Thoughts on Style

Posted on Mar 15th, 2010 in random thoughts

I have been attending figure drawing sessions every Wednesday night for almost 6 months.  Up until now, the goal has been to capture exactly what I see in front of me.  Realism has always been attractive to me, what is the ultimate goal?  I suppose I won’t be happy with my drawings until they look exactly like photographs.  But then, why not just take a photograph and be done with it?  What does me sitting and drawing a figure accomplish?  I’ve been neglecting to think about what I can add to the image to make it something that could only come from me.

So, I sat down tonight to do a motion study (right) based on one of my figure drawings from last week (left).  I focused on things like how gravity is affecting the body. Where are the major stress points?  Where does the energy flow? How can I represent this in an image? What I ended up with was something that was anatomically incorrect, but much more interesting to look at.  I’m going to take what I discovered tonight to this week’s figure drawing session.  Hopefully in another 6 months I can merge it with anatomical correctness.


  1. I like the motion study version a lot. Maybe that is because of the hard outer lines though, as compared to the sketched borders of the original.

    I think what you are talking about here needs to be discussed a lot in the CGI world by movie animators as it still seems hard to show the “weight” of a CGI character on the big screen.

  2. Joel

    It’s the old cliche: learn the rules to break them. Even if you don’t think you’ve mastered the anatomically correct, nearly photographic figure drawing, you obviously understand what’s missing. Knowing how to draw a traditional figure can inform your more stylized drawings, and that’s what can make them truly appealing.

    I’m with Jason – I like the stylized version. Admittedly though I’m the guy who will bore after a half-wing of Renaissance art, then spend hours staring at abstracts. Ultimately it’s about what you want to say.

  3. Anna

    Jason – Yes, actually traditional animators were masters at this. We recently rewatched Snow White, and the animation was striking. Every movement had a purpose and seemed to be exaggerated for emphasis. It was the exaggeration that made it feel more real.