhythm.
It goes down that way,
this comes out and curves that way like
So you could see that this is really
sitting inside there like that.
And then as the toes emerge, you know, the
the big toe is sitting here, and the
digit's coming that way, coming out.
Like that.
I'm dropping.
You get to see that I'm keeping the
Keeping that perspective like that.
See, toes obviously a little bigger than
So, you could see you're slowly slowly
constructing this foot.
And you
kinda keep adding toes to it like that.
You can see the toes start to emerge out
of here, start to emerge out of here.
This is a little wider, so we could fit in
all those toes like that as well.
So, it's really important that we're
seeing this very complex
structure of anatomy, the foot, and,
trying to just kind of just break it down.
So let's look at the foot from the back.
You know, the foot from the back
is kinda could be seen inside here,
much like this, interestingly
enough with the toe and this coming back.
We've got this pad here, we've got this
pad here,
we've got this, this is what's touching
ground here, the arch.
Bottom of that foot like that.
Take this.
This pad.
You have this pad.
And you have this right here that doesn't
touch the ground.
And of course, these toes, usually,
are grouped kind of together, like this.
>> Like that.
Now, there's a depth to that.
There's an actual depth to that.
So if you were kinda to turn it on it's
side, it would look a little
bit more as very abstract, but it would
look a little bit more like this.
So, you could see the heel emerging
from the back, toe, a bit here.
And this is obviously very abstract, but
you could just see how much dimension
there is and how much you could really,
kind of, have to deconstruct it to really
construct it.
But, in simple terms, I think that, just,
you know, the simpler you are.
In other words if you start to kind of, if
you say okay,
well I've been drawing the foot going into
the ground and
I'm kinda adding the overlap of that
ankle, like this.
I'm adding that.
What's the next thing I can do to make it
a little bit more sophisticated?
And I would say, just add a little
dimension to it.
So this can go around like that.
This goes in where the arch is, like this.
So, in other words, you're kinda thinking
about it three dimensionally,
a little bit more sculpturally, and that's
This goes like that.
And finally, the toe would be going like
So now you've kinda got a little bit more
of the architecture.
And this, by the way,
can be very flat like that.
So, keep it, keep it dynamic,
keep it fluid, keep it gestural, and keep
it basic.
And, that will start you on your path for
the foot.