Blocking In With Anatomy, Light, and Shadow
These two charcoal sketches by the artist Steven Assael, one from early in the process and one when he was finished, demonstrate many of the important concepts I discuss in this section of the book. Notice in lefthand image how Assael first broke down the rib cage, pelvis, legs, and arms into major planes. Then he modeled the forms in greater detail, capturing how the soft flesh of the surface form travels over the top of these planes, rounding off their edges. The intensity of light on these forms was dictated by how much they faced the light source. Great figure drawing always addresses two considerations: the underlying planar/architectural structure, and the structure of the light and shadow hitting the softer surface forms.
LEFT: This workshop demonstration shows the early stages of his process. Note the areas where the planar conception will (ultimately) evolve into anatomical and surface morphology.
RIGHT: Light on form cannot be properly rendered without first understanding the surface planes that make up the largest masses of the figure.
Essential Bones and Musculature
These diagrams represent sections of the body that I scan over when taking anatomy into consideration. I look for how an area is put together as a whole. At minimum, you should know these bones and muscles.
Top Left: This workshop demonstration drawing by Steven Assael shows the early stages of his process. Note the areas where the planar conception will (ultimately) evolve into anatomical and surface morphology.