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Adding Core Volumes

Lesson 8 from: Introduction to Figure Drawing: Essential Gesture & Structure

Amy Wynne

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Lesson Info

8. Adding Core Volumes

Add backbone to your sketch with secondary curvature and explore why it’s crucial to establish the relationship between head, torso, and pelvis.

Lesson Info

Adding Core Volumes

So once we've established this really like core understanding or feeling really of essential gesture and started to talk about structure, how that structure of the joints, how that relates in a dynamic way to what that core energy is doing. We might be tempted to start and work with adding some very simple volumes to our drawings. So rather than just the five line drawing or the constellation drawing with the structure between the joints, we could start to work in an oval for the head, the torso and the pelvis and how that might attach to those lines. So we already took a look at this idea of plotting the points and how that relates to structure. But you can see that that linear structure, you can also start to create very simple volumes attached to that to start to fill out the body. So, I've made this little sculpture which is really, I like to think about it as beads on a wire and to think about taking uh the head and the torso and the pelvis and thinking thinking of them like stron...

g on this flexible wire, which is really the spine and how as you turn the figure in space, you know, that shifts and changes depending on your view. And also as the figure itself starts to maybe bend and turn on these flexible parts of the spine. That also is something that will be tracking a little bit more as we spend a little bit more time with the model. So, this is a fun thing to make just something to have to refer to. In fact, artists have throughout the centuries of actually worked from small sculptures, little maquettes that they've made of the body and position them with each other in space. So if it's something that you might enjoy doing, you can make little models and and work from them as practice. So highly recommend that. So how do we attach these volumes to the structure? So I want to just show you a possibility with a little bit of an overlay and then we're going to have Sarah take some just slightly longer poses to start to work with this idea of core volumes on structure. So when we are talking about a frontal view, um we, I want to just reiterate what we've done and and at this point also we might start to, rather than talk about an academic approach to proportion, we might start to think about. I like to use the word like magnetize ng, like magnetize ng the top of the head to a certain point, magnetize in the region of the feet to a certain point and just sort of having a basic understanding of where the midpoint of the body is without too much information, but just to start maybe stretching the figure to a certain height on the page. So I'll show you that. All right. So I'm gonna use a slightly bolder pencil to show the top of the body. I'm just gonna work on these diagrams to start and then I'm going to be drawing from sarah. So I'm going to start by just creating a little line at the top and a little line at the bottom. And then I might just before I even draw the figure create, just drop a line in between those lines just as a basis for the drawings. So this would look something like that. This is something I often do and then without needing to think too much of the way through it, just finding the midpoint between those two lines and that's gonna be the region of the mid pelvis really where that particular area lands. So what we've already done with our five line drawings and with some of our constellation drawings combined is we've plotted points. So the next step could be to plot some points. This pose isn't quite as dynamic in that, you know, But this should look familiar in terms of the constellation points. The head would come up to just around the top of that line and the feet would come down if we're plotting the feet right around that line. And so I would start by plotting points just to create the structure. Because structure comes first. We're really working with drawing the figure from the inside out rather than creating some sort of flat outline. So the structure, the hip points which we've seen in the constellation drawings, the points of the knees, which we've also seen coming all the way down to the region of the feet. So this is all structural, This is all something we've done in terms of what the spine is doing here. You know, kind of allowing it to come down off the head. So this should all look pretty familiar in terms of just establishing the basic structure of the body. Now, rib cage is an egg shape. Pelvic region can also be visualized as an egg shape. So I'm just gonna propose that we try to add on a little bit of a volume for the region of the rib cage here, right, leaving these flexi bits here and here. Right? Those are the flexible parts of the spine and then maybe adding on, you know slightly a little bit maybe slightly squared off oval for the region of the pelvis here. And you can see how by doing that. You just start to think about maybe realizing the body with a little bit more volume. So we went from core gesture to structure and now just some simple volumes. These are the only volumes you're gonna need for the next lesson. Just understanding that um if the figure is three quarter view, you can also sort of work in this way. In other words, turned slightly to the side. Um Again, just treating you're gonna find your points, your hip, points your elbow to wrist, your hip to knee, to foot, hip to knee, to foot coming down and then, you know an oval for the head. Thinking about connecting the dots with these lines, you know? And then a simple oval for the torso turned in space. A simple oval, slightly different shape for the region of the hips and again the flexi part of the spine, flexi part of the spine. In this case, if this is an egg shape, the center of the egg would be turned away from us a little bit in space because this pose is turning away in that direction. And then if we had a side view again, plotting the points, we could move from shoulder to elbow to wrist, from hip .2 knee to foot, again plotting these points, having a little bit of a sense of the head. The flexi bits of the spine. And then just again, simple oval for that region. A simple oval for that region the oval of the hips on a slight angle and then plotting in space and then the back view. Just as a quick little note again establishing the points in space coming down, points to the hips, back at the knees, maybe to the region of the the heels. And again a nice oval for the head looking away from us, this time, an oval for the ribcage across that structure of the upper arm. And then the structure of the legs. And really allowing that region of the pelvis to sit right on top of there and allowing these parts to be flexible, just like our friend here, uh in in in terms of housing those volumes and notice how we didn't get like super caught up in all the measurements, were just trying to allow the head and the feet to kind of magnetize towards these points, allowing the region of the hips to sit a bit along the midline. And this is really this sort of practice ultimately will be something that will allow you in the future to draw figures with a little bit more twist with practice, a little more twist with a little more dynamism. So ultimately this practice of using the structure and adding on beads on a wire. These simple volumes. With practice. Ultimately, it's going to allow you to address the figure in much more dynamic poses with volume. So it just takes practice to then start to work with some of the tilting and twisting. That is also part of figure drawing. So what I'd like to do now is just practice this a little bit with sarah and with just a couple of poses. And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to have Sarah, she's gonna take three different poses. We're going to be again just focusing on beads on a wire. And what I'm going to recommend, which you can try is to create um a line that might go across, you know, around the top of your paper. Um and then maybe another line that comes down, you know, like around the bottom region. And if you're, you know, if you know how many poses you're gonna work with, you might go ahead and make, you know, a couple of places like if you're, you know, you're gonna work with the standing figure, why not give yourself a place to place one figure and a place that you can place the next figure just, you know, thinking how about that line might go from the top of the head down to the region of the feet. So you have that. And then just again, just like practicing this idea of the region of the midpoint of the body coming down. You can make a little mark. Again, we're not getting heavy into proportion here because that's super important. But I'm still really working with this idea of gesture and just establishing the structure and maybe adding some volumes. So this idea I think will create just a little bit more liberty. So I'm going to go ahead and build three drawings with this idea of moving from structure gesture to structure to just simple volumes. So the first one is going to be a frontal post which Sarah's and now and and so with this post, My first actually what I want to remember and really reiterate before I get into any structure is just the feeling of this pose, which to me is really kind of coming up from the region of the head down the spine and down to this region here. Just just this like just remembering the energy, you know, we're adding on. But we're constantly remembering the energy of the pose. So reiterating that energy and then thinking about our constellation points, you know, in this case shoulder to shoulder and I'm just going to place them um shoulder to elbow, elbow to hand and this is something we've done. And then that shoulder to this elbow which is a little higher than the one on the left coming down to here. And then our hip points, the hip on the right is higher than the hip on the left. Coming down to the knee here again. Just sort of making these points, planting the foot. I'm noticing the angle of the foot to the ground. Don't forget about that, noticing that this knee comes out to the side a little bit further out than the shoulder and then bringing that down and planting that foot in the region of the floor. So we've established a little bit of gesture, we've established our constellation, right? So this is all these are all things that you can do. These are all things that we've practiced. The region of the pelvis is congregating around the midpoint of this line. So let's add the volumes right. Just imagine a wire with beads on it. So we can add a general volume for the region of the head here and that head might congregate towards the top of that line. We can also add an egg shaped volume for the region of the rib cage right here. We're just gonna lace this bead on the wire of the spine, right around here and there's the spine. And then we can put another oval for the region of the hips here which is on a slight angle. But you can see how by just adding these beads to this wire of the spine. We can start to create a sense of volume along with the structure from the frontal view. Okay so now we're gonna try a side view. So sarah if you would just move to a profile view, that's great. Wonderful. So from the side view I can still plot my points. I can plot point. I won't see as many points on the far side. I can see the far shoulder a little bit. I can go from shoulder down to inner elbow. I can go from inner elbow to the wrist. And it's always amazing how long the arms actually are. So keep that in mind. I can't see the far arm, no big deal. Um But I can see the hip point here and from this hip point I have the knee coming forward and then I have the foot coming down, it's angled back just a little bit and then the foot plants down around this front line and then in the back I can see the back knee. I'm just gonna take a look. Yeah the back knee is like a little higher than that knee and then the back foot plants itself a little higher in space. So I have point to point and then I can start to, I know that far hip is happening even though I can't necessarily see it. But now from the side view I can create my beads on a wire. I can have the head volume. The side view, there's actually a secondary volume. The cranium that comes in. I can have my my spine creating a little bit of a forward curve and then a backward curve coming down and then I can go ahead and add my volume for the torso and then my volume for the hips and start to just fill it out a little bit, right. Start to fill it out. Maybe replace some of these points a little bit but really start to create a little bit of a sense of volume. Alright let's try one more view. Alright great. So we're gonna try this view which is a little bit more of a three quarter view. So if you just shift your body a little bit more. Yeah that's great. So I want to reveal just a little bit more of the chest. That's perfect. So I can once more let's plot our points in space. This is neither straight ahead or a profile view. So we call it a three quarter view but I'm not gonna get too caught up in all of that. I'm just gonna start by plotting my constellation points. Hit point down to the knee, knee down to the foot here, and then the Farney coming on an angle and then coming back and planting itself. Like even just that we really get to get a sense, we start to get a sense of the body, but then we can start to place the head and the region of the torso here and also the region of the pelvis is another oval. And in this case this time, if this was an egg in space, the center of the egg turned away from us or the sternum here would be turned a little bit further away because the figures turning in space like that. And the same thing could be true a little bit for the region of the pelvis a little bit more here and then moving away in space. But once again we can just establish these basic volumes to help us place um the figure in space. So core volumes. Super important. But don't get intimidated, don't get all caught up in detail. And okay, now we're gonna really make a masterpiece. We're really just still working with this idea of the dynamic body, The dynamic structure and just starting to lay in some base, basic oval shapes in order to start to fill it out a little bit for your gesture drawing. So give it a try make a sculpture work from what you know, essential gesture to core structure, and then add on ahead a torso a pelvis. Just see how they land, but keep it simple.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Figure Drawing Materials
Essential Gesture
Constellation & Joints Reference
Core Volumes
Core Volumes Twist