Wednesday, February 13, 2019

My FORCE Drawing Experience

Had the pleasure of working with FORCE instructor Michael Mattesi the other week here in Japan.  More about it here on my other blog.

Friday, January 25, 2019

How to get LIFE into your Drawing by using Rhythm and Force - リズムとフォースでドローイングに生命を吹き込む

Art by Bruce Timm

Force.  Rhythm. Energy.  These are very abstract terms.  However they cannot be ignored because they influence all aspects of life.  Animators understand this as should all artists.   Ultimately all art is a form of animation.


How does this apply to drawing?


Designer, animator and amazing art instructor, Michael Mattesi literally defines his approach as FORCE drawing.


Essentially what we are looking for are relationships, transitions and above all change. Transitions that will lead the viewers eye from one point to another point.


I have covered this point before in previous blogs, especially when drawing the female form and where rhythms in the body are quite obvious.

この点は、以前のブログ<>で取り上げました。特に「女性を女性らしく描く Part 1

This tool when understood is quite powerful and can be applied to not just making your gesture drawings more dynamic but also your renderings and compositions.


Let's start with line.  

Step 1.  Analyse the action!
ステップ1. アクションを分析する!

Look for transitions.  Look for rhythms , flows that make the eye move!

Note this graphic from Warner Bros. animation designer, Shane Glines.  Though a very graphic design, the rhythms pushing through the body are very clear.  Even without the guidelines feel how your eyes naturally want to move over the body from one point to the other.


Step 2.  Choice of Line in Rhythm

What kind of experience do you see in the action??

Are we making relationships with lines that are curved and slow or lines that are sharp and fast?

Note this illustration from illustration pioneer Charles Dana Gibson.  His use of surface lines though straight and hard do lead the eye sharply over the forms, implying speed in the long smooth surfaces.



However in the example of Frank Frazetta's illustration, he uses dynamic but slightly slower curved lines implying flesh and also note the relationships that guide your eye on the monsters muscular back into his flailing arm. 


I also took the liberty of reproducing Frazetta's composition to show how rhythm and force can be used as composition tools.


I learned the subtle but powerful lesson point from Michael Matessi at his FORCE workshop in Japan this past week.   Note the "S" curve of the girl which leads into the hero's body and punch.  Mike pointed out that even the sweeping of the girl's hair was used to lead the eye into the hero.  Awesome composition design!  


I hope these notes inspire you. We are just scratching the surface on how force and rhythm can be used as tools to make your drawings more dynamic.  More to come here at the Ki Creative Studio Drawing workshop next moth Feb. 25th

この記事が皆さんの役に立ちますように。フォースとリズムがダイナミックなドローイングを可能にするツールであることをざっくりと説明しました。2月25日に開催される「Ki Creative Studio」ドローイングワークショップで、もう少し掘り下げる予定です。

In the meantime this is my Recommended Reading List for more perspective!


FORCE : Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators by Michael Mattesi

日本語版:リズムとフォース : 躍動感あるドローイングの描き方 マイケル・マテジ著

The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed (Chapter 10:  Rhythm)

Glenn Vilppu's Drawing Manual by Glenn Vilppu 

日本語版:グレン・ビルプのドローイングマニュアル グレン・ビルプ著

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Drawing --- Where to Start?? ドローイング:どこから描く??

"I know where the weight is coming from, and where the weight is just traveling, and where the weight is transferring to."  
- Milt Kahl


Where to start?  


This is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to drawing.   "Do I start with the head?", "Do I draw the muscles first?", "Do I draw a stick figure first?"


The most important thing when starting a drawing is to see the gesture! 


My drawing instructor, Glenn Vilppu often would say, "If you don't have the gesture,  you don't have anything." 


Some people fear about what is the first line that should touch the paper.  I personally like to start with the torso.  In my opinion that is where the center of gravity is.  I have seen people start with the foot!  In their mind, that is a point to anchor to be clear where the weight is.   Glenn Vilppu will often start with the head because he feels, "the body follows the head".  

一本目のラインを引くのが怖くてためらわれるという人もいます。私は、個人的には、胴から描き始めるのが好きです。重心は胴にあると考えているからです。足から描き始める人を見たことがあります! 彼らの考えによると、それはウェイトがどこにあるかを明確に示すポイントだというわけです。グレン先生は、たいてい頭から描き始めます。グレンによると、「体は頭に従う」ものだからです。

All these approaches are correct.  It's simply a matter of what tool is best for you to visualize the gesture.  They all have a common consideration of a force being acted upon the body.  I say that force is gravity.    


I have included some of my own examples of some quick sketches and where I start.  It may be too fast to catch but I drew starting with the head, torso and foot in different cases.   However, seeing the gesture in my head was the most important part before putting a line down.  


I also included some rough gestural drawings from my inspirations: John Buscema, Catherine Jeffery Jones, Charles Dana Gibson and Heinrich Kley.  See the power and weight in the gesture ---- gravity pulling on the figure and you might see that was the focus of the artist.    


Also below is an excellent link with Glenn Vilppu demonstrating drawing the model from imagination. 


Heinrich Kley


John Buscema


Catherine Jeffery Jones


Charles Dana Gibson


Friday, October 26, 2018

Ki Creative Studio Vol. 18 ! Last Drawing Workshop for 2018!!

2018 is already coming to a close soon!  This has been a great year! The last Ki Creative Studio Drawing Workshop for 2018 is coming soon!  Come down and get your drawing on!  


 Ki Creative Studio Drawing Session Vol. 18 WILL BE on December 17th! Come, have some fun, meet some cool people and pick up a skill or two while you are there! See you there! ​


Everyone is welcome! Let’s enjoy figure drawing and learn how to capture the gesture that tells a story. This class will warm you up with quick gesture drawings, then ease you into longer poses.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

What makes a drawing appealing?? - 何がドローイングを魅力的にする?

Above: Glen Keane

"The word is often misinterpreted to suggest cuddly bunnies and soft kittens.  To us, it meant anything that a person likes to see, a quality of charm, pleasing design, simplicity, communication and magnetism."


-  Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, The Illusion of Life
オリー・ジョンストン、フランク・トーマス『The Illusion of Life』(生命を吹き込む魔法)より

Everyone at one time has experienced making a drawing and for some reason, nothing interesting is happening on the page.  The drawing is dead or boring despite  following all the drawing rules of anatomy or perspective.


Some seem to have a natural ability to make a drawing that immediately attracts people.  Why?  Yes, some people are just gifted in this way , however,  fortunately there are tools that can help us make more appealing designs in our drawings.

描けばすべてのドローイングがたちまち魅力的になる、そんな能力が自然に備わっている人がいるように思えます。なぜでしょう? そのような力が生まれつき備わっている人は確かにいるようです。しかし、ドローイングのデザインをもっと魅力的にできるツールがあります

1- OBSERVE!  Take time to observe your subject.  Don't just look,  but really observe who or what you are drawing. What is different, contrasting or unique about your subject?  Are they skinny?  Heroic?  What is attractive or unattractive about them? Suggest that in your drawing!

1. 観察する! 対象をじっくり見ましょう。ただ見るだけではありません。描いているのは誰で、描きたいのは何でしょうか。対象は、何が他とは違い、際立ち、独特なのでしょうか? やせ型ですか? ヒーローのようですか? 引き付けられるまたは引き付けられない理由は何でしょう? こうしたことをドローイングで示しましょう。

Above:  Pencil studies by Milt Kahl for Horace and Jasper from 101 Dalmatians.  Both characters have the same face but their body designs are quite different and possibly communicate something about their character.  Jasper (the smart one) is long legged and always hunting like a spider.  Horace (the dumb one) is short, fat and is quite clumsy. 


Horace and Jasper don't have Brad Pitt's or George Clooney's good looks BUT there there is something interesting and entertaining when we look at them.  This is appeal. 


When drawing the model stay present and in utter awe!  When he or she takes a stand, it is as if they are a god or goddess present to us.   - Mike Mattesi Drawing Force

-マイケル・マテジ 「Drawing Force, Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators」(リズムとフォース)より

2- MAKE JUDGMENTS  Don't be afraid to make a judgment about what you see in the model.  It's not rude.  It is your job as a designer to see what is interesting in the model and and exaggerate it!  There is a big difference between exaggeration and 'distortion'.  Exaggeration is making a truth bigger.  Distortion is lying.

2. 判断をする モデルから見て取ったことに対して、遠慮なく判断をしましょう。モデルの何が興味を引き付けるのかを見て取るのは、デザイナーであるあなたの仕事です。それを誇張しましょう。誇張と「ゆがめること」とは違います。誇張とは、真実を大きくするだけです。

What abstract ideas or images come to mind when you look at them?  Gentle? Expressive?  Deer-like?  Snake-like?  Spider-like? Write it down on your paper before you draw.

モデルを見て、どんなアイデアが浮かびましたか? 優しい? 表情豊か? 鹿のよう? 蛇のよう? クモのよう? 描く前に、モデルを表す抽象的な言葉を書いておきましょう。

Yes, it is difficult to capture so much 'character' when we only have a few minutes (or less!) when  drawing people in public....or in a Ki Creative Studio Drawing Workshop.  Regardless, this is part of our challenge to observe more and make quicker judgments!

大勢の人がいる中で、Ki Creative Studioワークショップで、数分(時にはもっと短い時間)で性質を読み取るのは、確かに簡単なことではありません。しかし、よく観察し、早く判断を下すのは、私たちに課されている課題の1つです。

For those of you who are still beginners at capturing the figure, here are a few drawing tips that might be helpful when putting masses and forces down on the paper.  Notice I used the words "masses" and "forces" - NOT simply lines.


A.  Straights and parallel lines are a guaranteed way to kill any illusion of dimension or organic life.  Avoid this...unless you are making a graphic statement.  

A. 直線や平行線は、奥行きや生命を持つ有機物だという幻想を確実に損ないます。グラフィックステートメント(形状でメッセージを伝えること)をするのではない限り、使いません。

B.  Bending your straights creates an illusion of change but it's two-dimensional and is purely graphic.  No life...

B. 直線を曲げると、方向が変化しているという幻想は生まれます。しかし、これでは2次元的で形状しか示せません。生命がこもらないのです。

C.  Adding curves or round organic qualities does give a sense of volume however it is lacking context or application.  The eye simply just stops and is not compelled to move...

C. 曲線や丸みは、有機的な性質を表し、ボリュームも感じさせます。しかし、これでは状態や何を表しているかが伝わりません。見る人の目はとどまったまま、動きません。

D.  NOW, a  offsetting curved lines rhythmically suddenly makes the eye travel in a fluid manner.  Good composition and design will always have some form of contrast. Though all forms below D.  are asymmetrical, there is an appealing balance in all the forms. There is movement, flow and with the use of overlap, dimension.  

D. このドローイングは、曲線の位置をずらし、リズムを与えています。こうなると、目は流れるようにラインを追います。良い構図やデザインには常に、コントラストがあります。下の3つのフォームはすべて、非対称です。また、バランスが取れた面白味のあるフォームです。オーバーラップと奥行による、動き、流れがあります。

Applying some of these tools or concepts might help give your drawings a boost.  Good luck!!
これらのツールやコンセプトを適用すると、作品を向上させるのに役立ちます。 がんばって!!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Drawing the Female Form Part 1 -女性を女性らしく描く Part 1

The female form has been the subject of both art masters and students from the earliest days of design.

My art instructor, Glenn Vilppu always suggested starting off our life drawing class sessions with a female form rather than a male. 

The female form is the perfect design to show flow, curves and rhythm and complementary forces.  This is not to say that the male form doesn't have curves but but they are more obvious to see the female form.

Force and rhythm are at the root of all well executed figure drawings.  These relationships are flowing and water-like in design.  Perhaps due to the human body being mostly made of water. 

My rough sketches are just caricatures of the female form but I believe the relationships of flowing curves are constant in any female gesture drawing.  


Note the patterns of the flowing forces as I have noted before in previous blogs.

Drawing the female form can be very rewarding....who doesn't enjoy looking at a beautiful woman?

" Learn how to draw a beautiful woman and you will never be poor." as the old saying goes.  

Please keep these tips in mind:

1) Draw long flowing lines.
2) Look for "S" Curves in the form.
3) Keep your lines round and soft like women naturally are. 


Here are some suggested artists I feel were the best at depicting the female form: 

Auguste Rodin  

Edgar Degas

Alphonse Mucha

Fred Moore

John Pomeroy

Heinrich Kley

Pete Hawley

J. Scott Campbell

Adam Hughes

Frank Frazetta